1972 Champion Spark Plug Regatta
Miami Marine Stadium, Miami FL, June 4, 1972


Hugging The Buoys
Muncey Scores 28th Hydro Win

bullet Favorite for the June 4 Running
bullet He Also Took Miami Race
bullet Muncey Scores 28th Hydro Win
bullet Statistics

MIAMI (Special) Bill Muncey has given up politics, but he's still running.

The winningest hydro jockey ever ran away with the $25,000 Champion Regatta yesterday, sprinting away from Seattle's Bill Schumacher in the final heat.

The Atlas Van Lines, Muncey's charge, was the hot boat during qualifying runs last week. It continued the rapid pace when the money was on the line and Muncey scored a perfect 1,200-point sweep.

Schumacher in the Pride of Pay 'n Pak was second and not too disappointed.

"From now one we'll race on my kind of courses wider turns," Schumacher said after the race.

Muncey, sticking with his usual style of hugging the buoys, had things his own way around the tight turns in Marine Stadium.

Muncey and Schu entered the final heat with 800 points apiece after double prelim victories.

Muncey got the inside at the first turn and built a three-second edge over Schumacher by the finish of the first lap. The lead grew to 23 seconds by the checkered flag.

Bothell's Bob Gilliam pushed his aging U-88, the Pizza Pete, to third in the final standings, although he was edged by Fred Alter in the Towne Club for third in the finale.

Gilliam entered the final with 600 points after running second to Muncey in two prelims.

The Towne Club was in the final heat because of a faster elapsed time. Alter and Charlie Dunn, new driver of the new Miss Madison, were tied with 525 points. Race officials limited the cozy course to four boats and declared Dunn an alternate starter for the last heat.

Muncey, who was defeated in a primary bid for lieutenant governor of the state of Washington in 1968, set the qualifying mark of 112.360 miles an hour. He backed that up with a sizzling 112.500 m.p.h.first lap in the final heat.

For Muncey, it was his 28th unlimited career victory more than twice as many as any other active driver.

The Miss Budweiser, defending champion in this went, had its problems. Terry Sterett stalled with a cooked engine in Heat 1C while chasing Dean Chenoweth in the Notre Dame. Chenoweth went on to win the heat, but he lost a rudder in 2A.

In 2C, Sterett spun out and waved for a patrol boat when the Bud began to take on water.

Last year here, Schumacher was injured when tossed from the Pride just at the start of the first heat. A small key in a steering arm shattered, causing the boat to spin out. Schu spent several days in a Miami hospital.

"I had vivid recollections of last year when I came down the chute the first time," Schumacher said. "I didn't win but this was a heck of a lot better than last year."

The hydro fleet is en route to Owensboro for next Sunday's Kentucky Governor's Cup, an event Muncey has won the past two years.

Heat 1-A Pay'n Pak, Bill Schumacher, 101.370; Miss Madison, Charlie Dunn; Country Boy, Salt Walther, and Miss Timex (U-8), Tom Sheehy, both D. N. F.

Heat 1-B Atlas Van Lines, Bill Muncev, 104.408; Pizza Pete, Bob Gilliam, 97.968; Towne Club, Fred Alter, 95.137; Miss Timex (U-44), Jim McCormick, D. N. F.

Heat 1-C Notre Dame, Dean Chenoweth, 96.803; Miss Miami, Roger D'Eath, 91.870; Miss Budweiser, Terry Sterett, D. N. F.

Heat 2-A Miss Timex (U-44), 85.680; Notre Dame, Miss Miami, D. N. F.

Heat 2-B Atlas Van Lines, 103.626; Pizza Pete, 94.175; Miss Madison, 89.760.

Heat 2-C Pay'n Pak, 99.238; Towne Club, 96.982; Miss Budweiser, D. N. F.

Final Atlas Van Lines, 105.448 (heat record at Miami, included 111.386 lap record); Pay'n Pak, 103.577; Towne Club, 90.105; Pizza Pete, 90.045.

(Reprinted from The Seattle Times, June 5, 1972)


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