TEAM AMSOIL OFFSHORE ...
TEAM AMSOIL OFFSHORE #77 WINS IN ST. CLAIR, MICHIGAN
On the first weekend of August, Team AMSOIL Offshore competed in the very popular 17th running of the St. Clair River Classic Offshore Race. The event marked the first ever joint race with the OPA and OSS organizations in 2009. The town of St. Clair closes the Michigan State Highway M-29 to provide the perfect location a festival along the park and race course. The festival boasts a full blown carnival with rides and attractions, plus a few dozen street vendors selling food and novelty items. It was a huge success as nearly 100,000 people attended the three day event in St. Clair, Michigan. Both Friday and Saturday night ended with free concerts featuring Eddie Money and Josh Gracin as the highlights of the evening. Team AMSOIL's prominent pit location included a full display of AMSOIL products and apparel. AMSOIL dealers staffing the booth were busy all three days providing technical information while Team AMSOIL Offshore crew members prepared the boat for testing and racing.
The test conditions on Saturday were unusually rough for the St. Clair River due to strong winds blowing directly up the river. Paul Whittier and Bob Teague made several adjustments from the normal setup so the boat would be competitive if the conditions were similar on race day.
The wind changed directions on Sunday to a more westerly direction resulting in calmer conditions which required further adjustments to balance, CG, and propeller pitch based off previous experience at St. Clair Races.
Sunday's racing was fast, furious and safe with no accidents or rollovers reported. Team AMSOIL competed in the main event starting in the number two lane with Team Propstop on the pole. When the green flag dropped, a deck to deck battle ensued with the 388 Skater of Team Propstop. On the third lap, as Team AMSOIL attempted to pass on the inside lane at turn 1, Team Propstop hooked into the path of Team AMSOIL. Team AMSOIL got caught in the rooster tail and had to pull back. The deluge of water caused one of Team AMSOIL's engines to go into a "guardian mode" with reduced power. Bob Teague was able to get the engine restarted after three tries, but by this time Team Propstop had gained about a 20 second lead. Team AMSOIL was able to make up the deficit in 3 laps' time and was again knocking on the door of Team Propstop. Team AMSOIL stayed on the outside lane at turn 1 and 2 and followed Team Propstop closely down the course to turn 3 and 4. At this point, as soon as Propstop started to turn, they left a lane open. Bob Teague and Paul Whittier crossed to the inside and hooked the 368 Skater tightly around turn buoy 4 at high speed and gained a two boat advantage coming out of the turn. The planned move paid off as Team AMSOIL then continued to stretch out the lead for the remaining laps until winning the checkered flag. The winning Cat Lite #77 Team AMSOIL boat was paraded in front of the huge crowds proudly displaying the checkered flag.
The win at St. Clair established Team AMSOIL in first place in the points chase in both the OPA and OSS circuits.