COLUMBIA CUP 2009: U-1 Steve David, U-7 J. Michael Kelly pick up - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

COLUMBIA CUP 2009: U-1 Steve David, U-7 J. Michael Kelly pick up Saturday unlimited hydroplane racing heat wins

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Kennewick, WASH - Steve David in the U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto took the lead in the national high points championship with his win in Heat 1A at the Columbia Cup unlimited hydroplane races on Saturday.  J. Michael Kelly, driving the U-7 Graham Trucking, also picked up an impressive heat win in Heat 1B.

Heat 1A

Jeff Bernard in the U-5 actually led the boats across the start line.  It was a beautiful site as four boat across were side-by-side, and very close, going into the first turn.  Out of the turn, it was Dave Villwock in the U-16 grabbing the lead and Steve David in the U-1 in second.

But officials had ruled that Villwock for not holding his lane, assessing a one lap penalty and moving the U-16 to the back of the pack, even though they were in the clear lead on the course.

Villwock had a half a rooster tail lead after the first lap when the pnealty was announcedm putting Steve David in the U-1 into the lead.  After that, the race played out pretty much like expected.

Heat 1A Results

1. U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto Steve David
2. U-5 Jeff Bernard
3. U-100 Jerrys Tavern Greg Hopp
4. U-48 Whirlpool Presents Albert Lee Brian Perkins
5. U-22 Matrix Systems Automotive Finishes Mike Webster
6. U-16 Miss Elam Plus - ONE LAP PENALTY Dave Villwock

VIDEO:  Interview with Steve David after Heat 1A win >>

After the race, Steve David said:  "It wasn't intentional, Dave's a clean driver.  But when the big wall of water hit my windshield, I knew he had bounced out in front of me."  Villwock told KNDU's Scott Reister that he was behind both the U-1 and U-5 when it happened so there was no way he could have moved out in front of him.

More than an hour and a half after the race, it was announced that Steve David was being docked 150 points for also moving out and not holding his lane.  So, instead of 400 points for the win, David ends up with 250 points.

Heat 1B

We had a couple of races-within-the-races going in Heat 1B at the Columbia Cup and the U-3 was right in the middle of both of them. 

Jimmy King grabbed the lead in the U-3 going into the first turn and was trying to hold off J/ Michael Kelly in the U-7.  Kelly had told us earlier in the day he thought the race set up would provide great acceleration out of the turns and he was right.  Coming out of that first set of turns, Kelly grabbed the lead and never looked back.

Nate Brown in the U-17 managed to reel in King on the backstretch moving into second place.

As Kelly lengthened out his lead - by a full roostertail in the second lap - the race for second place between Brown and King heated up.  King took the lead back on the last lap in the back straight-away only to have Brown come up side-by-side in the final turn for the finish line. 

Brown appeared to be slightly ahead coming out of the final turn, but the piston-powered U-3 came flying off the turn and nipped the U-17 at the finish.

Heat 1B Results

1. U-7 Graham Trucking J. Michael Kelly
2. U-3 Grandview on the Lake Jimmy King
3. U-17 West Pasco Family Dental Nate Brown
4. U-37 Hoss Mortgage Investors J.W. Myers
DNS. U-25 Mr. Home Loan Presents Servpro Ken Muscatel

VIDEO:  Interview with JMK after Heat 1B win >>

Heat 1B was a fast race.  Even though King finished 2nd, his average speed was 147.514.  "That was a prety good race," said U-3 owner and crew chief Ed Cooper, Jr.  "That is what we do this for is to see the boat run and run well."