SCSC Lucas Oil Long Beach Sprint Nationals presented by ARP
A familiar and thunderous roar once again filled the air in and around Marine Stadium in Long Beach Calif. as the final notes of the Star Spangled Banner were gently released from the flute of Region 12’s own Olivia Knudson. The 2012 Lucas Oil Long Beach Sprint Nationals presented by ARP were officially under way as the Super Stock Sprint Boats roared from the hot pits for their warm-up lap with welcoming waves from the drivers to all dedicated fans, some who traveled from across the country (and further) to see this legendary race event.
Larry Ambrose with a voice more prominent than Michael Buffer called the match-ups, while the Southern Californian Speedboat Association (SCSC) officials were all in their places…. boat racers and bitter rivals, new and old, were getting ready to rumble. Internet chatter and boastful forum posts were no longer a factor. Although conversely, boat, motor, drive, and prop preparation, as well as race strategy and execution were to once again be the determining factors. While many of the 10 classes of race boats may have changed from the original circle boat race held at Marine Stadium 1946, the heightened thrill of the competition certainly remained the same.
For fans, it was a picture-perfect August 4th and 5th weekend of great circle boat racing in sunny So.Cal. To others it was a weekend of utter disappointment, while winning racers and owners left with shiny trophies, others were left with only shredded metal, later to return to their shops to rethink and rebuild for better luck next year.
Race fans were on their feet from the 1st heat to when the last boat crossed the final checkered flag. Optimal viewing, at safe distances, calm water and legendary performances is what makes the Stadium a unique and well-suited place for boat racing. Racers and fans alike also appreciated the 75-degree weather as families enjoyed immense fests on the sandy beaches as well as water showers from the Long Beach Rescue Boats during the brief intermissions.
On behalf of SCSC, we send our deepest congratulations to Joey Cucci driving the #24 Grand National "The Body Snatcher" and boat owner Ted Kolby from Playa Del Rey Calif., the team that led an incredible wire-to-wire race in the 20 lap main event. In doing so, Joey captured the 2012 APBA National Championship and the Rudy Ramos Perpetual Trophy. A feat most appreciated by only those who have tried.
In the Super Stock class, it was none other than Ty Newton driving out of Mesa Ariz., who won for owner Dave Rankin from Hacienda Heights, Calif. in the well-prepared #80 boat, "Wild Child". We wanted to note that “Wild Child” is the winningest APBA Super Stock Flatbottom of all-time. This win is Rankin’s 7th in a row at the Long Beach Sprint Nationals while he also took home the Dave Bryant Memorial Shield, which he has won 3 years in a row!
Moving from the inboards to the outboards, it was R.J. West, driving the #93 for Chuck Skelton out of Santa Clarita Calif., who took home the 2012 APBA North American Championships with his 25 lap main event win in the SST-45 tunnel boat class. R.J. took command off the beach in the modified Le Mans start and never looked back on the specially prepared 7/8 of mile closed-course.
In her hotly colored hydro, it was fan favorite Nicole Knudson who took home the overall A Stock Hydroplane Championship for the weekend. With this win, Nicole earned the honor of being the 1st name on the Tammy Dawe (who recently left us) Memorial Award. In respectful memory of Tammy, the perpetual award will be given out each year at Long Beach race to the driver with the highest points in the A Stock Hydroplane class.
Racing action was also hotly contested in the other classes including the Comp Jet, Pro Stock, K-Racing Runabout, Classical Outboard Runabout (COR) and Crackbox races where the side-by-side driving of Scott Schatz/Jeff Hansen in the #P-9 and Nick Granger/Scott Stump in the #P-69 took our breath away on numerous occasions.
The up and coming local Special Events class, Classical Outboard Runabout (COR), continues to gain interest and new drivers due to the low cost of entry, competitive racing, and safe speeds in the 80 mph range. Long Beach entries included a Stoker, Baker, STV, Rampage and three Sleekcrafts all running Mercury 2.0 Liter outboards.
Last but not least, a big thank you and congratulations to all the racers, rescue, owners, sponsors, crew, staff and family members that that helped make this great event happen. You know who you are and we know how hard you worked. Your support is greatly appreciated.
With the support from many, Southern California Speedboat Club has proudly been producing circle boat races at Marine Stadium in Long Beach since 1946. We look forward to seeing you out from behind your computer and at the circle boat races in Long Beach next year.
1st- Alex Bloomfield, #55U, Hot Sulphur Springs, CO
2nd- David Hale, #42C, Sunland, CA
3rd- Nicole Knudson, #29C, Chino, CA
4th- Brittney Schwarzenbach, #126C, Apple Valley, CA
5th- Gordon Jennings III, #70C, Foothill Ranch, CA
6th- Jared Wallach, #18C, Redondo Beach, CA
7th- Sarah Bloomfield, #55UX, Hot Sulphur Springs, CO
8th- Tim Herman, #118C, Tempe, AZ
A Stock Hydroplane Championship
1st- Nicole Knudson #29C, Chino, CA
2nd- Alex Bloomfield, #55U, Hot Sulphur Springs, CO
3rd- Jeff Conant, #1C, Glendale, AZ
4th- Brittney Schwarzenbach, #126C, Apple Valley, CA
5th- Sarah Bloomfield, #55UX, Hot Sulphur Springs, CO
6th- Tim Herman, #118C, Tempe, AZ
7th- David Hale #42C, Sunland, CA
8th- Jared Wallach #18C, Redondo Beach, CA
9th- Mike Wright #71C, Huntington Beach, CA
10th- Amanda Rich, #53C, Bullhead City, AZ
Classic Outboard Runabout (COR)
1st- Kevin Taylor #234, Henderson, NV
2nd- Greg Ronkainen, #128, Redondo Beach, CA
3rrd- Mike Quindazzi, #30, Huntington Beach, CA
4th- Tim/David Carranza, #45, Hawthorne, CA
5th- John Soares, #386, San Bernardino, CA
6th- Tony Scarlata, #9, Hacienda Heights, CA
SST-45 - APBA North American Championships
1st- R.J. West, #93, Manteca, CA
2nd- Kevin Curtis #19, Huntington Beach, CA
3rd- Jason Williams #10, Alta Loma, CA
4th- Dean Comer #37, Monrovia, CA
5th- Spencer Love, #24, Santa Rosa, CA
6th- Joe Brain, #33, Huntington Beach, CA (DNF- Crash)
Grand National- APBA National Championships
1st - Joey Cucci, # 24, Lake Havasu City, AZ
2nd- Robby Devine, #47, Costa Mesa, CA
3rd- Bill Wheeler, #7, Lake Havasu City, AZ
4th- Gary Garland, #27, Long Beach, CA
5th- Chris Kohles, #50, Hermosa Beach, CA
6th- Greg Gluck, #113, Sebring, FL
7th- Heath Hiebert #369, Bellflower, CA
8th- Dave Rankin, #44, Hacienda Heights, CA
1st- Ty Newton, #80, Goodyear, AZ
2nd- Robby Devine, #36, Costa Mesa, CA
3rd- Ade Bloomfield, #55, Hot Sulphur Springs, CO
4th- Grady Lakamp, #43, Tempe, AZ
1st- Ade Bloomfield, #55, Hot Sulphur Springs, CO
2nd- Mark Lopresti, #367, Parker, AZ
3rd- Jeff Wooton, #204, So. Pasadena, CA
4th- Shane Hall, #929, Torrance, CA
5th- Jerry Panagos, #113, Seal Beach, CA
K Racing Runabout
1st- Brian Twamley, #401-K, La Habra, CA
2nd- Terry Langford, #K-6, Mira Loma, CA
3rd- Tony Scarlata, #K-69, Hacienda Heights, CA
4th- Chris Irick, # K-034, Lake Havasu City, Az
1st- Scott Schatz/Jeff Hansen #P-9, Corona, CA
2nd- Nick Granger/Scott Stump, #P-69, Torrance, CA
3rd- Donald Doidge/Justin d'Allesandro #P-94, Lancaster, CA
4th- Mike Schatz/Bob Williams, #P-92, Lakewood, CA
1st- Terry Valore owner /Harold Bruce driver #21
2nd- Rodger Finney owner/Toby Clark driver #288
3rd- John McClure owner/Tom Bandy, driver #123
4th- Mark Yunker owner/driver #169
5th- Terry Valore owner/Rick Maddox, driver #59
6th- Jim Rich owner/driver #72
7th- Shirl Dickey owner/driver #60