Seattle, WASH. - There are two types of Unlimited Lights boats - naturally aspirated engines and super-charged engines.
The race-before-the-race is sometimes as interesting as the race itself. And there are some specific rules for ULHRA racing. The naturally-aspirated boats can battle for lanes one through five and then move wherever they want if they've got a lead over other boats. The super-charged boats fight for lanes 6-8 and have to hold their lanes for the first lap before they can move over.
The boats fight for lanes, but line themselves up as they come up to the score-up buoy. They can't hit the score-up buoy in Seattle before the 1:45 to start mark. Then they lock in their lanes before coming around to the start line.
Got that? OK, here's how the final race at Seafair played out.
Kayleigh Perkins crept up to the start line, trying to grab the inside. Kayleigh in the UL-72 and Ryan Mallow in the UL-19 ran one-two across the start finish line.
In lap two, Kayleigh started to lengthen out her lead, but the boat was bouncing hard as the 8 boat final churned up the Seattle race course. The cowling on the UL-72 came loose as the boat came across the start/finish line at the start of lap 3, but Kayleigh had grabbed a full roostertail lead by that time.
From there, it was a matter of holding the equipment together. Kayleigh ran the rest of the way to the finish line for the win.
Kayleigh had to win the B-Main/wild card race just to get into the finals, but she walked away winning the ULHRA race at Seafair. That was her first time winning in Seattle, but makes it a clean five wins in five races for Kayleigh Perkins this season.
ULHRA Finals Results
UL 72 - Kayleigh Perkins Foster Care - Vitamin Water
UL 19 - Ryan Mallow Interstate Batteries
UL 1 - Greg Hopp Graham Trucking
UL 14 - Paul Becker Miss Critical Logic
UL 11 - Rod Bourke Power Punch - ROXY Radio 94.5 - K&N Filters
UL 9 - Joe Souza US Army - NAPA Auto Parts
DNF. UL 00 - Wil Muncey Warning Power.com
DNF. UL 8 - Kelly Stocklin King & Bunny's - Pogacha of Issaquah
"I grew up watching Seafair - people like Steve David and here I am standing next to him. This is the best weekend of my life," an emotional Kayleigh said on KIRO-TV.
"I cannot believe this!" said Kayleigh, who has now won 5 out of 5 races this year.
ULHRA B-Main/Provisional Results
UL-72 Kayleigh Perkins
UL-11 Rod Bourke
UL-14 Paul Becker
UL-3 Chris Grant
Rod Bourke grabbed lane one and took a lead at the start. Into the turn, Bourke moved ahead with Paul Becker in second and Kayleigh Perkins still back in third.
Kayleigh moved into second by the end of lap 2 and started gaining ground. At the end of lap two, Kayleigh had taken over the lead but it was deck-to-deck with Bourke in the UL-11. As the boats came around the final turn, they came up on Chris Grant in the UL-3 and had to navigate their way past. Kayleigh tightened down a bit on Bourke and ran to the finish line with the win.
"We were a little bit off," said Kayleigh Perkins on KIRO-TV. The boat had a different engine in it today after the problem yesterday. Kayleigh said she was getting used to it and while she didn't make the start she wanted, she was able to reel everybody in and get the win. "Should be better in the start for the finals," she said.
UL-1 Greg Hopp, the winningest driver in Unlimited Light Hydroplane racing history, topped UL-72 Kayleigh Perkins in Saturday heat action at Seattle. Perkins had won every ULHRA race so far this season.More >>