2016 USTS Season opener at Lake Alfred Florida Day 1 recap by Ray Rodda
“As the day dawned on Lake Alfred this morning, the wind, she was a blow’en and things did not look all that bright for the USTS first race of the 2016 season”
However, our group is not one that gives up all that easy and with quick work by Todd Brinkman and Tim Small a course closer to shore and up the lake a bit provided for a good piece of water to race on and race our folks did.
A great first day crowd had much excitement in great close racing and finishes as the day wore on. Our thanks to the Lake Alfred Lion’s Club for all the work and effort you can imagine to make this a success. From our meet and greet with sandwiches and cold adult beverages last night to a great pulled pork BBQ tonight with the Olympic style medals presented to the first three finishers in each class.
During the award ceremony, two gentlemen were honored for all the work that they done to promote the USTS, but more importantly for their work with the Race For Kids foundation which helps underprivileged children in the Central Florida area. For this work Bill Hosler and Gary Levin were presented wonderful gifts, but more than that the adulation and thanks from the drivers and crews of the USTS. Diane Murray spearheaded this as we thanked both of these gentlemen for their fine work with both organizations. Congrats to Gary and Bill.
Well first up on the docket was 250R with a great run for JJ Walls in the first heat as he won the heat while Rich Krier finished 2nd to him and Derek Gesler 3rd. Unusual to not have Tim Small’s name in the mix, but Tim suffered ignition issues in all three of the heats today and scored no points. Highly unusual! In the second heat JJ came up early and unfortunately and was DQ’d and Rich Krier took home the 2nd heat. The third heat, Rich hung back at the start, not wanting to get wet down nor jump the gun and finished in 4th place behind the win of JJ. However when the points were added up, Rich had 69 points more with two firsts and a fourth for the win.
Next up was the wildest 350H heat I have seen in a long time. 9 of them headed off to the first turn, with Gary Buskirk leading them through the first turn. Kurtis Nydahl had come up a little early, got trapped a little, but this young man was on a mission. Kurtis worked his way through the pack to settle into a close second to Gary as they went lap for lap with the gap being no more than a couple of boat lengths between them. With the wind, we had to move the course so that the starting line was also the bottom turn. How interesting you say, it was more than that, it was worth at least a couple of HOLY BUCKETS, as the two of them fought it out. Gary ended up out front with Kurtis second, and taking third.
Kurtis came out loaded for bear in the second and third heats, while Gary and the Thirlby crew scurried through a piston change because of trouble. This slowed Gary to a point where Kurtis next challenger was his sister Amy, but Kurtis prevailed in the 2nd and third heats to take the title
Next up were the 125H with Gun Jumping a plenty along with some engine issues. Bob Cronin, down from New Hampshire took the title with he being the only legal boat in one of the heats, but do not let that one heat color as Bob was in the mix constantly for the win in all three heats. Todd Anderson won a heat as did Jon Wienandt with Brandon Mills driving steadily to take home a third place overall. This is a great weekend for Brandon, Sr. Prom after the races and his 18th birthday tomorrow. Happy Day Brando
Next up were the big 500H’s with a great heat of racing for Jim Wright and David Hooten with Jim scoring the victory by no more than a foot at the finish line. They diced back and forth for all 4 laps with Jim crossing under David to get the inside lane and took it home. Ike Yoder one two heats of racing to take the title as Jim had an engine let go during the end of the 2nd heat. All Jim needed to do was to finish the 3rd heat, but to no avail. As someone asked one time, do you get a guarantee on them there racing engines, I said yes, you get both halves if it breaks. That is exactly what happened to Jim’s motor, it split in half.
Last but not least the big 700R came up with the Thirlby Automotive entry of Austin Van Over showing the way to the rest of the 100MPH rockets known as 700R. Austin clearly a speed demon came over from the Modified division and showed the way. Austin won both heats by good margins, with RC Hawie form just down the street from Lake Alfred in Lake Hamilton took second, while Andrew Thirlby, not running his usual speed because of engine issues to home the 3rd spot overall.
A great way to start the 2016 USTS season here in Florida, great sponsor in the Lion’s Club, wonderful support from Mayor Lake who came to both the meet and greet last night and to the award ceremonies tonight. Thank you on behalf of the USTS crew.
My thanks to our great crew, lead by Todd Brinkman, our President and Sue Sailer, our chief Scorer.