HPROP: Miss Budweiser San Diego preview

Miss Budweiser San Diego Bayfair, San Diego, Calif. (Sept. 14-16) Round Six of the 2001 Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Series presented by Laughlin * Bernie Little and Miss Budweiser driver Dave Villwock can secure the O'Doul's National...

Miss Budweiser
San Diego Bayfair, San Diego, Calif. (Sept. 14-16)
Round Six of the 2001 Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Series presented by Laughlin

* Bernie Little and Miss Budweiser driver Dave Villwock can secure the O'Doul's National High Points Championship in San Diego. They currently hold a 150-point lead over second-place contender Mark Weber, the only other driver with a mathematical chance at securing the crown. Because there are a maximum of 170 points available in San Diego, Villwock simply needs to stay within 20 points of Weber throughout the weekend. Little has 20 national championships to his credit and Villwock four.

The top five in the O'Doul's National High Points Championship race include Villwock with 738 points, Weber with 588, Greg Hopp with 556, Steve David with 479, and Mike Hanson with 439.

* Villwock and Miss Budweiser are the defending champions in San Diego, having won the 2000 event at an average speed of 143.142 miles per hour. Villwock was the fastest qualifier (159.909 mph) and finished third, third and fourth respectively in his three preliminary heat races.

* During the six-week hiatus between the most recent Unlimited Hydroplane race in Seattle on Aug. 5 and the San Diego event on Sept. 14, the Miss Budweiser team traveled to Lake Ozark, Mo., on August 25-26, to attend the 13th Annual Lake Rescue Shootout on behalf of Anheuser-Busch. The event benefits local fire districts that keep the Lake of the Ozarks safe. Villwock made an exhibition run for the boaters and fans in attendance.

* Little has 13 wins in San Diego (1966, '69, '70, '77, '81, '84, '85, '89, '91, '96, '98, '99, 2000) to his credit. In total, Little has 131 career Unlimited Hydroplane victories, 20 national championships and 13 Gold Cups.

* Villwock is a five-time San Diego winner ('92, '94, '98, '99 and 2000). In total, Villwock has 36 career victories (third on the all-time list), four national championships and four Gold Cups.

* "Winning the national championship is always one of my goals," said Little. "It sure hasn't been easy so far this season and I'm sure it won't be any easier in San Diego, but I am very confident in Dave and the team. I wish that we could race today...I'm ready."

* "I've been saying all year long that we are simply going to go to each race and do the best we can," said Villwock. "We may not have won as many races as we have in the past, but we have been very consistent and that has put us in a good position for the championship heading into San Diego. I feel like we have earned every single point that we have this year. So, don't think for a minute that we are going down there for a big party. It's going to be a battle and we will have our game faces on."

* Villwock and Miss Budweiser won the season-opening Budweiser Thunder on the Ohio in Evansville on July 1. A week later in Madison, Villwock finished sixth at the Belterra Casino Madison Regatta. He finished fifth at the Chrysler Jeep APBA Gold Cup in Detroit on July 15. At the Budweiser Columbia Cup in Tri-Cities on July 29, Villwock finished second, and repeated that finish in Seattle at the General Motors Cup at SEAFAIR a week later.

-BR

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