Bernie Little's Miss Budweiser won its 21st Unlimited Hydroplane National Championship earlier today at the Bill Muncey Cup at San Diego Bayfair, the final race of the 2001 Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Series. Driver Dave Villwock, who clinched...
Bernie Little's Miss Budweiser won its 21st Unlimited Hydroplane National Championship earlier today at the Bill Muncey Cup at San Diego Bayfair, the final race of the 2001 Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Series. Driver Dave Villwock, who clinched his fifth championship after winning the first preliminary heat race this morning, finished second in the final race.
"First of all, let me say that physically we are here in San Diego, but emotionally our hearts are in New York, Washington D.C. and in Pennsylvania," said a subdued Villwock after the race. "Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with those people who are grieving as a result of the tragedies earlier this week."
Regarding the championship, Villwock said, "We didn't have the fastest boat this year, but we sure had the most consistent and that's what wins championships. This definitely is the most difficult championship that I have been a part of and I'm sure that I'll look back on it this winter with a great deal of satisfaction. This team has a long tradition of winning championships and I am very proud to be a part of that."
"I want to thank Budweiser, O'Doul's and Laughlin for their tremendous support of our team and the sport," said Little. "Winning this championship feels just as good as winning my first one in 1969. But right now all I can think about are those people who lost their lives earlier this week and for those who are grieving their loss. Our hearts are certainly heavy."
Villwock was the second fastest qualifier with a speed of 156.538 miles per hour behind Nate Brown's speed of 158.131 mph. Villwock won all three of his preliminary heat races.
- Bernie Little Stats -- Bernie Little, the most successful owner in the history of unlimited hydroplane racing, has won 21 national championships in five different decades (1969, '70, '71, '77, '80, '81, '84, '86, '87, '88, '89, '91, '92, '93, '94, '95, '97, '98. '99, 2000 and '01). He has recorded 131 career wins and 13 Gold Cups.
- Dave Villwock Stats -- Villwock now has five national championships (1996, '98, '99, 2000 and '01), the four most recent at the controls of the Miss Budweiser. Villwock has 36 career unlimited hydroplane victories and four Gold Cups to his credit.
- Unofficial O'Douls National High Points -- Villwock won this year's O'Doul's National High Points Championship with 896 points over Mark Weber with 675, Greg Hopp with 572, Mike Hanson with 550 and Steve David with 515.