Today, 10:42 AM
Mother Nature surely targeted Claremore, Ok this weekend for a dose of brisk North winds, something not seen in Oklahoma at this time of the year and guess which way the lake lays out, YEP, North to South and by the time the water got to our end of the lake, white cap city was in full view.
Leonard and Rick Miller, along with Tanya and her crew from the City of Claremore, the Firefighter EMS, the Police Dept, and the Grand Lake Authority all worked with us to make this happen and should have been a premier event for the city and the NBRA. What the wind did was to cause no racing at all on Saturday, but Rick and Leonard learning from the experiences at Wakefield a few years ago and thus a 5am wake up call came to my room to get ready for Sunday racing. So unfortunate, as the city went all out, the NBRA folks were on game, but no ability to put a boat in for racing. We were somewhat entertained by some drivers who decided that the other side of the lake had smooth water to take some speed runs on, the problem was that they had to get to the other side through at times swells that they were jumping from swell to swell and kiting, and looking like the nose was going in. We had somewhat of a pool going with an offer to a driver to take a full speed lap on the course for 20 bucks, said not near enough. For entertainment value I think he could have had a 1000 bucks pretty quickly walking through the pits and advertising. Alas the wind never let up, and a pizza party salved a few and great friendships had a renewal time.
Well, as I alluded to the 5am wake up call, a start of 7am was announced the night before and one heat finals were the order of the day. All crews assembled while still dark, getting boats, motors, and props ready for the days challenges. Promptly at 7am the National Anthem and a Prayer were offered and on to racing we went.
The first class up were the super quick EH’s with 12 Hydros ready to go with a great field of boats, including past NBRA and current APBA champs, so a race was on. As the roar of those Merc’s woke up everyone with a little deep throat noise, David Mason broke out of the pack into the first turn and was never caught, but Austin Van Over did everything he could to get there. He passed 3 other boats to find himself chasing David down the back stretch, but David had the field covered and took home the first title on Sunday.
Austin Van Over
CSH came up next with again a 12 boat field and everyone anxious with the one heat final, found them all coming to the line at once. Tara Cook broke out front coming out of the first turn and had built up a sizeable lead, but unfortunately it all went for naught, as Nathan Fritz took a header 2 laps in and the heat had to be called for a restart. Nathan was transported with a foot injury, but we do not have a further report. Again the starts in a one heat final are so critical and when the restart came up, Rick Miller hit the button and was never headed for the win, his second win of the weekend, but that was just a peak at the success the Miller team would gain this weekend. Dan Parker came back from having thrown a blade off one of his favorite props to drive a great race for second, and Courtney Sanders finished a strong third.
Can someone say Ralph Cook is cooken in that low profile, roll it up SER of his, well let me tell you he was cooking today. Ralph got out front with Cole Childress faster in the corner with the flat turner, but Ralph had great speed on the straightaway. As they came into the bottom corner in lap 2, Cole was on the outside and chasing Ralph, trying to hold him down against the exit pin and swing around him coming to the checkered flag. At that moment, the gremlin struck and Cole lost the bottom of the boat and down he went, sinking in the corner, causing a restart. It mattered not, as Ralph once again had speed on the field as Tim Snider and Alan Owen chasing for the second and third overall.
Next up was CMH with Rick Miller trying to add a third Championship for the weekend, and add to the 2 at the APBA Nationals, the OSY 400 Championship at the US Title Series Nationals, and assorted Winter and short course Nationals. Well let me tell you, he had the speed, the start and lead the field across the finish line for his third over all of the weekend. Chris Misener and Eric Van Over had quite a tussle for the second spot, with Chris eking out the second spot.
Eric Van Over
DR came up and Kevin McAfee was looking to add it to the ER championship he took on Friday and set his sights on a great start knowing he had one heat to get it done and needed to be up toward the front at the start. And indeed he did hit the line perfectly, started moving away from the field on the backstretch with Ralph Cook and Alan Owen fighting it out for second, and Alan got around Ralph on the corner of the 3rd lap. Congrats to Kevin, Linda and Kevin’s Dad, who work awfully hard for these championships.
In the super fast SEH’s Tim Snyder who had a pretty good weekend going only wanted to add to it, and boy did he ever, driving for Burt Hoefs, Tim got out front in that beautiful orange hydro and covered the field. Lyle Mason in his laydown was chasing him in the second spot, but unfortunately hit the entry buoy in the first turn to be disqualified. Jeff Ruth driving a great race took the second spot with Richard Baze taking the third overall.
CR came up with a number of different designed runabouts from the Zorkan, who I always have teased Frank about forgetting the top half of the boat, but they have always run well, to the low profile sides of John Matthews and Tom Nuccio all the way from Cape Coral, Florida with us. But the winner, using a Krier runabout that Travis Ellison used to run a Pro 125 on, gave young Corey his very National Championship at Claremore. Austin Van Over promptly did the honors as young Corey came into the pits and was given the traditional dunking that goes with a first championship win. John Matthews in his low profile and Trent Baugh, chased Corey for second and third.
Next up were 12 AH with Rick Miller looking for a fourth championship this weekend with a great field of other boats 4 young women in the mix for this one, including Denise Morris who came all the way from Stockton, Ca. to race with us this weekend. Alas no one and I mean no one, had anything for Rick and he took home the title with 2 of the young women chasing the Miller roster tail. Bailey Owen and Courtney Sanders finished off great weekends for each of them with second to Bailey and third to Courtney.
The last heat of the day were the DH’s as the wind almost on cue began to show what it would do to the water once again. The DH’s were called to the water and as they came up for the start, all ten of them hit the line at about the same time, John Matthews began to pull a bit of lead, only to have Braxton Miller hit a roller and snapped the right sponson off and in the drink. While all of this was happening behind them the rest of the field went into the corner hot and the leader John Matthews, hooked left, body went right and John hit the water as well. John was uninjured and Braxton strained his knee a bit, but was walking in the pit after the races were finished. Speaking of being finished, we were as the wind had freshened up even further and DH’s were not brought back and the day finished with their class the only unfinished championship, but was done by our great referee Jack Stotts for safety. This championship heat will be run at the next NBRA race at Jacksonville, Illinois in a few weeks.
Wow, what a weekend of waiting, kibitzing, and racing. Again my and I know the drivers and crews feel this as well, our thanks to Tanya forgive me for not catching her last name, who headed this up for the City, the City of Claremore, Patsy Ruth, Mellissa Backward, Tony Anderson;s daughter Tanya, John Ruff a flagman par excel lance, also my chauffer and friend from this weekend, and of course Terry, Bart, Tony and Terry Anderson on the water for the weekend. And to our referee Jack Stotts who had it covered all weekend. Leonard and Rick, not enough words to tell you guys thanks for your effort in securing the site and playing answer men all weekend.