HPROP: Miss Budweiser Detroit Gold Cup preview

Miss Budweiser team looks toward Detroit and a possible 15th APBA Gold Cup. DETROIT, Aug. 19, 2003 -- Fourteen APBA Gold Cups is what the Miss Budweiser team has taken home in the past, and with this year's 99th running of the famed APBA Gold...

Miss Budweiser team looks toward Detroit and a possible 15th APBA Gold Cup.

DETROIT, Aug. 19, 2003 -- Fourteen APBA Gold Cups is what the Miss Budweiser team has taken home in the past, and with this year's 99th running of the famed APBA Gold Cup Race as part of the 2002 Budweiser Unlimited Series presented by Boat Shopper® magazine, the team looks to do it again.

When the unlimited hydroplanes take to the Detroit River this coming weekend for the Chrysler Jeep® Superstores APBA Gold Cup races Dave Villwock will once again be in the cockpit of the Miss Budweiser and he'll be gunning for another APBA Gold Cup.

"The Detroit River is a great place to race, and it's always great to be back in Detroit," said Dave Villwock, driver and team manager of the Miss Budweiser and winner of five APBA Gold Cups. "This is a long course and the river can be tricky if you don't watch out, as the Miss Budweiser team has found out in the past. However, with the right equipment, the right opportunity, driving skill and a little luck, it can be one of the most fun and exciting races of the season to win."

Joe Little, president of Hydroplanes Inc.; team owner of the Miss Budweiser returns to Detroit this year in the owner role, taking over for his father, Bernie Little who passed away earlier this year.

"Running on the Detroit River and racing for the APBA Gold Cup is a high-point of the summer," said Little. "I'm extremely pleased with the City of Detroit, the River Regatta Association, the volunteers and the personal efforts of Tom D'Eath, a former Miss Budweiser driver (1988-1990), for saving this race for the series. There is a long tradition behind the APBA Gold Cup, which makes preserving that heritage, and winning it, even more important."

Joe Little added, "This weekend, Dave Villwock and the Miss Budweiser crew led by crew chief Mark Smith will be ready to capture any opportunity thrown our way. But regardless of the outcome, we'll make sure that the fans of Detroit and Windsor enjoy the weekend."

O'Doul's High-Points Championship -- Heading into the APBA Gold cup weekend sponsored by the Chrysler Jeep® Superstores, The Miss Budweiser team maintains its lead in the O'doul's National High Points Championship by 91 points (535 points) over Mark Evans and the U-8 Miss Llumar Window Film (444 points). In third place for the national championship race is Mike Weber in the U-10 boat with 433 points followed by Terry Troxell in the U-2 Miss Trendwest (358 points) and Mike Hanson in the U-9 rounds out the top five with 356 points.

Miss Budweiser Salutes the Navy Reserve -- It may not be the waters of the Persian Gulf, but the Detroit River will be the place of action Saturday and Sunday for three Naval Reserve personnel stationed at Naval Reserve Center Selfridge in Mt. Clemens, Mich., and their spouses.

The Miss Budweiser team will be hosting these hometown heroes for the weekend in recognition of their service to our country during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. These reservists are:

* Senior Chief Master at Arms Mark Davis of Force Protection Law Enforcement Security Unit 0192 was mobilized for one year to Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Senior Chief Davis served as the deputy director of the security department at Gitmo. His tour began as a stay on a south sea island, but once it came to taking in Taliban prisoners, activity quickly shot up the scale from zero to ten.

* Senior Chief Quartermaster Mike Snider, currently a member of Commander Submarine Group Eight at N-R-C Detroit, was recalled to active duty with Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare 214 out of Buffalo, N.Y. He completed two tours, providing force protection throughout the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Gulf with Naval Coastal Warfare Group 2. The second tour was in Kuwait and Iraq, including the port of Um Qasr.

* Aviation Electrician's Mate Second Class Brad Payment, of Naval Air Station Sigonella Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Department, was also mobilized to the Gulf, where he served with Security Force Bahrain. Not only did he have to endure the heat of Bahrain, he was overseas when his wife gave birth to their third child.

An official Navy Color Guard made up of local reservists also will participate in this weekend's Chrysler Jeep® Superstores APBA Gold Cup opening ceremonies both Saturday and Sunday. Media interested in interviewing or learning more about these reservists or the Naval Reserve presence in Michigan should contact LTJG Eric Brian at 586-596-8153.

Joe Little Up Front -- Joe Little in 2002, filling in for his hospitalized dad Bernie Little, took home the Chrysler Jeep® Superstores APBA Gold Cup, making it the fourteenth time the Miss Budweiser team has won the prestigious race. Now in the owner role of the most famous team in Unlimited Hydroplane racing, Joe Little looks to make this year his "first" true Gold Cup win.

"Winning the Gold Cup last year was a special moment for me. Dad (Bernie Little) was in the hospital and although I'd been preparing to take over the team, it was the first time I actually had to step up to the plate and fulfill the role of owner. Fortunately, I could call dad for advice and he was there with me thanks to cell phone technology. Fortunately, Dave Villwock and the crew were able to deliver a win, making my job last year pretty easy."

"Gold Cup brings back many memories of when I'd load up into the coach with my parents and we'd be off for the summer racing. And, while each race is important and prestigious in its own way, the long, proud history of the Gold Cup makes winning it a little more challenging and rewarding."

Speed Channel -- Hydro fans who can't attend this coming weekend's Chrysler Jeep® Superstores APBA Gold Cup race on the Detroit River can catch all the action on the Speed Channel on Sunday, Sept. 14 at 2 p.m. ET. For a complete television schedule visit www.hydroprop.com or www.speedtv.com for subscription and local broadcast information.

Statistically Speaking -- The Miss Budweiser team has won fourteen APBA Gold Cups (1971, '73, '74, '80, '81, '84, '90, '92, '93, '95, '97, '98, 2000, 2002). The team also has a record in unlimited hydroplane racing that is unrivaled with 136 victories, 22 world championships and 14 APBA Gold Cups. The team has entered a record 357 races in the record book and finished in the top-three a total of 232 times in 40 years of competition. The crew of the Miss Budweiser has a combined 286 years of experience. Dave Villwock who has been racing unlimited hydroplanes since 1992, has 41 wins, six series championships and five APBA Gold Cups to his credit.

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