1985 Budweiser Hydro Trophy
ExecutonePhones Home From Miami
There's always something special about the unlimited hydroplane season opener in Miami, Florida.
The weather is hot, the course is excellent from a spectators point of view and its a dream layout for photographers.
It's just too bad the unlimiteds rarely put on a decent show for the loyal Miami hydro followers.
This years go-around marked the 15th annual and was no exception to most Miami races.
The field of eight boats saw only six make the 100 mph lap minimum for the one and two thirds mile course.
The class of the field was Chip Hanauers' year old ex-Atlas Miller American which turned in a qualifying lap of 122 mph on race day morning. Hanauer was unable to run on Friday or Saturday because of numerous woes, including electrical and lack of fuel. Scott Pierce in the Executone seemed reliable at a 114.196 mph qualifying lap. Leif Borgerson passed his drivers test in the Frank Kenney Toyota/ Volvo at 114.529 as did rookie Andy Coker in the American Speedy Printing at 108.515. Steve Reynolds in the Miss 7-Eleven had all kinds of problems caused by the salt water and heat but made the-field at 108.515. Todd Yarling chugged into the race at 101.706 in the U-22 Eagle Snacks hull.
The new Miss Budweiser got into Miami at around 5:30am race day morning after a 68-hour non-stop trip from Seattle. The Bud and Jim Kropfeld failed to qualify after a plugged water intake system and broken gear box limited its attempt to half a lap. The Oh Boy! Oberto was too slow to make the field.
Miller American easily won heat lA at 103.969mph and was the only finisher. Executone jumped the gun and later went dead when its engine oil cooler came apart. Miss 7-Eleven failed to finish with electrical and compressor problems
Heat 1B wasn't a whole lot better for action. Leif Borgerson easily won his first race heat since retiring in 1974, in the Frank Kenney Toyota /Volvo at 99.492. Andy Coker made his unlimited debut in American Speedy Printing ::and finished second at 91.531mph. Eagle Snacks was sidelined with a broken supercharger.
Eagle Snacks pilled out of the race after breaking the last of its four superchargers leaving the five remaining hydros to go at it in a grouped Heat Two.
Much of the excitement was removed from Heat Two when Miller American could not start because of a faulty fuel solenoid and the 7-Eleven started after the one minute gun and was black flagged off the course. Executone easily won the heat at 96.189 with American Speedy Printing running a distant second at 87.046mph. Frank Kenney Toyota/Volvo failed to finish after being washed down in the first lap.
The final heat saw Miller American again fail to start with another defective fuel solenoid. The start saw 7-Eleven make a charge for the front only to be knocked out of action with engine problems. Executone lead from wire to wire to give Scott Pierce his first ever-unlimited win at 103.909. American Speedy Printing finished second at 86.927 with Frank Kenney Toyota third overall at 81.427
For both driver Pierce and Executone owner Bill Wurster it was a very emotional victory, "I'm so happy I can cry" said Pierce as he proceeded to fight tears.
American Speedy Printing and Andy Coker were the only ones to complete all three heats of racing.
One can only hope that Miller American, 7-Eleven, and the new Miss Budweiser can overcome their problems and become competitive. In addition the sagging unlimited fleet could use the addition of the Turbine Budweiser and the Tom D'Eath driven Squire Shop to strengthen the ranks.
The Miami crowd was down but a record number of Sea-Cows were in attendance for the start of the unlimited season tour that can only improve.
(Reprinted from the Unlimited NewsJournal, June 1985)
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