Madison 2007: Results, stories, and interviews from every heat and race - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Madison 2007: Results, stories, and interviews from every heat and race

Aerial photo of U-16: James Crisp Aerial photo of U-16: James Crisp
U-10 jumps the gun in Heat 1B - Photo: Jim Simpson U-10 jumps the gun in Heat 1B - Photo: Jim Simpson
Damage to U-10 - Photo:  Jack Lowe Damage to U-10 - Photo: Jack Lowe
Steve David gives the thumbs up - Photo: Jim Simpson Steve David gives the thumbs up - Photo: Jim Simpson
U6 aerial photo: James Crisp U6 aerial photo: James Crisp

MADISON, Ind. -  Dave Villwock, the winningest active unlimited hydroplane driver, has won the first two race weekends, finishing first in the finals at Evansville & Madison in the U-16 Ellstrom Elam Plus.  It was the 54thd career win for Villwock.

The hometown crowd had cheered for the U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison all afternoon, watching Steve David win three heats.  And he came flying at the start of the finals, hitting the start/finish line right on time.  He led the field into turn one.

Coming out turn one, David and Villwock were side-by-side.  Villwock took the lead into turn two.  It went back and forth for a while as David took the lead back on the front straightaway before Villwock grabbed it back.  "Elam had the speed on us," said David,  "That's why they're the champion."

While this was going on, Jimmy King in the U-6 had pulled into the infield as his U-3 boat went dead.  Greg Hopp in the U-100 went dead shortly thereafter.

The U-6 went up on its right sponson in turn two and that allowed Villwock to pull away for good. 

"I did have trouble starting the boat," said Villwock, who almost watched his chance to defend the title evaporate as he tried to leave the dock.  "I tried to spool it and it didn't go. I gave it some more and then a little more and finally it started.

"I knew Dave had a lot of speed," said David.  "When I had the lead, I knew where he was and I was just waiting for him to put in sixth gear and go. He did and I just couldn't hold him off down the backstretch."

Villwock was beaten earlier in the day by David and he knew the final wasn't going to be easy. "He beat me fair and square in heat 1-A," said Villwock.  "That's racing. In the end, I was able to beat him.  But what he (David) did today was amazing.  This was a great race. "

J. Michael Kelly ran a great race.  He started out as a trailer, but ran down Jean Theoret in the U-37 to finish third.  "Awesome, cool," Kelly said describing the come-from-the-back-row to finish third.  "Right place at the right time.  It's only going to get better."

Only two drivers in the sport have won more races than Villwock - Bill Muncey with 62 and Chip Hanauer with 61.  The fleet heads to Detroit for the Chrysler Jeep APBA Gold Cup next weekend on the Detroit River.

Final Results

  1. U-16 Miss Elam Plus Driver: Dave Villwock
  2. U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison driver: Steve David
  3. U-13 Spirit of Detroit Driver: J. Michael Kelly
  4. U-37 Beacon Plumbing Driver: Jean Theoret

DNF U-3 Master Tire Driver: Jimmy King
DNF U-100 Mirage Boats Driver: Greg Hopp

Heat 1A Results 

  1. U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison driver: Steve David
  2. U-5 Formulaboats.com Driver: Jeff Bernard (rookie) - N2 fuel violation: no points awarded
  3. U-16 Miss Elam Plus Driver: Dave Villwock
  4. U-1 Formulaboats.com II Driver: Mike Allen  

It was delayed a day due to pop-up logs and other debris on the Ohio River at Madison, but when racing got underway Sunday morning and it was the U-6 and Steve David hitting the start line fast and taking the lead for good coming out of turn one.  Dave Villwock took some air on the second turn, but kept it under control.  It looked like Villwock had trouble timing the start, which was the concern for several race teams due to the limited practice runs.

"We promised the people of Madison if they gave us a great boat, we'd give them a great run," said David.  That's what they did, giving the brand new hometown boat its first heat.  "Every time we've gone out, we've gone faster," David said.

After the heat ended, it was determined Jeff Bernard had a N2 violation.  He keeps the second place finish, but loses all points for the finish.

Heat 1B Results

  1. U-37 Beacon Plumbing Driver: Jean Theoret
  2. U-100 Mirage Boats Driver: Greg Hopp  
  3. U-13 Spirit of Detroit Driver: J. Michael Kelly

It was a wall-to-wall win for Jean Theoret in the U-37 who timed the start well and cruised to the win.  "The Beacon Plumbing boat's been running really good," said Theoret. 

Kelly in the U-13 jumped the gun and was assessed a one-lap penalty.  Kelly fell victim to lack of timing runs due to river debris.  "We're still trying to the boat figured out," Kelly said. 

Heat 1C Results 

  1. U-3 Chrysler Jeep Driver: Jimmy King  
  2. U-25 Superior Racing Driver: Dr. Ken Muscatel - Flagrant N2 violation - no points awarded

DNF U-10 Ahern Rentals Driver: David Bryant (rookie)

Jimmy King led the whole way for the U-3's first win of the day at Madison.  David Bryant in the U-10 was a half a rooster tail behind King and trying to close on turn one of the final lap when something went wrong.  He couldn't make the turn and just ran straight off the course.

Dr. Ken Muscatel's U-25 went dead in the water.  "The throttle got stuck wide open," said Muscatel.  "I had to tap it with my heal and it came up completely."  But he was able to re-start and trailed the field until Bryant ran off the course.  With Bryant not finishing, Muscatel got the second place 300 points. 

'She's a race boat," said Jimmy King.  King said he was a little late on the start, but was still able to beat everyone to the first turn.  Timing is critical for the U-3 to start well.  His boat won't run as slow as the newer turbine engines, who will often creep out of the turn before the start-finish line and then accelerate to hit the line at full speed.  "We can't run on the outside and try to slingshot (from a slow start)," King said. 

The U-10 crews said a propeller blade broke, ruining the shaft and breaking the gearbox.  U-10 done for the day.

Heat 2A Results 

  1. U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison driver: Steve David
  2. U-3 Master Tire Driver: Jimmy King
  3. U-1 Formulaboats.com II Driver: Mike Allen  

DNS U-10 Ahern Rentals - broken prop, shaft and gearbox

David took the lead at the start again and ran it out the whole way, taking turns wide and pushing Jimmy King to go way outside.  David took about a roostertail win for his second straight heat win.

"What a great day," David said.  He ran a top lap speed of 144 during Heat 2A.

Heat 2B Results

  1. U-16 Miss Elam Plus Driver: Dave Villwock
  2. U-13 Spirit of Detroit Driver: J. Michael Kelly
  3. U-37 Beacon Plumbing Driver: Jean Theoret   

Theoret roared out front and took the lead through the first lap... but he had jumped the gun and had to take a one lap penalty.  Dave Villwock, who was trailing Theoret through the first lap, backed off a bit and took an easy win.

"Nailed that start," said Kelly who jumped the gun last time.  "Each heat gets better and better."  The U-13 sustained damage to the inside air trap, but Kelly said he believes they can get it repaired.

Heat 2C Results 

  1. U-100 Mirage Boats Driver: Greg Hopp  
  2. U-25 Superior Racing Driver: Dr. Ken Muscatel

DNS. U-5 Formulaboats.com Driver: Jeff Bernard

An easy win for Greg Hopp in the U-100.

Just minute before the starting gun, the U-5 had its canopy up and repairs were underway.  They couldn't make the start.  The U-25 had a similar fate, but got the boat on the water and started... but couldn't quite make the start.  The boat died again on the water, got re-started and ran the race with Hopp.

NOTE:  Due to damage to boats, ABRA re-did the heat draws for the final three heats.

Heat 3A

  1. U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison driver: Steve David
  2. U-3 Master Tire Driver: Jimmy King
  3. U-25 Superior Racing Driver: Dr. Ken Muscatel  

Ken Muscatel stole lane one coming up to the start line, but Steve David outran him in lane two, taking the lead over Jimmy King into the first turn.  Muscatel fell back to third.  David led the rest of the way to make it three-for-three for the new Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison boat.

The U-6 has got some real speed, hitting 146 on the first lap, his fastest of the weekend.  "That (speed) should continue," said David.  "It's going to be a progression."

"We've still get more work - more prop work, more gear work, more engine work," David said.  It's going to get better and better."

Heat 3B

  1. U-16 Miss Elam Plus Driver: Dave Villwock
  2. U-100 Mirage Boats Driver: Greg Hopp

DNS U-5 Formulaboats.com Driver: Jeff Bernard (rookie)

Villwock grabbed the inside lane and easily out-distanced Greg Hopp to win Heat 3B.

Heat 3C

  1. U-37 Beacon Plumbing Driver: Jean Theoret
  2. U-13 Spirit of Detroit Driver: J. Michael Kelly
  3. U-1 Formulaboats.com II Driver: Mike Allen  

J. Michael Kelly got an ever better start this time than last time, but it wasn't enough to hold off Jean Theoret in the U-37 who caught Kelly coming out of the turn.  The finish put Theoret in the final along with Steve David in the U-6, Dave Villwock in the U-16, and Jimmy King in the U-3. 

Greg Hopp in the U-100 and J. Michael Kelly in the U-13 will be the trailers in the finals.  "It's been a struggle, " said Kelly.  "I ran right with those guys," he said about Heat 3C.

Theroet went into the first turn in third and came out the turn in first.  "The Beacon Plumbing really corners well," he said.  Coming out of the turn he controlled the river.  "Control the river and guys have to go around you and that's tough."

Finals

  1. U-16 Miss Elam Plus Driver: Dave Villwock
  2. U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison driver: Steve David
  3. U-13 Spirit of Detroit Driver: J. Michael Kelly
  4. U-37 Beacon Plumbing Driver: Jean Theoret

DNF U-3 Master Tire Driver: Jimmy King
DNF U-100 Mirage Boats Driver: Greg Hopp

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