HPROP: Dave Villwock interview

An exclusive interview with Bernie Little'S Miss Budweiser driver and Team Manager, Dave Villwock. Note: Miss Budweiser team manager Dave Villwock has not one but two high- pressure jobs. Villwock drives and manages Bernie Little's 21 time...

An exclusive interview with Bernie Little'S Miss Budweiser driver and Team Manager, Dave Villwock.

Note: Miss Budweiser team manager Dave Villwock has not one but two high- pressure jobs. Villwock drives and manages Bernie Little's 21 time series champion Miss Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane.

Noting that in some sports, top coaches and managers now occasionally permit microphones on the sidelines, benches and dugouts, we have re-created the following discussion between Miss Budweiser team manager Dave Villwock and driver Dave Villwock prior to his win in the final heat at Evansville on June 30, 2002.

Team Manager (TM) Villwock: OK. Lets run through our plan for the final heat.

Driver Villwock: OK. What's the plan?

TM: We're basically going with the set-up we ran in the last heat.

Driver: OK, good, I don't like a lot of changes before the final. So we haven't changed anything?

TM: Well, actually we changed the engine... and the gearbox... and the propeller...and we adjusted the wings a little bit... and the skid fin, we adjusted the skid fin one position, too.

Driver: So, you've changed everything?

TM: Yeah, I figured the wind is a picking up a little bit. The water will be a little rougher and there are more boats out there stirring things up.

Driver: OK, so we are going with more of a rough water set-up?

TM: Exactly. Except that we don't have the horsepower to shove the boat through the water so we made the boat a little lighter on its feet to get over the slop and reduce drag.

Driver: OK, so what do you want me to do?

TM: The start is critical. You have to be right there at the start. I need you to just nail that start. We need you to get out front then try to hold them off. Now lets talk about lanes.

Driver: What about lanes?

TM: Well, if you are on the inside and a fraction late, they will start pinching your lane away. And if you get there too early and have to back off you'll get hosed down. And, if you're on the outside and you nail the start, you can't move over or they will nail you with a penalty. And if you are outside and you are late the other guys will push you out to the beach. So you've got to be there at the starting line just right, but don't jump the gun. And watch the wind and water. Driver: OK, so I need to whistle the start, watch my lane, watch the traffic, watch the wind and water and stay clean. Anything else?

TM: Oh yeah, you're going to have to fly the boat, but please don't fly it too high, it makes Bernie nervous.

Driver: OK. I have to fly it high, but not too high.

TM: Exactly!

Driver: Anything else?

TM: Yeah, you'll basically have to run ten/tenths to have any chance to win, but don't run anything any harder than you have to. You can't over-speed the engine or we'll get a penalty and I've got everything stretched to the limit. Driver: Great. So I need a perfect start, clean runs, fly the boat, but not too high and go easy on the equipment that we are overstressing.

TM: Exactly. Oh yeah, there's one more thing.

Driver: I can hardly wait.

TM: High Points. Don't forget this is a short season, just six races, so every heat is critical for high points. If we can't get out front, get every point you can. Pressure them; push them, but no penalties, no DNFs and no mistakes.

Driver: Got it. No wonder Hanauer (Chip) retired.

-uhra-

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