1976 APBA Gold Cup
Detroit River, Detroit MI, June 27, 1976
Problems Beset Gold Cup Race
by Joe Dowdall
. . . On shore, Buddy Byers, the unlimited racing commissioner from Columbus, Ohio, was even busier.
The qualifying trials are down to their final day today with only five of the 11 entries qualified for the race. And there is doubt that four of the six unqualified boats will be able to average 105 miles an hour for two laps on the three-mile course, especially if the water is rough.
Bob Miller in the Probe just missed in Wednesday's trials with laps of 104.651 and 102.079 for a 103.365 average with ideal water conditions.
"I have the power to invoke the general rules of racing for the good or safety of a race," said Byers, a former driver and now an automobile dealer and manufacturer.
"The general racing rules of the American Power Boat Association call for only a 100 mile an hour average for three-mile course.
"Today I polled the Gold Cup boat owners and drivers who are here and the majority were in favor of applying the general racing rule to help fill the field.
"So, as faras I am concerned, Probe is qualified and will be when we have our official drivers meeting tomorrow."
Irvin showed Myr's Sheet Metal to be capable of 100-plus mile an hour laps.
And Roger D'Eath in Miss North Tool, which was leased for the race yesterday by George Blake, is expected to top the 100 mile an hour lap mark. The other three entries may be questionable.
The new, untried Miss Vernors is being completed in the pits in an 11th-hour bid to be ready for the race. It has never run.
Sunny Jim, the former turbine-powered boat from Seattle, was delayed en route when its truck broke down. Driver Tom Sheehy, a Delta jet pilot, is on hand to test the boat as soon as it arrives.
The other entry is Tom Kaufman's Mr. Fabricator, the slowest boat in the fleet here last year and the one most likely to be bumped should all 11 boats qualify before the deadline at 5 p.m. today.
"We're still shooting for 10 boats," said Byers. "That would give us five-boat elimination heats, the maximum for the Detroit River course."
(reprinted from the Detroit News, June 25, 1976)
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