(San Diego, CA) - Dave Villwock drove Bernie Little's World Champion Miss Budweiser to its sixth win of the Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Series at the San Diego Bayfair's Ralphs/Food4Less Bill Muncey Cup on Sunday. The win was Little's 13th at...
(San Diego, CA) - Dave Villwock drove Bernie Little's World Champion Miss Budweiser to its sixth win of the Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Series at the San Diego Bayfair's Ralphs/Food4Less Bill Muncey Cup on Sunday. The win was Little's 13th at San Diego and his unprecedented 130th Unlimited victory overall.
Racing on San Diego's Mission Bay, the Miss Budweiser team set the pace early, earning top qualifier honors with a speed of 159.909 miles per hour. This was the 28th consecutive race in which the Miss Budweiser has been top qualifier. Even though the Miss Budweiser was fuel restricted to 3.9 gallons per minute (field at 4.3 GPM), Villwock was able to qualify the Miss Budweiser 3 miles per hour faster than the next competitor.
"Mark Smith and the entire Miss Budweiser crew know how to tweak the boat to get every thing out of it," said Villwock. "We had a tough weekend and did not produce any significant results in the preliminary heats. But in the final I put everything I had into the boat and we came out on top. That is what racing is all about."
San Diego's Bayfair was the first race for the Miss Budweiser team since being crowned World Champions. The team clinched its 20th World Title with a victory at Seattle back in August.
"When you look back at this season and see what we have accomplished, it is amazing," said Little. " To win my 13th APBA Gold Cup, both 50th Anniversaries at the Madison Regatta and Seattle's Seafair and our 20th World Championship, are feats that I could not even imagine. Dave and the Miss Budweiser crew have done a fantastic job throughout the season preparing the boat despite a number of challenges. My hat is off to them but they better be prepared to win my 21st championship next year."
Little's Miss Budweiser team is the most successful team in the history of Unlimited Hydroplane racing. In addition to the 20 world championships, Little has won a total of 130 races in his 38-year career with Anheuser-Busch.
Budweiser Racing is one of the most successful programs in all of racing. Bud Racing teams have produced 32 national and world championships in all forms of racing, including stock cars, Indy cars, Unlimited hydroplanes, off-road racing and drag racing.
San Diego is a special race site for Villwock, as it is the site of his first-ever Unlimited Hydroplane victory back in 1992. In fact, Villwock was able to score the win in his first career start in an Unlimited. Since that successful beginning, Villwock has won four driver's championships, has 35 career victories, four APBA Gold Cups and has become the winningest driver of the Miss Budweiser.
An integral part of the Miss Budweiser's success this season has been Villwock's ability to perfectly time the clock starts. "By nailing the starts perfectly," Villwock continued, "it's possible to gain an early advantage over your competitors. We've been lucky this year that we have been able to hit it just like we planned. A driver has only a limited number of perfect starts in him, though. I hope I haven't used all mine up already."
Russ Wicks qualified as an Unlimited hydroplane driver after posting two laps of over 130 mph while piloting the Miss Budweiser. "I am grateful Bernie and Dave allowed me the opportunity to qualify in the Miss Budweiser," said Wicks. "I have achieved a life-long dream and would like to thank both Bernie and Dave for their help."