1998 Las Vegas Cup
Lake Mead, Las Vegas NV, September 27, 1998
Las Vegas Cup Lake Mead (Boulder Beach),
Las Vegas, NV September 25, 26, and 27, 1998
LAS VEGAS COURSE RECORDS: 2-mile qualification lap: 147.805, Miss Circus Circus (Chip Hanauer) 1990 2-mile competition lap: 139.130, Miss Budweiser (Tom D'Eath) 1988 6-mile heat: 134.282, Miss Budweiser (Tom D'Eath) 1988 10-mile heat: 125.137, Miss Circus Circus (Chip Hanauer) 1989 28-mile race: 124.459, Mr. Pringle's (Scott Pierce) 1988 SUNDAY FINAL: 1. U1 Dave Villwock (Miss Budweiser) 123.922mph 2. U20 Mitch Evans (Appian Jeronimo) 122.883mph 3. U16 Jimmy King (Miss E-Lam Plus) 113.734mph 4. U10 Mark Weber (Wild Fire), 113.734mph 5. U2 Steve David (Deja Vu/Primestar), 110.677mph 6. U19 Jerry Hale (Stealth Racing), 109.848mph 1A Miss Budweiser Dave Villwock 129.661 Wild Fire Unlimited Mark Weber 124.992 Deja Vu Steve David 121.791 Fast Lap #1 Miss Budweiser, 134.409 1B Appian Jeronimo Mitch Evans 133.644 Miss E-Lam Plus Jimmy King 133.066 Easter Seals/Stealth Racing Jerry Hale 122.900 Fast Lap- #3, Appian Jeronimo 137.615 2B Appian Jeronimo Mitch Evans 126.029 Deja Vu Steve David 124.272 Wild Fire Unlimited Mark Weber 120.465 Fast Lap #3- Appian Jeronimo 129.798 2B Miss Budweiser Dave Villwock 124.209 Miss E-Lam Plus Jimmy King 119.747 Easter Seals/Stealth Racing Jerry Hale 116.549 Fast Lap #1-Miss Budweiser 128.159 3A Miss Budweiser Dave Villwock 128.201 Appian Jeronimo Mitch Evans 122.222 Deja Vu Steve David 115.624 Fast Lap #1-Miss Budweiser 141.412 3B Miss E-Lam Plus Jimmy King 125.682 Wild Fire Unlimited Mark Weber 125.305 Easter Seals/Stealth Racing Jerry Hale 115.619 Fast Lap #3-Wild Fire Unlimited 128.590
HEAT 1A, 1B RECAP:
LAKE MEAD, NEVADA (September 27, 1998): After a two day delay, the Ralphs Unlimited Hydroplane Thunder Tour presented by Las Vegas is back on schedule. The high winds were calm enough on Lake Mead to get heat 1A and 1B off before 9:00am this morning.
In the first heat, the Miss Budweiser, driven by Dave Villwock went deck-to-deck with the Las Vegas based Wild Fire. The two battled for a lap before Villwock dropped the peddle to the floor and pulled ahead of the Wild Fire and the Deja Vu, driven by Steve David.
David, who had experienced flight problems leaving Florida, was in the pits on Saturday.
The first place Miss Budweiser finished the heat at 129.661, followed by the Wild Fire (U-10) with a speed of 124.992. Steve David who placed third, had an average speed of 121.791 on the 2 mile course. Villwock had the fastest lap of the heat at 134.409.
In heat 1B, the Miss E-Lam Plus, driven by Jimmy King battled Mitch Evans and the Appian Jeronimo for nearly three laps. Jerry Hale in the Stealth Racing/Easter Seals and the E-Lam were the first to cross the starting line.
Jeronimo quickly made up ground and battled the E-Lam for 2 laps. The E-Lam had the Jeronimo beat in the turns but the hard charging Evans was able to catch the E-Lam in the straightaways. Jeronimo placed first, with a speed of 133.644 mph, beat the E-Lam by a half a boat length. King and E-Lam finished second at 133.066 mph, followed by the Easter Seals/Stealth Racing, 122.900. The fast lap of the heat was Jeronimo with a speed of 137.615 mph
FINAL HEAT RECAP:
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA (September 27, 1998): Dave Villwock, driving his hard charging Miss Budweiser, swept all three heats and the final race in Sunday's Las Vegas Cup and claimed his 8th win of the Ralph's Unlimited Hydroplane Thunder Tour presented by Las Vegas.
The Miss Budweiser, who averaged 123.922 mph on the 2 mile course, easily ran away with the show. Villwock exited the first turn in the lead ahead of the Appian Jeronimo and Mitch Evans. By the end of the first lap, the Miss Budweiser had a roostertail lead over the Jeronimo, who at second place, averaged 122.883 mph. From that point on it was all Miss Budweiser.
A close race for third and fourth developed between Las Vegas based, Wild Fire and Miss E-Lam Plus. Mark Weber, driving the Wild Fire and Jimmy King switched places on nearly every lap. In the photo finish, it was the Miss E-Lam Plus that eventually placed third, at 113.734 mph. Weber and the Wild Fire literally flew over the finish line at 113.734 mph.
Steve David, driving the Deja Vu, finished fifth at 110.677 mph and the Easter Seals/Stealth Racing with Jerry Hale driving finished last at 109.848.
The water conditions settled in time for the scheduled final which say all drivers said it was the worst water conditions they had ever raced. Jimmy King, driving the third place Miss E-Lam Plus, said the "Seattle race ain't anything like this was, this is by far rougher water."
Mitch Evans, who found it tough keeping his boat loaded under the rough conditions said, "Its an ocean out there." It is by far the roughest condition I have ever raced in."
(Reprinted from UHRA.com)
Some Thoughts on Las Vegas
By Fred Farley - APBA Unlimited Historian
High winds whipped Lake Mead to a froth and threatened cancellation of the Las Vegas Cup, the ninth stop on Ralph's Thunder Tour '98, presented by Las Vegas. But the Unlimited participants braved the extremely rough water and kept their promise to the fans.
Six boats started and six boats finished with Dave Villwock bringing Miss Budweiser (Turbine-3) home the winner in the five-lap Final Heat. Understandably, the speeds did not eclipse the course record, but the teams nevertheless did themselves proud, despite the unfavorable conditions.
Miss Budweiser took the checkered flag at 123.922 miles per hour for the 10-mile distance. Mitch Evans followed at 122.883 with Appian Jeronimo, just 2½ seconds behind Villwock. Then came Jimmy King in Miss E-Lam Plus and Mark Weber in Wild Fire in a virtual dead heat finish for third and fourth. Steve David took fifth with Deja Vu, followed by Jerry Hale in Easter Seals.
The choppy water not withstanding, the field emerged unscathed from the Las Vegas Cup event and thus guaranteed a healthy contingent of boats for the season finale in Honolulu on October 16-18.
The victory on Lake Mead signalled an unprecedented eighth win this season for the team of owner Bernie Little, driver Villwock, and crew chief Mark Smith. No other team in the history of Unlimited racing has ever won more than seven races in a single year.
Dave Villwock has now won twelve of his last fourteen starts in the APBA Unlimited Class. (This includes four wins in five races driven in 1997, prior to his season-ending crash at the Tri-Cities Columbia Cup.)
Villwock has had only one off-day this year. That was when he lost the Kelowna, British Columbia, race to Mark Evans in PICO American Dream.
In the area of consecutive wins, Dave compares favorably to the late great Bill Muncey. (Bill won the last two races of 1978 and the first seven races of 1979 with the famed Atlas Van Lines "Blue Blaster.")
Now, it's on to Honolulu! Seven current teams and UHRA Commissioner Ken Muscatel's vintage Hawaii Kai III will be on hand to entertain the multitude at Pearl Harbor. Bill Wurster's Llumar Window Film, which missed Las Vegas due to extensive damage sustained at San Diego, will be in attendance.
Special thanks go to Miss Budweiser owner Little for sending members of his crew over to help Llumar driver Nate Brown complete repairs in time for Honolulu.
In recent years, I've heard a lot of negative talk--from people who should no better--about how "cutthroat" this sport is because "nobody helps anybody anymore."
I don't believe a word of this nonsense. That's because I've been around Unlimited racing for most of my life, and some of the finest people that I've ever known have plied the Thunderboat trade. The vast majority of Unlimited people are great. If they weren't, I wouldn't have hung around them for the last forty years.
On numerous occasions, I have observed rival teams lending equipment and time to their fellow competitors. The Miss Budweiser crew helping the Llumar Window Film is just one recent example.
Let's hear no more of this being a "cutthroat" sport. It simply isn't true.
© Fred Farley. For reprint rights to this article, please contact the author at <email@example.com>
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