1973 UIM World Championship
Remund Wins It All — By 25 Feet
On an afternoon fit for frogs, Mickey Remund leaped to the biggest win of his boat-racing career.
Ignoring a pelting rain which cut visibility to almost zero, Remund and Dean Chenoweth yesterday put on the wildest, woolliest duel in 23 years of unlimited-hydroplane racing on Lake Washington.
Remund needed every ounce of the mind-bending speed produced by the pickle-forked Pay ‘n Pak. His margin of victory — after 15 final-heat miles — was 25 feet.
"Another 50 yards and Chenoweth would have won," one regatta official said of the storybook finish. Chenoweth pushed the Bud to its limit in trying to catch Remund on the final lap.
The Bud trailed by about 500 feet as the two boats rounded the exit buoy, one third of a mile from the finish line.
"I tried, boss," Chenoweth said to Bernie Little upon arrival in the pits a few minutes later. "I really put my foot in it. I thought I might flip, but I had to try "
Little, owner of the Budweiser, congratulated Chenoweth as though he had won."No apologies or excuses are necessary after a boat race like like that," Little told his driver. "You were fantastic."
Remund, beaten by Chenoweth in an earlier, equally suspenseful heat, had the upper hand in the winner-take-all final. He nosed the Pay ‘n Pak ahead coming out of the first turn and maintained about a 10-foot lead as the two boats whistled down the backstretch at 160 miles an hour.
Remund increased his lead in the north turn and rounded the corner first. Chenoweth moved to the outside, but he had to cross Remund’s wake to reach a clear lane.
"As soon as you have to cross a wake, that costs you a lot of time," Jim Lucero, Pak ‘n Pak crew chief said. "That’s why they lost the race."
The maneuver did put the Bud about four seconds behind and it took Chenoweth four full laps to close the gap and set up the nip-and-tuck windup.
The speeds attained by the Bud and Pak were almost unbelievable and even more incredible considering the weather conditions.
In Heat 1-C, the hot-dog section of the fan-plan race, Chenoweth won with a record average of 122.504 miles an hour. That easily erased the eight-year-old mark of 116.079.
In the same heat, Remund set a single-lap record of 124.424 m.p.h. to eclipse Bill Muncey’s standard (117.137 m.p.h.), set here last year.
The 1-C duel may go down as the classic hydroplane race. Chenoweth had the inside lane — his favorite spot — at the start. Remund passed the starting buoy first, but Chenoweth held the inside lane and the boats were side by side for the first three miles. The Bud’s lead after one lap was 30 feet.
Remund, still on the outside, gained slightly in the corners and had a 50-foot edge after two laps.
Had the race ended after three laps, it would have been a dead-heat finish.
Using his inside-lane position to full advantage, Chenoweth opened a slight edge the fourth time around the three-mile course. At the finish, the margin was about two roostertails. Neither driver went under the 120 mark on any of the five laps.
The Bud clearly was ahead as the two record-setters rounded the final turn of the heat, but Chenoweth’s margin of victory would have been less had the Pak not lost a propeller and part of its drive shaft.
Remund coasted across the finish line, then turned to the infield and asked for a tow.
Lucero’s crew replaced the shaft, borrowed a prop from the U-95 team next door and had the Pak back in business for Heat 2-C another match up with the Bud.
Chenoweth quickly moved to the lead in 2-C, but a blown supercharger near the finish of the third lap stalled the beer wagon and opened the door to an easy win for Remund.
Chenoweth and Remund provided 99 per cent of the day’s racing.
Muncey, in the "medium fast" heats (1-B and 2-B) by virtue of Lee Schoenith’s sandbagging tactics during qualifying, was a distant third in the final.
Schoenith, who owns the Atlas Van Lines which Muncey drives, felt he had a better chance at national points and money by not running Muncey against Chenoweth and Remund. Schoenith did put his second-best boat (Pizza Pete, driven by Fred Alter) in the hot-dog flight.
As it turned out, Schoenith’s double entry earned $13,600. Had Muncey run with the speedsters, Lee would have pocketed $13,300.
For the victory, the Pay ‘n Pak team collected $10,300 (including $1,600 in qualifying money).
(Reprinted from The Seattle Times, August 6, 1973)
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