EVANSVILLE 2009: U-5 Formulaboats.com and Jeff Bernard win Evansville unlimited hydroplane race - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

EVANSVILLE 2009: U-5 Formulaboats.com and Jeff Bernard win Evansville unlimited hydroplane race

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Evansville, IND. - Jeff Bernard and the U-5 Formulaboats.com team, owned by Ted Porter, had a spectacular weekend, winning three straight heat races and running away with the Thunder on the Ohio crown by holding off teammate J. Michael Kelly in the U-7 Graham Trucking.

The U-3 Master Tire team also had a great weekend, winning two heats going into the finals.  Jimmy King in the U-3 had a clear lead and looked like he was racing to victory in the finals when he threw a prop and the boat would not be able to finish.

It was a wild weekend in Evansville for the second-to-last stop on the Amerian Boat Racing Association's unlimited hydroplane racing season.  The two teams that had been running neck and neck all season went head-to-head in the first heat race of the weekend and it had a big impact on the rest of the day.

Dave Villwock in the U-16 Elam was just 249 points behind Steve David in the U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto for the National High Points championship coming into the weekend.  The two boats were fighting for the lead in Heat 1A when Villwock and the U-16 flipped.  Officials said David moved out on Villwock and disqualified him.

That put the U-16 out of the racing for the weekend.  But owner Erick Ellstrom worked out a deal with Nate Brown and the U-17 ActivWater team.  Ellstrom effectively purchased the boat and Nate Brown stepped in to run the U-17 as the U-16 to pick up some points.

With that as the backdrop, the U-16 - winner of all but one races this season - didn't win a single heat.  Surprisingly, Steve David won only one heat as well.  Meanwhile, Jeff Bernard in the U-5 FormulaBoats.com won three straight and Jimmy King in the piston-powered U-3 Master Tire won two.

And that set up a anything-goes final with the two top teams all season at a sginficiant disadvantage in the final.  The U-1 wound up in lane six.  The U-16 wound up as the trailer boat.

Winner take all Finals

Jimmy King in the U-3 grabbed the lead right off the bat with Jeff Bernard in the U-5 and J. Michael Kelly in the U-7 right alongside.

At the end of lap one, King had the lead by about three-quarters of a roostertail.  Steve David  in the U-1, starting in lane 6, was in 4th.  Bernard started to put some distance between he and teammate Kelly.

At the end of lap three, tragedy struck for the U-3 team.  The U-3 threw a prop and went dead.  Bernard took the lead from Kelly and, with King out of the race, moved into first place.  Bernard had a half roostertail lead on the back stretch of the final lap. Kelly in second and David in third.

Bernard won by about four boat lengths.

Final Results

  1. U-5 FormulaBoats.com - Jeff Bernard
  2. U-7 Graham Trucking - J. Michael Kelly
  3. U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto - Steve David
  4. U-100 Mirageboats.com - Greg Hopp
  5. U-25 Mr. Home Loan - Ken Muscatel
  6. U-16 Elam (U-17 running as U-16) - Nate Brown
    STARTED AS TRAILER

    DNF.
    U-3 Master Tire -Jimmy King

Heat 1A Results

  1. U-3 Master Tire
    Jimmy King
    142.326
  2. U-7 Graham Trucking
    J. Michael Kelly
    136.451
  3. U-37 Renton Coil Spring
    Jean Theoret
    128.054
  4. U-48 Whirlpool Presents Albert Lee
    Brian Perkins
    121.837

    DNF - Flipped
    U-16 Ellstrom Elam Plus
    Dave Villwock

    DSQ
    U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto
    Steve David

Complete coverage:  Heat 1A, 1B >>

Heat 1B Results

  1. U-5 FormulaBoats.com
    Jeff Bernard
    135.636
  2. U-100 Mirageboats.com
    Greg Hopp
    133.116
  3. U-17 Seal Shield
    Kip Brown
    128.485
  4. U-25 Mister Home Loan
    Ken Muscatel
    125.868
  5. U-22 Matrix Systems Automotive Finishes

Complete coverage:  Heat 1A, 1B >>

Heat 2A Results

1. U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto - Steve David
2. U-7 Graham Trucking - J. Michael Kelly
3. U-25 Mr Home Loan - Ken Muscatel
4. U-48 Albert Lee - Brian Perkins
5. U-22 Airbag Services - Mike Webster

DNS. U-16 Elam - Dave Villwock

Complete coverage:  Heat 1A, 1B >>

Heat 2B Results  

1.  U-5 Formulaboats.com - Jeff Bernard
2.  U-3 Master Tire - Jimmy King
3.  U-37 Renton Coil Springs - Jean Theoret
4. U-100 Mirageboats.com - Greg Hopp

DNS.  U-17 Seal Shield/ActiVwater -Kip Brown

Complete coverage:  Heat 1A, 1B >>

Heat 3A Results

  1. U-5 FormulaBoats.com
    Jeff Bernard
  2. U-7 Graham Trucking
    J. Michael Kelly
  3. U-37 Renton Coil Spring
    Jean Theoret
  4. U-25 Mister Home Loan
    Ken Muscatel
  5. U-48 Whirlpool Presents Albert Lee
    Brian Perkins

Complete coverage:  Heat 3A, 3B >>

Heat 3B Results

  1. U-3 Master Tire
    Jimmy King
  2. U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto
    Steve David
  3. U-100 Mirageboats.com
    Greg Hopp
  4. U-16 Ellstrom Elam Plus
    (U-17 running as U-16 with Nate Brown driving)

    Nate Brown
  5. U-22 Matrix Systems Automotive Finishes
    Mike Webster

Complete coverage:  Heat 3A, 3B >>

Provisional Heat Results

  1. U-16 Elam (U-17 running as U-16) - Nate Brown
  2. U-48 Albert Lee - Brian Perkins

U-16/Nate Brown will be the trailer in the finals.

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