1983 Columbia Cup
Columbia River, Tri-cities WA, July 31, 1983
Schafer Prints A Win
The 1983 season has had its share of memorable moments. Jack Schafer, provided one when he got to the winner's circle at this year's Columbia Cup.
The weekend was highlighted by 13 entries — largest turnout of the summer to date. Unfortunately, three boats ended up unqualified. The shorebirds included Island Security Systems, Miss Machine Rock Band, and Swannies.
Budweiser captured heat lA, following a brief argument from Atlas. The score was settled by the second turn, and Chip agreed to take second. Renault was third; American Speedy fourth. Squire popped an engine in lap two.
The slower qualifiers went in 1B, and Frank Kenney Toyota/Volvo was the obvious favorite. Ron Snyder won the heat as expected, although Executone closed in the final lap. Miss Rock (the former Fred Leland version of American Speedy Printing Centers) wound up third. Scott Pierce, making his '83 debut in Tempus, took fourth, and Wil Muncey garnered fifth in Kawaguchi Travel Service.
A gun jumping undid any hopes Jim Kropfeld may have had in heat 2A. Atlas won the heat, 122.449, compared to Squire's 110.294 second place. American Speedy got third. Bud, which physically ran second, was awarded fourth, after Kropfeld did his penalty lap. Renault went dead a few seconds before the start. A blown engine caused a fire, which burned the electrical wiring. Milner Irvin was done for the day.
Snyder had an easy time of it in 2B, as Pierce was the only other driver to finish. Miss Rock broke a gear box, a stack fell off Kawaguchi's Allison, and Executone broke a throttle linkage.
Executone came back to win the consolation, thus earning a spot in the final. Miss Rock and Tempus also finished, but Kawaguchi went back to the pits a lap early and got a DNF.
The final field consisted of Bud, Atlas, Speedy Printing, Executone, Kenney Toyota, and Squire. Tempus was the alternate, and got a chance to run when Snyder had a minor fire. Shortly after Kenney Toyota went dead, so did Squire. Earle Hall shut the engine off as a precaution, when he felt it was running on borrowed time.
The start of the final heat was where the outcome was determined. Budweiser was late but charging on the inside. As Kropfeld neared the first turn, Jack Schafer moved over. (It was a legal move — no penalty was assessed.) Kropfeld got wet and disoriented. By the time he got going, everyone else was a straightaway ahead.
Hanauer and Schafer had a cat-and-mouse routine up the first backstretch. As Atlas began to establish a firm lead later in the heat, Chip's number came up. Exiting the first turn, Hanauer's engine broke a wheel case. Schafer edged into the lead, and won easily. Budweiser recovered from the first turn incident and got second. Executone, the only other finisher, was third. Atlas was awarded fourth, and Tempus, which went back to the pits before reaching the first turn, was fifth.
The '83 Columbia Cup marked Jack Schafer's first win, in a driving career that dates back to 1975. With the kind of support R.B. "Bob" Taylor can provide, however, Schafer shouldn't have to wait so long for number two.
(Reprinted from the Unlimited NewsJournal, August 1983)
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