"Competition is the deepest it's ever been in the sport," says Steve David, driver of the U-6 O Boy Oberto. "Every heat, you have to race it like it's a final."
David was the overall season point leader last year and thinks his team is in pretty good shape for this season. Last year was the first "post-Bud" season and David came out of the chute winning in Evansville - the site of his first unlimited race ever back in 1988. "That was significant," he said. "It validated everything the team did all winter."
"We're going to do everything we can to win... cheat if we have to," joked David; "When you win, they expect you to keep winning."
When asked about the 11 boats in the fleet this year and the worry that any problems or attrition with the boats hurts the serious, David said not to worry. "We bring extra fiberglass to help anybody we take out...!"
David says the health of the sport in general is good. "Both the quality of owners and depth of finacnial committment is amazing. (It's the) rebirth of the sport in new era."
Alluding to the retired Miss Budweiser, he said somebody had a chance "if the red boat broke something." This year? "It's really a wide open. I don't know who you bet on this year."