1973 APBA Gold Cup
Columbia River, Tri-Cities WA, July 22, 1973
Bud ‘Rides’ Pak’s Broken Prop
Tri-Cities — Dean Chenoweth, Gold Cup champion for a second time, will get his desired chance to prove yesterday’s victory on the Columbia River was no fluke.
Chenoweth piloted the Miss Budweiser to victory in the 65th running of the prestigious unlimited-hydroplane race by out-dueling Bill Muncey in what amounted to a winner-take-all final.
Chenoweth’s task was made much, much easier when Mickey Remund’s ride, Seattle’s Pride of Pay ‘n Pak, conked out early in the second lap of the final.
Chenoweth, a jockey-sized automobile dealer from Xenia, Ohio, said his second Gold Cup triumph in four years was an "honest one." And he looked upon the fleet’s net outing, the $50,000 World Championship race on Seattle’s Lake Washington August 5, as a chance to prove it.
Many among the thousands of sun-worshippers clinging to the Columbia’s banks along a three mile stretch might disagree with Chenoweth’s assessment of an "honest" win.
Remund cleanly defeated Chenoweth in a head-to-head match up during the day’s first preliminary heat, 1-A. And Remund broke on top in the final, shattering a Gold Cup record before a broken propeller stalled the craft early in lap two.
Remund’s first lap was 119.691 miles an hour, bettering by more than 8 m.p.h. the previous standard set by Chenoweth in 1969.
Remund truly was humming in the final. He shot the Pak ahead coming out of the first corner and had a remarkable 6-second lead after the first of six laps on the 2½-mile course.
When the prop broke off and the Pak drifted to a halt, the crowd’s attention turned to a Chenoweth-Muncey duel that lasted more than three laps in one of the better unlimited races ever staged here.
Chenoweth had the inside lane and a slight lead on Muncey and the Atlas Van Lines, when Remund’s boat went out of commission. Muncey wouldn’t let Dean ease up and stayed within one roostertail of the Budweiser for three more laps.
"I was just trying to get your attention," Muncey a five-time winner of the Gold Cup, told Chenoweth later during a congratulatory trip to the Budweiser trailer.
"I pushed him as hard as I could and tried to make his equipment break," Muncey. said. "Let’s face it. The Pak and Bud are faster than the Atlas. But strange things happen in Gold Cup races and you keep trying.
"You just go as hard as your equipment will stand and hope for a break. I happen to know they come along quite often. Today they didn’t."
Chenoweth’s winning average of 111.386 m.p h. in the final heat is a Gold Cup record. His 60-mile average (four heats) of 105.354 also was a new standard. Muncey averaged 107.100 in the final.
Muncey lost two duels to Chenoweth yesterday. By blind draw, the two were matched in preliminary 3-A. Chenoweth got the inside at the start and held his position. Muncey never did find room or enough power to pass and dropped off the pace in lap three. But the two veterans were running deck-by-deck through the first two trips around.
Remund’s only test in the early heats came from Chenoweth in 1-A and the rookie made the veteran look bad. Remund out-positioned Chenoweth at the start, led the five-boat field out of the first corner and had a 3-second lead after one lap. The quiet man from Garden Grove, Calif., kept Chenoweth on his hip and by the end of lap two there was open water and an eight-second spread.
"I was very embarrassed in that first heat," Chenoweth, winner of the 1970 Gold Cup, said. "He took my start away from me. I wasn’t really up for this race beforehand but getting beat there motivated me for the rest of the afternoon, believe me!"
Chenoweth thinks the Pak’s speed edge is in the corners, but "I think we can out-pull him in the straightaway.
"I’m looking forward to Seattle. That 3-mile course has longer chutes and I should be able to show you what I mean. That race is going to be a real humdinger."
The disappointing mishap shell-shocked the Pay ‘n Pak camp. It cost Dave Heerensperger’s boat its lead in the national point chase. The Bud now has a 100-point edge over the Pak, with three races to go in the 1973 season.
A blade broke off the Pak’s prop, bending the shaft, which ripped a hole in the bottom of the boat. As soon as the other boats passed the disabled craft, three patrol boats moved in to secure lines and prevented the Pak from sinking.
"It’s the identical thing that happened in Detroit," Heerensperger said. "I think we’re going to have to find a different source of metal for props. We’re just putting so much pressure on everything that it just shakes apart."
During qualifying for the Gar Wood Memorial race on the Detroit River last month, the Pay ‘n Pak was ripped open by a bent shaft, caused by a broken prop.
"That’s five wheels in two years," Heerensperger said. "The Lincoln Thrift went here. I know we’re going to have to look for better metal. We’re just going too fast for the kinds we’ve got now."
Heerensperger, who has been chasing the Gold Cup and national-championship trophies unsuccessfully for six years, was disappointed.
Heerensperger expressed some concern about getting the Pak repaired in time for the Seattle race. "We’re running short of honeycomb aluminum," he said. "We’ll be ready, but it’s a good thing we’ve got two weeks."
After the Detroit accident, ‘ the Pay ‘n Pak crew worked 58 straight hours and got the boat ready less than two hours before race time. Remund finished second in that one.
It truly was a record race. Four Gold Cup marks fell, two to Remund and two to Chenoweth. Remund picked off three course records and Chenoweth one. In fact, several lap and heat records were broken early in the day, then bettered a few hours later.
And the crowd was the largest in eight years of unlimited racing here.
Heat 1-A — Pride of Pay ‘n Pak (Mickey Remund) 110.905; Budweiser (Dean Chenoweth) 105.058; Lincoln Thrift (Danny Walls) 90.634; Miss U. S. (Tom D’Eath) 84439; Murphy Marine (Chuck Hickling) DNF.
Heat 1-B — Pizza Pete (Fred Alter) 102.118; Notre Dame (Ron Larsen) 100.222; Miss Madison (Tom Sheehy) 98.792; Mister Fabricator (Tom Kaufman) 93.750.
Heat 1-C — Atlas Van Lines (Bill Munrey) 105.757; Red Man (James McCormick) 91.837; Valu Mart I (Bob Gilliam) 89.315; Shakey’s Special (Tom Martin) 81.154.
Heat 2-A — Atlas Van Lines 109.766; Notre Dame 101.771; Red Man 96.982; Miss U. S. 93.328; Murphy Marine 85.361.
Heat 2-B — Budweiser 104.046; Pizza Pete 98.828; Mister Fabricator 96.947; Shakey’s Special 91.525.
Heat 2-C — Pride of Pay ‘n Pak 109.356; Lincoln Thrift 104.247; Madison 99.852; Vaiu Mart I 94.405.
Heat 3-A — Budweiser 110.929; Atlas Van Lines 109.090; Notre Dame 100.521; Miss U. S. 91.093; Lincoln Thrift, DNS; Red Man DNS.
Heat 3-B — Pride of Pay ‘n Pak 107.142; Pizza Pete 100.222; Miss Madison 98.324; Mister Fabricator 96.463; Vaiu Mart 190.210.
Consolation — Red Man 97.508; Mister Fabricator 94.703; Miss Madison 92.465; Miss U. S. 92.402; Valu Mart 191.805; Shakey’s Special DNF.
Gold Cup final — Budweiser 111.386; Atlas Van Lines 107.100; Pizza Pete 98.864; Notre Dame 95.710; Pride of Pay ‘n Pak DNF.
Final points, [national totals in parentheses] — Budweiser 1,500 (6,238); Atlas Van Lines 1,400 (3,900); Pizza Pete 1,225 (3,200); Pride of Pay ‘n Pak 1,200 (6,138); Notre Dame 994 (1,463); Miss Madison 675 (2,642); Mister Fabricator 563 (1,858); Red Man 525 (4,184); Lincoln Thrift 525 (3,421); Valu Mart 1521 (1579); Miss U. S. 507 (1,544); Shakey s Special 338 (338) Murphy’s Marina 127 (127).
(Reprinted from The Seattle Times, July 23, 1973)
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