Mark Evans defeats competitive field at Tri-Cities, Washington (Tri-Cities, Wash.) - Mark Evans succeeded in his return to the Unlimited Hydroplane Series by winnings today's Budweiser Columbia Cup at Tri-Cities, Washington, the third race of...
Mark Evans defeats competitive field at Tri-Cities, Washington
(Tri-Cities, Wash.) - Mark Evans succeeded in his return to the Unlimited Hydroplane Series by winnings today's Budweiser Columbia Cup at Tri-Cities, Washington, the third race of the Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Series presented by Boat Shopper® magazine. Evans, driving the U-8 Llumar Window Film for team owner Bill Wurster, secured his 10th career victory and sixth victory for Wurster.
Evans' victory today was his first since he won the 2000 Tri-Cities Budweiser Colombia Cup with Miss Elam Plus. "This is a special victory for myself, the team and Bill Wurster," said Evans. "I have spent the past two years itching to get back into an Unlimited. I missed that adrenaline rush that I had every time I strapped myself into the cockpit. And I am glad to say it is back and better than ever especially with my victory today."
The race began with a number of boats jostling for position. Four boats hit the start perfectly and began to fight for ground. Mark Evans and Mike Weber battled for the early lead with Evans slightly ahead. A hard charging Nate Brown started to work his way through the field as he began to close on the leaders. The battle for the lead was intense with Evans, Weber, Mitch Evans, Nate Brown and Dave Villwock all seeking the victory. On the fourth lap, Evans and Brown staged a remarkable battle as Brown continuously attempted to overtake Evans. But the day belonged to Evans and he was able to hold on for the victory. Brown settled for second while Mitch Evans finished third. Rounding out the top five were Dave Villwock and Mike Weber.
"I enjoyed these past two years building my four-seat Unlimited Hydroplane and color commentating on the Hydros races, but flying across the water at 200 miles per hour beats all that," continued Evans. "The crew did a tremendous job preparing our new Two Wing T-4 that Bill purchased this off-season. The Two Wing T-4 was a fast boat in 1995 when I first drove it and I am proud to report it still has that speed. We currently stand second in the championship and are prepared and ready to challenge for those honors. All I need to do is run every race at Tri-Cities and I would be crowned the series champion."
* Three Different Winners in Three Races
Mark Evans' victory today at Tri-Cities marks the third different winner this season in the Unlimited series. Mark's brother, Mitch, was victorious at the season opening event at Evansville and Dave Villwock took the victory at Madison. The competitive trend in the series has been evident all season as is witnessed in the results of the finals and in the preliminary heats.
* Competitive Preliminary Heats
For the third time this season, the preliminary heats were full of action and deck-to-deck competitive racing. There were five different heat winners at Tri-Cities with Mark Evans, Michael Hanson, Nate Brown and Mike Weber all securing one heat win while Mitch Evans won two heats.
* O'Doul's High Point World Championship Standings
With his fourth place finish today along with three strong preliminary heat finishes, Dave Villwock still leads the O'Doul's High Points World Championship. Villwock currently leads the championship with 388 points over Mark Evans with 359 points. The current top five include:
<pre> Driver O'Doul's High Points 1 Dave Villwock 388 2 Mark Evans 359 3 Mike Weber 332 4 Mitch Evans 309 5 Michael Hanson 296
* Budweiser Columbia Cup Results: 1. U-8 LLumar Window Film, Mark Evans 2. U-16 Miss Elam Plus, Nate Brown 3. U-3 Vacationville.com, Mitch Evans 4. U-1 Miss Budweiser, Dave Villwock 5. U-10 Miss Grand Central Casino, Mike Weber 6. U-2 Miss Trendwest, Terry Troxell
Did Not Make Final: U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto, Steve David U-9 Skyway Park Bowl & Casino, Michael Hanson U-25 Silver Dollar Casinos Presents Miss Rock, Dr. Ken Muscatel U-100 Miss Tony Roma's, Jerry Hopp and JW Myers U-19 Miss Royal Hotel, Jerry Hale
The Budweiser Columbia Cup will be televised on SPEED Channel on Sunday, August 17 at 2:00 PM (EDT).
* Unlimited Hydroplane Fleet Set to Battle for General Motors Cup
The Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Series presented by Boat Shopper® magazine stays in the state of Washington for the General Motors Cup at Seattle's SEAFAIR on August 1-3. For the past 53 years, SEAFAIR and Lake Washington have witnessed some of the best Unlimited Hydroplane racing in history.
Practice and qualifying will begin for the General Motors Cup Friday, August 1 with the finals scheduled for Sunday, August 3.