HPROP: San Diego race report

(San Diego, Calif.) - Mitch Evans, U-3 Miss Llumar Window Film, won today's Budweiser Bill Muncey Cup at San Diego, California's Washington Mutual Thunderboat Regatta, the final race of the Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Series presented by Boat...

(San Diego, Calif.) - Mitch Evans, U-3 Miss Llumar Window Film, won today's Budweiser Bill Muncey Cup at San Diego, California's Washington Mutual Thunderboat Regatta, the final race of the Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Series presented by Boat Shopper® magazine. Today's victory marks the third win for the piston powered boat this season after they took the opening race of the season at Evansville and the APBA Gold Cup in Detroit.

It was a wild and crazy weekend in San Diego as three boats suffered damage before the preliminary heats started on Saturday. One of those boats, the U-8 Llumar Window Film could not compete due to their hull damage, thus deciding to transfer their sponsorship over the Cooper's U-3. That decision proved beneficial, as the newly sponsored U-3 Miss Llumar Window Film was victorious. In fact, the U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto also sponsored the U-3 after they were not able to compete after damage to their hull.

The final started with every driver, except JW Myers, receiving a one-lap penalty. Unfortunately for Myers, his Unlimited went down during the race, which left the final wide open for the rest of the field. Mitch Evans took full advantage and cruised to the early lead. Dave Villwock and Terry Troxell pursued, but were no challenge to the piston powered Unlimited. Villwock ended up finishing in second and Troxell followed in third. Rounding out the top five were Mike Weber in fourth and Michael Hanson in fifth.

"This season has had many highs and lows," said Mitch Evans. "It started off with a spectacular win in front of family and friends at Evansville and continued with us winning the APBA Gold Cup. But we also had two races that we were not competitive due to mechanical problems. But today's victory does make up for some of that disappointment. We were able to start four finals and produced four podiums including three victories. Unfortunately, for us to challenge for the championship, we needed to score points in every race."

"This team deserves all the credit they receive," continued Evans. "We have a dedicated crew that has been with us for many years. For them to achieve victories is an amazing feeling. I am proud to be associated with this team and look forward to another shot at the championship next season."

"If the strides we made this past off-season are any indication of what this team can achieve, I would be willing to bet that we have a legitimate shot at the championship next season," continued Evans. "We basically entered this season with a lot of questions, but those were quickly answered. We will spend the entire off-season working to make this boat faster and look forward next year on the water."

* Dave Villwock and Miss Budweiser Crowned Champions Dave Villwock and Miss Budweiser wrapped up the Drivers Championship and the World Championship this weekend at San Diego. Villwock, who pilots the Miss Budweiser, won his seventh O'Doul's High Point World Championship, his sixth consecutive and seventh in the last eight years.

Miss Budweiser's Championship was the team's 23rd World title but first for new team owner, Joe Little. Joe took over after his father, Bernie Little, the legendary Unlimited Hydroplane team owner, passed away in April.

"Dave and the Miss Budweiser team should be congratulated on their championships," said Gary Garbrecht, Chairman of Hydro-Prop. "With the passing of Bernie before the season started, there were a lot of questions about the Miss Budweiser team. Fortunately, Joe Little stepped in as the new team owner and rallied the crew and produced a successful season. With all the distractions and the increased competition on the water, the team did not miss a beat and proved once again they are a formidable team. I know Bernie is looking down at his son and his team and could not be more proud since they secured the trophy named after him, the Bernie Little High Point World Championship Trophy."

* Preliminary Heats Impressive During 2003 Season The 2003 season ended on a high note with another competitive round of preliminary heats. This season the preliminary heats have captivated the fans with action packed deck-to-deck racing. Over the past five years, the competition among the Unlimiteds has increased as is evidenced by the number of different heat winners in the preliminary heats. This season, the number of different heat winners was 75% compared to 57% in 1999, 64% in 2000, 62% in 2001 and 75% in 2002.

Today there were four different heat winners. This season there were nine different Unlimited drivers who tasted victory in these preliminary heats.

* Rookie Claims Top Speed in Qualifying Unlimited Hydroplane Rookie, JW Myers, set the fastest qualifying speed of the weekend. Myers drove Fred Leland's U-100 Vons presents American Pride to a speed of 159.458 mph. Myers made his season debut at Tri-Cities competing in one heat. He has since run at Seattle, Detroit and this weekend at San Diego.

* O'Doul's High Point World Championship Final Standings With today's results from San Diego, the final top five for the O'Doul's High Points World Championship are as follows: Dave Villwock (796 points); Michael Hanson (669 points); Mitch Evans (631 points); Mike Weber (605 points) and Terry Troxell (550 points).

<pre> Driver Final O'Doul's High Points 1 Dave Villwock 796 2 Michael Hanson 669 3 Mitch Evans 631 4 Mike Weber 605 5 Terry Troxell 550

* Budweiser Bill Muncey Cup Results: 1. U-3 Miss Llumar Window Film, Mitch Evans 2. U-1 Miss Budweiser, Dave Villwock 3. U-2 Miss Trendwest, Terry Troxell 4. U-10 Miss EMCOR, Mike Weber 5. U-9 Sun Harbor Mortgage, Michael Hanson 6. U-100 Vons Presents American Pride, JW Myers

Did Not Make Final: U-8 LLumar Window Film, Nate Brown (Hull damage) U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto, Steve David (Hull damage) U-25 Mister Home Loans, Dr. Ken Muscatel (Flipped in testing)

The Budweiser Bill Muncey Cup will be televised on SPEED Channel on Sunday, October 5 at 2:00 PM (EDT).

-hp-

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Series Boat
Drivers Mitch Evans