Primer on Atomic Cup Boats and Drivers - Updated with new sponsor names - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Primer on Atomic Cup Boats and Drivers - Updated with new sponsor names

NAME:  E-Lam presents Hoss Mortgage Investors
DRIVER:  Dave Villwock

Villwock is the defending champion of the Tri-Cities race site, although it was the Columbia Cup then.  He had been on a tear this year, winning every heat he raced in until the boat lost a part - and control - in Valleyfield, Quebec.  Villwock managed to keep the boat out of the crowd, but it was busted up.

The back-up boat ran in Detroit with driver Nate Brown.  The boat's back together and ready to go and Villwock will be back in the driver's seat.

NAME: Graham Trucking
DRIVER: Ken Muscatel

It's the old U-2 hull, leased from Jim Harvey.  The 2.25 designation is a nod to Muscatel's former boat, the U-25, which is in the possession of Kevin Aylesworth and Freedom racing now.  Muscatel is splitting driving duties with Hydro Museum director Dave Williams, but Muscatel is likely to drive all the heats for the Tri-Cities.  Muscatel and the team had their best showing in Detroit, winding up fifth overall after leading on Saturday.

NAME: Conover Insurance
DRIVER: Jimmy King

The only piston-powered boat on the circuit is sure to be a crowd favorite.  Enjoy the load roar of the engine - you can feel it in some places along the shoreline if it comes to the outside.  Mitch Evans is not driving this year, satying home in Chelan, WA to take care of the family business.  He's turned over the reins full-time to Jimmy King.  When the boat's been together and running smoothly, King has been in the hunt.

DRIVER: Mike Weber

This is the T-6 hull from the former Budweiser team.  It's one of the best boats on the water.  Team manager and drive Mike Weber.  Weber's raced hard this year, winning a few heats but failed to make the finals at the Detroit Regatta.  The boat was damaged in Detroit, but ready to go for the Atomic Cup.

NAME:  Oh Boy! Oberto
DRIVER:  Steve David

Driver Steve David had a scary moment in the U-6 home port of Madison.  He hit something in the water and nearly hit the flag boat at the start of a heat.  David's got an infectious sense of humor and the team's put together a solid season so far.  They are in second place in both the National High Points standings and National High Points Driver standing.

DRIVER:  Mike Allen

Mike Allen may be a rookie, but he's serving notice with the old T-5 Budweiser hull.  Another fast boat and a hot driver - he won at Valleyfield and has been in the hunt in every race he's been in this year. Mike Allen and the U-7 sit atop the High Points standings heading into the Tri-Cities.

NAME:  Jack-Son's Sports Bar
DRIVER:  Chris Bertram

This boat sat idle for the past couple of years and it's making its 2006 racing debut in the Tri-Cities.  Chris Bertram will be the rookie driver of the U-9.

NAME:  Solutions Plus

The U-10 has had a rough season.  After finishing 3rd in its first heat in Madison, there's not been much else to cheer about.  The season so far has looked like this:  Madison:  2A:  Finished 3rd - 3A:  Did not Start - Final - Did not Finish.  Evansville - Did not Race.  Valleyfield - Did not Race.  Detroit - 3A:  Did not Finish.

Nate Brown started the season driving the U-10, but was replaced by J.W. Myers.

NAME:  Acura of Bellevue presented by Spirit of Detroit
DRIVER:  J. Michael Kelly

The boat's distinctive - it's lime green and yellow this year.  The U-13 was set to make its debut in Detroit, but was hit with a double whammy:  the boat weighed in some 700-800 pounds underweight.  Then, the team couldn't get it to fire.  So, it's coming out party will be in the Tri-Cities.  Terry Troxell is here, but will probably not get any cockpit time.

NAME:  Area Codes Cellular U-21 Miss Simpatico powered by Meyers' Auto Tech
DRIVER:  Kevin Aylesworth

Rookie driver Kevin Aylesworth got in enough lap time in Detroit to officially qualify.  He's running Ken Muscatel's old U-25 boat - the same one that snapped in half on turn two of the Columbia River course a few year's ago.  After having mechanical problems early in the season, Aylesworth just missed getting into the finals in Detroit.

KNDO/KNDU WeatherPlus is also a local sponsor of the U-21.

NAME:  Miss Beacon Plumbing
DRIVER:  Jean Theoret

Driver Jean Theoret seems to have a penchant for hitting buoys this year.  He did it several times in Detroit, but still rallied to win the final heat and then the Gold Cup.  The crew made changes after the first couple of races to pick up speed and Theoret's been using it to his advantage.

NAME:  Miss Lakeridge Paving
DRIVER:  Jeff Bernard

Another boat that hasn't run yet this year, it's one of three boats owned by Fred Leland.  Bernard has limited cockpit time, but made the finals at Seafair in 2005.

NAME:  Todd Hoss American Dream
DRIVER:  Greg Hopp

Greg Hopp pulls double-duty, running Unlimiteds and Unlimited Lights.  He won the Silver Cup in Detroit in his Light boat and he's had success in the Tri-Cities in the past.  The U-100's been fighting some mechanical issues so far this season, including a Did Not Start and Did Not Finish in the last race in Detroit.