HPROP: Miss Budweiser and Dave Villwock Evansville preview

Miss Budweiser and Dave Villwock Gearing Up for Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Tour (St. Louis, Mo.) - Bernie Little's Miss Budweiser Unlimited hydroplane team and champion driver Dave Villwock will once again compete in the Budweiser Unlimited...

Miss Budweiser and Dave Villwock Gearing Up for Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Tour

(St. Louis, Mo.) - Bernie Little's Miss Budweiser Unlimited hydroplane team and champion driver Dave Villwock will once again compete in the Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Tour presented by Laughlin this season. This will mark the team/driver duo's fifth consecutive season together. With 26 victories, Villwock is the winningest driver in Miss Budweiser history.

The 2001 Tour will get underway this weekend in Evansville, Indiana followed by events in Madison, Ind., and Detroit, Mich. on consecutive weekends.

"Continuity is very important to success in any business," said Little, who is entering his 39th consecutive year of Unlimited Hydroplane competition. "Racing is no different. That's why I am happy to have Dave back as my driver and team manager this season. He has done a great job for us the past four years. We're going to have to rely on that experience this year because I predict that this will be a very competitive season of unlimited hydroplane racing."

Villwock, who won six of seven series races last season, echoes Little's thoughts on the season. "It's going to be tough. I know that people are probably thinking that I am just saying that, but I truly believe it. With some of the changes that have been made to the rules, competition is going to be very tight. We're going to do the very best we can. We're going to work as hard as we can. We have a great boat and a great team. I hope that we can put that all together and have a successful season. I would love to say that we can win all but one race again this season, but it's hard for me to imagine that at this point."

Gold Cup Defense
Little and Villwock will try to defend their APBA Gold Cup title this year. Last year, Villwock was able to deliver Little's 13th APBA Gold Cup victory, while securing his fourth.

"If you win the Gold Cup, you've had a good season," said Little. "It's the biggest race of the year and I am looking forward to going to Detroit in July."

"The Gold Cup is difficult not only because it's the most prestigious race that we have, but also because of the river," said Villwock. "The river is very tough...you have to beat it as well as the other boats if you expect to win. The Detroit River always brings out the best in me."

Statistically Speaking
Little enters his 39th consecutive year of Unlimited hydroplane competition in 2001 seeking an unprecedented 21st series title. Since 1963, Little's Miss Budweiser team has claimed 130 Unlimited victories, 20 series titles and 13 APBA Gold Cups. His owner/sponsor relationship with Budweiser is the longest-running sponsorship in major motorsports.

Villwock, who has been racing Unlimited Hydroplanes since 1992, enters his fifth season at the controls of the Miss Budweiser. With 35 wins, he is currently third on the all-time Hydros driver career win list. He has four series championships and four APBA Gold Cups to his credit. In addition to driving the Miss Budweiser, Villwock serves as team manager.

2001 Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Tour Presented by Laughlin Schedule of Events The 2001 Tour will consist of six traditional events, each of which enjoys significant fan support.

"Our season starts later than most, but once it starts, it rocks," said Villwock. "We have three races in a row and five in the first six weeks. That puts a lot of pressure on the driver and especially on the team. Any mistake or problem is magnified because there is very little time to recover." <pre> Location Date Evansville, Indiana June 30-July 1 Madison, Indiana July 7-8 Detroit, Michigan July 12-15 Tri-Cities, Washington July 27-29 Seattle, Washington August 3-5 San Diego, California September 14-16

All 2001 Hydros events will be televised on ESPN2. Check local listings for dates and time.

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