1996 Budweiser Columbia Cup
Columbia River, Tri-Cities WA, July 28, 1996


PICO Enjoys Dream Day
By JIM RILEY, Herald sports columnist

Dave Villwock glided the PICO American Dream into the Columbia Cup pits, jumped onto the top of the cowling like it was a saddle on a friendly bull and threw both hands into the air in complete and total ecstasy.

Villwock and the Fred Leland race team will head home to Seattle next weekend sitting on top of the world of unlimited hydroplane racing.

Villwock extended his lead in the national high points chase and won his fourth race in six starts this season by winning the 31st running of the Columbia Cup on Sunday.

"That was a great boat ride the guys on my team gave me," Villwock said. "The boat was able to ride about a foot over the rough stuff and it worked really well all weekend."

Villwock averaged 149.477 mph over the five-lap final on the rough 2.5-mile Columbia Cup course to beat defending champion Smokin' Joe's by several roostertails.

DeWALT Tools was third, Lynnwood Honda fourth and Trendwest fifth. Miss Budweiser, the defending national points champion, went without a win for its sixth straight race when it hooked into the infield after hitting a roller on the second lap and did not finish. Neither did Chaplin's Bellevue Mazda Subaru.

Budweiser driver Mark Evans, who took over when Chip Hanauer was injured during the second race of the season, tried to keep his spirits up.

"A big old sturgeon came and slapped the boat," Evans joked. "Actually it was driver error on my part and makes me mad at myself. When you are racing with these guys you have to be aggressive and that's what we were."

Bernie Little, who holds the all-time record for wins as an owner at 101 but has been on hold since last year, couldn't believe his luck.

"If we were a duck," Little said, "we would have drowned."

Villwock knows all about troubles on the Columbia River, blowing over in the Circus Circus in 1993.

"I've had horrible luck here," Villwock said. "I've crashed, tore the rudder off the boat, had the skid fin come off, and that's just in the final. I guess the odds were in my favor. Sooner or later we had to win."

The key moment of the day came in heat 3B.

Mark Tate and the Smokin' Joe's had earned the inside lane position by beating the PICO in the second heat.

It was close heading into the first turn, but as they came into the straightway, Villwock and the American Dream were in control.

Smokin' Joe's went dead in the water shortly after that when the propeller spun off the prop and blew the engine.

"Dave went into that corner and he was going to come out first even if he had to carry the boat," Leland said. "Nobody in the world could have taken that corner the way he did."

Tate wasn't sure what happened in that fateful corner, but he knew it was a great piece of driving by Villwock.

"It's hard to see when you're watching the buoys and everything, but Dave must have gone through there pretty clean because he came through ahead," Tate said. "That gave them a great position for the final. That's racing. It might be just the opposite next weekend."

Villwock knew that turn could well decide the whole weekend of racing.

"Every game has its moment and that was it," Villwock said. "Depending on how we did in that heat we were either going to win or finish as low as third of fourth. Getting the lane choice for the final is a big part of racing."

Villwock earned 1,500 points this weekend and now has 8,464 points through six of the 10 races this season. Smokin' Joe's earned 1,100 at the Columbia Cup and is second with 7,108 points.

"I said coming in here it was like halftime in basketball and we were ahead by 20 points," Villwock said. "I guess we added a couple of free throws today. This was a good weekend, but there's still a lot of racing to go."

The boats race next weekend in Seattle and then are in Kelowna, British Columbia the following weekend.

(Reprinted from the Tri-City Herald July 29, 1996)


Flip Destroys Appian Boat, Injures Driver
By Paul Lindberg and Eric Degerman

KENNEWICK, Wash. -- The fullest day of unlimited hydroplane racing on the Columbia River in 31 years was interrupted Sunday when the U-19 Appian Jeronimo boat Tom Hindley was driving flipped near the apex buoy on the west turn during the first lap of the provisional heat.

Hindley was in third place heading around the turn when his right sponson hit a roller and lifted out of the water, taking the black and yellow hull with it.

All that was visible was a wall of water as the boat landed between two other roostertails, sending pieces of the boat all over the course and tearing the front of the cockpit away from Hindley.

Hindley was taken to Kennewick General Hospital. A hospital official said he would be held overnight for observation in the intensive care unit.

Kathy Dios, patient care coordinator at KGH, said hospital policy did not allow anyone to speak to someone in ICU. She did say Hindley suffered three broken ribs and was in stable condition.

"The driver is fine, and that's the most important thing as far as we're concerned," said Bob Fendler, U-19 owner, standing in front of the empty trailer in the pits. "Everything else can be fixed. All the safety stuff we had on the boat worked, and Tom is a great driver, a real trooper."

U-99 Performance Mortgage driver Larry Lauterbach and U-14 Computers & Applications driver Ken Muscatel were behind Hindley on the turn and had the closest views of the blowover.

"I couldn't hardly miss it because it was right in front of me," Lauterbach said. "(Hindley) hit what we call a roller, just a hole in the water. His right sponson went up, some air got under the boat and there it goes."

Muscatel thought the Appian Jeronimo was going to land on him.

"I was only about 40 to 50 yards away," said Muscatel, who turned sharply trying to avoid the flying boat and ended up breaking his wing near the right stabilizer. "He went up right in front of me and then he was on me, and I quickly maneuvered to avoid him."

Pieces of the boat, each sponson and the main hull were recovered and returned to the pits. The tattered hull sat on the trailer, missing the nose and exposing the black driver's seat.

"I've never seen a boat come apart like that before," said U-98 driver Scott Pierce. "It must have hit the water in all the wrong ways."

PICO crew chief Ken Dryden, a boat builder and a survivor of two blowovers as a driver, surveyed the damage and wasn't optimistic. "That's probably it for the boat."

Fendler wasn't so sure it was a total loss after assessing the damage himself. "This is rebuildable and I will rebuild it. It may be a winter project, but I will rebuild it."

Fendler said he intended to lease a boat and would enter it in Seattle this weekend.

"We might lease him one from our team," Dryden said, "and get him back on the water next weekend."

(reprinted from the Tri-City Herald, July 29, 1996)


The 1996 Budweiser Columbia Cup July 26-28 Tri-Cities, Wash.

HEAT 1A

The U-10 Smokin' Joe's was the first to the pin ahead of the U-1 Miss Budweiser and turned it into a three-boat-length lead into the backstretch on the first lap. Smokin' Joe's ran a first lap over 155 mph, with Miss Budweiser close behind at 148. U-2 Trend West Resorts settled into third, with the fourth- and fifth-place boats spacing out. Smokin' Joe's held his lead and held off Miss Budweiser for the win.

HEAT 1B

U-100 PICO American Dream had the cleanest corner on the inside as all five boats negotiated the first turn and took a sizable lead immediately on the U-6 DeWALT Tools. PICO's consistent laps of more than 153 mph enabled it to easily cruise to victory. U-14 Computers & Applications battled with the U-16 E-Lam Plus on the outside and finished fourth behind the U-19 Appian Jeronimo.

HEAT 1C

U-98 Performance Mortgage in Lane 2 overtook the U-3 Mill Bay Casino Present Spirit of Lake Chelan, which was in Lane 1, on the first turn and turned it into a half-lap lead by the second run around the course and cruised to victory over the piston-powered boat.

HEAT 2A

Miss Budweiser, starting in Lane 4, was the first to Turn 1 ahead of Miss E-Lam Plus, taking it wide and opening a full roostertail lead over the field. Miss Budweiser's first lap of 143.564 had it way out in front of Miss E-Lam Plus, U-7 Cost Less Carpets and Miss Exide 2, opening a full lap lead on the field by Lap 3. Appian Jeronimo never got started when the canopy failed to stay closed.

HEAT 2B

Trend West Resorts took the lead on the first lap, but the U-8 Lynnwood Honda and Graham Trucking caught up and the two boats went neck-and-neck in the east turn on Lap 2. Even though Trend West Resorts was penalized a lap for changing lanes, Lynnwood Honda opened a three-quarter roostertail lead on Lap 3 and cruised to victory. Mill Bay Casino went dead on the backstretch on Lap 1 and did not finish.

HEAT 2C

Smokin' Joe's took the lead over PICO American Dream on the backstretch, with DeWALT Tools running on the inside after the first turn. Smokin' Joe's opened a full roostertail lead on PICO American Dream on the next lap as the two boats pulled away from the field, despite running real loose and hopping though the east turn.

HEAT 3A

DeWALT Tools on the inside sped around the first turn and held a half-roostertail lead over Trend West Resorts, eventually turning a 140 mph lap. U-98 Chaplin's Bellevue Mazda & Subaru settled into third, with Performance Mortgage fourth. U-11 Miss Exide 2 moved in on U-9 Miss Exide on the west turn and took over the lead for fifth on Lap 3. Chaplin's Bellevue Mazda & Subaru lost its wing on Lap 2.

HEAT 3B

Smokin' Joe's and PICO American Dream bounced around the first turn with PICO holding a slight lead with Miss Budweiser a roostertail back in third. They ran neck-and-neck until Smokin' Joe's lost its prop on Lap 2 and burned out the engine. PICO easily cruised to the victory ahead of Miss Budweiser, Lynwood Honda & Graham Trucking, Miss E-Lam Plus and Cost Less Carpets.

PROVISIONAL HEAT RE-RUN

Trend West Resorts opened a third of a roostertail lead down the backstretch after bouncing around the first turn with Miss E-Lam in hot pursuit, and Computers & Applications and Miss Exide making wide turns and dropping way back. Trend West Resorts increased its lead to almost a quarter lap and cruised the rest of the way, earning a spot in the final.

FINAL HEAT

Three top qualifiers - PICO American Dream, Smokin' Joe's and Miss Budweiser tiptoed around the first turn with PICO opening a five boat-length lead over Smokin' Joe's and an eight boat-length lead over Miss Budweiser as the Chaplin's Bellevue stalled on the backstretch. On the west turn, Miss Budweiser closed in on Smokin's Joe's and sneaked ahead on the straightaway heading back to the first turn of Lap 2. Before Miss Budweiser completed the turn, it spun out into the infield as Smokin' Joe's kept speeding ahead into the backstretch, along with DeWALT Tools, Lynwood Honda and Trend West Resorts. PICO held the lead and raced unchallenged the rest of the way for the win.

(Reprinted from the Tri-City Herald July 29, 1996)


FINAL QUALIFYING RESULTS

Boat # Name Driver Speed Points
--------------------------------------------------------------------
U-100 PICO American Dream (P-2) Dave Villwock 168.055 40
U-10 Smokin' Joe's Mark Tate 166.027 30
U-1 Miss Budweiser (T-3) Mark Evans 162.402 23
U-1 Miss Budweiser (T-5) Mark Evans 158.537 --
U-2 Trendwest Resorts Steve David 155.497 17
U-6 DeWALT Tools Mike Hanson 154.639 13
U-8 Lynnwood Honda/Graham Tr. Jimmy King 151.271 10
U-19 Appian Jeronimo Tom Hindley 148.687 --
U-99.9 Miss Performance Mortgage Larry Lauterbach 147.856 --
U-16 Miss E-Lam Plus Nate Brown 147.621 --
U-14 Computers & Applications Ken Muscatel 146.982 --
U-3 Mill Bay Casino/Lk. Chelan Mitch Evans 146.242 --
U-98 Chaplin Bell. Mazda/Subaru Scott Pierce 146.056 --
U-9 Miss Exide Mike Jones 138.604 --
U-7 Miss Cost Less Carpets Rick Christensen 135.414 --
U-11 Miss Exide 2 Mark Weber 133.893 --
U-15 Subaru Outback-Aussie Endv Dennis Parker 127.226/WD *
U-10 Smokin' Joe's (backup) Mark Tate No testing
U-100 PICO American Dream (P-1) Dave Villwock No testing

* - Withdrawn due to severe damage to rudder

(Republished from Matt McGee's Tri-Cities Sports Page)


HEAT 1A (11:30)

Ln Boat # Name Driver Pos/Pts Speed


1 U-10 Smokin' Joe's Mark Tate 1/400/400 154.022 #
2 U-1 Miss Budweiser Mark Evans 2/300/300 148.143
3 U-2 Trendwest Resorts Steve David 3/225/225 140.416
4 U-8 Lynnwood Honda/Graham Tr.Jimmy King 4/169/169 136.640
5 U-99.9 Performance Mortgage Larry Lauterbach 5/127/127 129.917

# - Fast Lap: U-10 (3rd), 158.078


HEAT 1B (11:50)

Ln Boat # Name Driver Pos/Pts Speed


1 U-100 PICO American Dream Dave Villwock 1/400/400 147.312 #
2 U-6 DeWALT Tools Mike Hanson 2/300/300 143.130
3 U-19 Appian Jeronimo Tom Hindley 3/225/225 136.015
5 U-14 Computers & Applications Ken Muscatel 4/169/169 132.527
4 U-16 Miss E-Lam Plus Nate Brown 5/127/127 130.939

# - Fast Lap: U-100 (1st), 153.293


HEAT 1C (12:10)

Ln Boat # Name Driver Pos/Pts Speed


2 U-98 Chaplin's Bellevue Mazda Scott Pierce 1/400/400 137.551 #
1 U-3 Chelan's Mill Bay Casino Mitch Evans 2/300/300 127.770
3 U-9 Miss Exide Mike Jones 3/225/225 122.777
5 U-11 Miss Exide 2 Mark Weber 4/169/169 112.681
4 U-7 Cost Less Carpets Rick Christensen 5/127/127+ 90.004

# - Fast Lap: U-98 (2nd), 139.149
+ - Penalized for being off line at the start two passes in a row


HEAT 2A (1:00)

Ln Boat # Name Driver Pos/Pts Speed


4 U-1 Miss Budweiser Mark Evans 1/400/700 142.862 #
2 U-16 Miss E-Lam Plus Nate Brown 2/300/427 129.930
1 U-7 Cost Less Carpets Rick Christensen 3/225/352 122.936
5 U-11 Miss Exide II Mark Weber 4/169/338 118.143
3 U-19 Appian Jeronimo Tom Hindley DNS/0/225 @

# - Fast Lap: U-1 (2nd), 144.506
@ - Canopy opened prior to start


HEAT 2B (1:20)

Ln Boat # Name Driver Pos/Pts Speed


2 U-8 Lynnwood Honda/Graham Tr.Jimmy King 1/400/569 143.638 #
3 U-9 Miss Exide Mike Jones 2/300/525 122.643
1 U-99.9 Performance Mortgage Larry Lauterbach 3/225/352 120.277
4 U-2 Trendwest Resorts Steve David 4/169/394 98.538 +
5 U-3 Chelan's Mill Bay Casino Mitch Evans DNF/0/300

# - Fast Lap: U-8 (3rd), 147.299
+ - One lap penalty for encroaching on U-9 after the start


HEAT 2C (1:40)

Ln Boat # Name Driver Pos/Pts Speed


4 U-10 Smokin' Joe's Mark Tate 1/400/800 156.830 #
5 U-100 PICO American Dream Dave Villwock 2/300/700 149.401
2 U-6 DeWALT Tools Mike Hanson 3/225/525 142.608
3 U-98 Chaplin's Bellevue Maz. Scott Pierce 4/169/569 129.683
1 U-14 Computers & Applications Ken Muscatel DNS/0/169 

# - Fast Lap: U-10 (2nd), 160.910 -- NEW LAP RECORD


HEAT 3A (2:30)

Ln Boat # Name Driver Pos/Pts Speed


2 U-6 DeWALT Tools Mike Hanson 1/400/925 144.325 #
4 U-2 Trendwest Resorts Steve David 2/300/694 140.811
1 U-98 Chaplin's Bellevue Maz. Scott Pierce 3/225/794 131.515
5 U-99.9 Performance Mortgage Larry Lauterbach 4/169/521 127.710
6 U-11 Miss Exide 2 Mark Weber 5/127/565 121.102
3 U-9 Miss Exide Mike Jones 6/95/630 120.820

# - Fast Lap: U-6 (2nd), 147.565


HEAT 3B (2:50)

Ln Boat # Name Driver Pos/Pts Speed


2 U-100 PICO American Dream Dave Villwock 1/400/1100 147.702 #
3 U-1 Miss Budweiser Mark Evans 2/300/1000 142.764
4 U-8 Lynnwood Honda/Graham Tr.Jimmy King 3/225/794 134.572
5 U-16 Miss E-Lam Plus Nate Brown 4/169/596 125.422
6 U-7 Cost Less Carpets Rick Christensen 5/127/479 110.636
1 U-10 Smokin' Joe's Mark Tate DNF/0/800

# - Fast Lap: U-100 (1st), 156.150


PROVISIONAL HEAT (3:25)

DELAYED AFTER FLIP OF U-19 IN FIRST RUNNING
PROVISIONAL RESTART (4:00)

Ln Boat # Name Driver Pos Speed


1 U-2 Trendwest Resorts Steve David 1 143.869 #
2 U-16 Miss E-Lam Plus Nate Brown 2 138.528
4 U-14 Computers & Applications Ken Muscatel 3 133.528
5 U-9 Miss Exide Mark Weber 4 117.239
3 U-99.9 Performance Mortgage Larry Lauterbach DNS

# - Fast Lap: U-2 (1st), 146.073


FINAL HEAT (4:43)

Ln Boat # Name Driver Pos/Pts Speed

1 U-100 PICO American Dream Dave Villwock 1/400/1500 149.477 #
3 U-10 Smokin' Joe's Mark Tate 2/300/1100 147.434
4 U-6 DeWALT Tools Mike Hanson 3/225/1150 138.525
5 U-8 Lynnwood Honda/Graham Tr.Jimmy King 4/169/963 134.144
T U-2 Trendwest Resorts Steve David 5/127/821 130.309
2 U-1 Miss Budweiser Mark Evans DNF/0/1000
6 U-98 Chaplin's Bellevue Maz. Scott Pierce DNF/0/794

# - Fast Lap: U-100 (1st), 155.483

(Reprinted from UHRA.com)


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