HPROP: Seattle race report

(Seattle, WA) - Dave Villwock drove Bernie Little's Miss Budweiser to its fifth win of the Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Series at the General Motors Cup at Seafair in Seattle, WA on Sunday. The win was Little's 14th at Seafair and his ...

(Seattle, WA) - Dave Villwock drove Bernie Little's Miss Budweiser to its fifth win of the Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Series at the General Motors Cup at Seafair in Seattle, WA on Sunday. The win was Little's 14th at Seafair and his unprecedented 129th career victory.

Villwock and Miss Budweiser were the fastest qualifiers for the 27th race in a row with an average lap speed of 152.416 mph. Despite suffering damage to the canard in the first heat, the Miss Budweiser crew was able to repair the boat and Villwock went on to outrun the rest of the field in the final for his 34th career victory and his 25th win driving Miss Budweiser. "I was happy to be back in the victory circle after our disappointing withdrawal last weekend at Tri-Cities," said Villwock. "We came here with a determination to win, especially since it is our hometown. And I am glad to report that we accomplished our goal."

The Miss Budweiser also earned enough points to clinch Little's 20th World Championship. Villwock also earned his fourth driver's championship and the fourth in five years. He joins Bill Muncey, Chip Hanauer, Dean Chenoweth and Mark Tate as the only Unlimited hydroplane drivers with four or more driver's championships.

Little, whose 38 years competing in Unlimited Hydroplane racing is an accomplishment in itself, was ecstatic after the win. "To win the 50th Anniversary Seafair is something I will always cherish," said Little. "But to win both 50th Anniversaries at the Madison Regatta and Seafair, along with the APBA Gold Cup and my 20th World Championship in the same year, is something that can never be matched again."

Mark Smith, in three years as Crew Chief of the Miss Budweiser, has won 21 races, which ties him with George McKernan for third place in the all-time career victories for Crew Chiefs. Smith trails only the legendary Jim Lucero and Ron Brown. "Mark has done a terrific job and I am confident he will always have the boat prepared for each race," said Little.

The Miss Budweiser team will get a brief respite before traveling to San Diego's Mission Bay for the San Diego Bayfair Ralph's/Food4Less Bill Muncey Cup, September 15-17.

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