1976 Indiana Governor's Cup
New Name, Same Fast Boat
MADISON, Ind. — (Special) — Painting a new name on the side of a boat doesn’t seem to affect its performance.
Unlimited-hydroplane drivers rediscovered that racing axiom yesterday during the Indiana Governor’s Cup race on the Ohio River. . The same swift hydro which had won here the past three years bore a new name but still finished first. And two slower boats which under-went hurried name changes again finished among the also-rans.
Bill Muncey piloted the Atlas Van Lines to his fifth victory in this regatta and the 34th of his unlimited driving career. The Atlas, which retired the previous Governor’s Cup trophy under the Pay ‘N Pak moniker (Muncey purchased the boat last winter), won each of its heat races with ease.
Meanwhile, two boats newly named Miss Budweiser and Olympia Beer encountered mechanical difficulties and couldn’t keep up.
Muncey, 47, of La Mesa, Calif., collected 1,200 points and increased his lead in the race for the national championship to 1,500 points.
Since their own boats were damaged, both the Budweiser and Olympia owners used leased boats here in an attempt to keep up in the point chase.
But the "Bud", which previously this season raced as the Sunny Jim, conked out in the final heat. And the "Olympia" (formerly Myr Sheet Metal) missed the first heat and failed to qualify for the final.
Muncey’s win was his second in four races this year. He finished first at Miami, second at Washington, D.C., and second at Detroit and has accumulated 4,525 points.
Billy Schumacher, who managed only 300 points here in the substitute "Oly", is second with 3,025.
Bernie Little, Budweiser owner, caught regatta officials by surprise when he took over sponsorship of Pete LaRock’s U-95, Sunny Jim, and re-registered it as the U-12, Miss Budweiser, only about an hour before the race. The substitute hull, driven by Tom Sheehy, scored 600 points, moving Budweiser into fourth place in national point standings with 2,227.
Muncey, who lost a final-race duel to Tom D’Eath in Miss U.S. in Detroit’s Gold Cup regatta, was not about to let the 32-year-old D’Eath get by him again.
The Atlas averaged 109.462 miles an hour around the 2½-mile course which separates Madison and Milton, Ky., in the final, 15-mile heat. Miss U.S. was second, averaging 105.783 m.p.h., and Miss Madison third at 94.697 m.p.h.
Only three boats, the largest number to finish in any heat, were able to take the checkered flag in the finale.
The unlimiteds will move to Owensboro, Ky., this week and will race for the Kentucky Governor’s Cup on Sunday.
Heat 1A — Atlas Van Lines, Bill Muncey, La Mesa, Calif., 103.235 m.p.h.; Vernors, Jerry Bangs, Seattle, 99.339 m.p.h.; Miss Madison, Ron Snyder, Piqua, Ohio, 85.018 m.p.h. (Olympia, Billy Schumacher, Seattle, did not start.)
Heat 1B — Miss U.S., Tom D’Eath, Fair Haven, Mich., 98.168 m.p.h.; Miss Budweiser, Tom Sheehy, Miami, 95.379 m.p.h. (Owensboro’s Own, Roger D’Eath, Miami, D.N.S.)
Heat 2A — Madison, 94.103 m.p.h.; Budweiser, 92.688 m.p.h.; Owensboro’s Own, 87.192 m.p.h. (Vernors did not finish.)
Heat 2B — Atlas, 102.041 m.p.h.; Olympia, 90.434 m.p.h. (Miss U.S., D.N.S.)
Final — Atlas, 109.462 m.p.h.; U.S., 105.783 m.p.h.; Madison, 94.697 m.p.h. (Vernors, Budweiser, both D.N.F.)
Regatta points — Atlas 1,200, Madison 850, U.S. 700, Budweiser 600, Vernors 350, Olympia 300, Owensboro’s 225.
Season totals — Atlas 4,525, Olympia 3,025, U.S. 2,900, Budweiser 2,227, Madison 1,990, Myr Sheet Metal 1,669, Probe 694, Vernors 638, Sunny Jim 394.
(Reprinted from The Seattle Times, July 5, 1976)
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