HPROP: Pacific Northwest preview

With Three Different Winners in The First Three Races, Hydros Set for Northwest Swing Tri-Cities, Wash. (July 27-29) & Seattle, Wash. (August 3-5) (Tri-Cities, Wash.) - The Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Series Presented by Laughlin heads for...

With Three Different Winners in The First Three Races, Hydros Set for Northwest Swing Tri-Cities, Wash. (July 27-29) & Seattle, Wash. (August 3-5)

(Tri-Cities, Wash.) - The Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Series Presented by Laughlin heads for the Pacific Northwest for the Budweiser Columbia Cup (July 27-29) at Tri-Cities, Wash. and the General Motors Cup at SEAFAIR (August 3-5) at Seattle, Wash.

"After three exciting weeks of deck-to-deck racing in the Midwest, we are looking forward to the excitement that is always prevalent at Tri-Cities and Seattle," said Gary Garbrecht, HYDRO-PROP President. "Many of the Unlimited drivers live in the State of Washington, thus, there is always added pressure for them to perform well in front of friends and family. Both race sites are rich in Unlimited Hydroplane history and we look forward to once again putting on a great show for the fans."

"This year's Tri-Cities event will also be very special for HYDRO-PROP because it will be the first venue this season to host both the Unlimited Hydroplanes and Formula One Powerboats," continued Garbrecht. "Bringing the action of both series to boat racing fans is our goal and we are thrilled to have them both competing at Tri-Cities. Fans will be treated to the greatest powerboat racing in the world."

* Parity Evident in Midwest Swing
The first three races of the Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Series presented by Laughlin have produced three different winners. Dave Villwock began his series defense with a victory at Evansville, followed by Steve David's win in front of the hometown fans at Madison. And last weekend in Detroit, Michael Hanson made it three for three with his victory at the APBA Gold Cup.

"Coming into this season we wanted to improve the competition," continued Garbrecht. "Three races and three different winners is a good start to reaching our goal. Each race has produced the exciting action that should be associated with Unlimited Hydroplane racing. We look forward to the second half of the season and continued competition among the drivers."

* Expected Entries
The Pacific Northwest swing should have a plethora of drivers competing, including defending series champion Dave Villwock. Challenging Villwock will be Scott Pierce, Steve David, Mark Weber, Mitch Evans, Jimmy King, Mike Hanson, Ken Muscatel, Nate Brown, Terry Troxell and Greg Hopp.

* Washington State Locals
Eight of the Unlimited drivers live in the state of Washington including: Dave Villwock, Auburn; Scott Pierce, Woodinville; Mitch Evans, Chelan; Michael Hanson, Bonney Lake; Nate Brown, Preston; Ken Muscatel, Seattle; Greg Hopp, Everett; and Terry Troxell, Tacoma.

* Villwock Leads O'Doul's National High Points
Dave Villwock (439 points) leads the O'Doul's National High Points Championship standings as the series heads for the West Coast and the final three races of the season. Villwock seeks his fifth drivers championship and 21st for Bernie Little's Miss Budweiser. Mark Weber currently sits in second with 418 points followed by Steve David with 371 points. Rounding out the top five are Greg Hopp with 320 points and Michael Hanson with 311 points.

* Brown and Miss Elam Plus Ready to Compete
Having just completed construction on a new boat, Nate Brown and the defending Budweiser Columbia Cup Unlimited Hydroplane, Miss Elam Plus, will make their first start this season at Tri-Cities. The team plans to test the new Unlimited this week in order to be prepared for next weekend's race. Last year at Tri-Cities, Miss Elam Plus' team owners, the Ellstrom Family, secured their first career Unlimited Hydroplane victory.

* Weber, David and Hanson Potent Challengers
Mark Weber, Steve David and Michael Hanson have captured large portions of the spotlight this season and are all ready to dethrone the Miss Budweiser for top honors. David and Hanson have produced exciting victories this season, while Weber has won five preliminary heats.

* Hopp Impressive with Three Podium Finishes
Greg Hopp has been very consistent this season with three consecutive podium finishes including a second at Detroit and Madison and a third at Evansville. Hopp heads to the West Coast in search of his first career Unlimited victory driving for team owner Fred Leland.

* History of Tri-Cities, Wash.

- 2001 marks the 36th consecutive year of Unlimited Hydroplane racing at Tri-Cities.

- First race was held in 1966 and was called the Atomic Cup.

- It was renamed the Columbia Cup in 1976.

- 1966 Atomic Cup was won by Bill Brow driving the Miss Budweiser. In fact, this was team owner Bernie Little's first career victory for Miss Budweiser.

- The 1969 race was historic because it took place on the same day that man landed on the Moon.

- In 1971, Jim McCormick added to his remarkable win at the Madison Gold Cup by winning the Tri-Cities race in the Miss Madison.

- The first Tri-Cities victory by a turbine-powered boat was in 1984 by Chip Hanauer in the Atlas Van Lines.

- 1989 Tri-Cities race was won by Mitch Evans in Ed Cooper Sr. & Jr.'s Cooper's Express. This is the only win for the Cooper's and is the last win by a non-turbine powered boat in the Unlimited ranks.

- Chip Hanauer has won Tri-Cites a record seven times.

- The legendary Bill Muncey won Tri-Cities five times.

- Dave Villwock leads active drivers with three Tri-Cities victories.

- Last year, Mark Evans piloted Miss Elam Plus to victory, the first career victory for the Ellstrom family.

* History of Seattle, Wash.

- SEAFAIR is celebrating 51 years of Unlimited Hydroplane racing on Lake Washington.

- In 1950, the Seattle based boat Slo-Mo-Shun IV won the APBA Gold Cup race in Detroit and earned the right to defend the title on home waters.

- SEAFAIR will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of bringing the first Gold Cup race to Seattle.

- First Seattle race was in 1951 and was won by Lou ageol in the FSlo-Mo-Shun V.

- Seattle has hosted 14 APBA Gold Cup races.

- Bill Muncey won Seattle a record nine times.

- Muncey also won Seattle a record four consecutive times (1977-1980)

- Chip Hanauer has seven career victories at Seattle.

- Dave Villwock has five wins at Seattle including the last three consecutive.

- Miss Budweiser has won Seattle 14 times including its first in 1969.

- Fred Leland owns three career Seattle wins.

Practice and qualifying for the Tri-Cities Budweiser Columbia Cup will begin on Friday, July 27 with the finals scheduled for Sunday, July 29. The Budweiser Columbia Cup will be televised on ESPN2 on Saturday, September 8 at 4:00 PM (EDT). <pre> 2001 Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Series Presented by Laughlin

Date                    Venue                   Event                           Winning Team
June 30-July 1          Evansville, Ind.        Budweiser Thunder on the Ohio   Dave Villwock/Miss Budweiser
July 7-8                Madison, Ind.           Belterra Casino Madison Regatta Steve David/Oh Boy! Oberto
July 12-15              Detroit, Mich.          Chrysler-Jeep APBA Cup          Michael Hanson/Jones Racing
July 27-29              Tri-Cities, Wash.       Budweiser Columbia Cup
August 3-5              Seattle, Wash.          General Motors Cup at SEAFAIR
September 14-16         San Diego, Calif.       San Diego's Bayfair

Headquartered in Lake Hamilton, Fla., HYDRO-PROP combines Unlimited Hydroplanes, the biggest, fastest racing boats in the world, with Formula One, the most versatile, fastest accelerating and fastest turning boats in the world. HYDRO-PROP events are held throughout North America and are televised during prime time on ESPN2. For more information on HYDRO-PROP, visit www.hydroprop.com <http://www.hydroprop.com>.

-HydroProp

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Series Boat
Drivers Jim McCormick , Mitch Evans