1995 San Diego Bayfair Presents the Bill Muncey Cup on
Mission Bay, San Diego CA, September 17, 1995
Budweiser Flips, Smokin' Joes Wins
SAN DIEGO (Sept. 17) -- The KCBQ Bill Muncey Cup was a focal point of the San Diego Bayfair races on Mission Bay and, appropriately, a disciple of the late, great and winningest unlimited driver of all time -- Chip Hanauer -- started off in full command of the proceedings.
Not only did Hanauer and the Miss Budweiser establish a new world, single-lap speed record in qualifying (172.166 miles an hour), but the red-hot team quickly gobbled up all three preliminary heats. Meanwhile, Tate and the Smokin' Joe's crew were struggling, especially when a prop came off in Heat 3-B and the motor and drive shaft came undone, punching a couple of large holes in the hull for a chaser. Crew chief Jim Lucero and his comrades were up to the task, however, completely repairing the boat in the 40 minutes allotted before the winner-take-all final.
So the Joe's came roaring across the start line right on the heels of Hanauer's craft. A crowd of 75,000- plus reacted in horror, though, when a front canard, and then the entire right sponson, let go on the Bud, sending Hanauer into a careening, cartwheeling flip at 175 miles an hour. Landing upside down, Hanauer stayed cool, unlocked his safety capsule and swam to the surface inside of 15 seconds. Clambering atop the largest piece remaining of his boat, he made a thumb's-up gesture to arriving rescuers -- but was obviously through for the day.
In the re-start, Tate again came quickly, this time after inside pacesetter Evans and the re-named U-99.9, running as Miss Vons. Evans held off the Camel-powered boat for a couple of laps but eventually slowed to preserve equipment and Tate flashed by to the championship of the Bill Muncey Cup. At the same time, he clinched a third driver's title in five years and put the Smokin' Joe's back atop the boat point standings by a narrow margin, 12,214 to 12,175. Again, the relentless Evans stayed around for another high finish, this time in second place, while Steve David -- plagued with gremlins all day -- recovered to claim third place after starting in the trailer position.
(Reprinted from the URC Electronic Hydroletter, No. 29 September 28, 1995)
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