SCSC Bluewater Spring Classic, Parker AZ 2009
by , 10-22-2009 at 04:15 AM (3855 Views)
Springtime in Parker, Arizona. One hundred degree days and clear skies provided the SCSC “Spring Classic” at the Bluewater Resort with ideal conditions for a circle race. The turnout was good considering the recession, with lots of boats in attendance and close to full fields in most of the classes.
I arrived Saturday morning just in time to see the Pro-Stock boats battle it out in the qualifying heats. Dave Rankin in his SS/PS-80 “Wild Child”, would dominate with Tony Scarlata running second in the SS/PS-68 “Loud and Proud” capsuled entry. Scarlata wounded the engine in the process and the “Loud and Proud” team would install the spare to race again later in the day. The final would have Rankin taking the win again with Scarlata second.
Sunday’s Pro-Stock action would again be dominated by Rankin. Chris Kenner in Mike Lee’s PS-89, Scarlata in the SS/PS-68, and Mike Darner in the PS-8 would split the three second place finishes for the day. The overall weekend win went to Rankin and Mike Darner taking the second place overall points.
Comp Jet action would see six boats start with Mark Moyle and Lewis Schindler from Burley, Idaho in attendance. Unfortunately both had problems on Saturday and scored no finishes. Saturday’s action would see Nick Valore from West Covina, Ca in the CJ-21 boat take the win for day one with Ron Lund in the CJ-511 taking the number two spot. Two probable favorites, Toby Clark and Lance Nicholls both finished only one race each Saturday and took third and fourth for the day.
On Sunday, Lance Nicholls in his CJ-426 took both wins with Mark Moyle second in the CJ-203. The weekend trophy would belong to Ron Lund out of Valley Center, CA, acing Nicholls out by sixty points.
The K-boat class was a bit sparse with only four boats showing up. These are the fire breathin’ blown alcohol rockets known for their high straightaway speeds in the 120-140 mph range. Tony Scarlata would be in Dave Rankin and Gordon Jenning’s K-69 “Freedom Child”. Steve Sequeria would pilot Pat Eason’s K-711 “Seven come Eleven”, John Guthrie would be in the “Blown Brothers” K-66 owned by Patrick and Dan Breazeale, and rounding out the four was Phil Lukins in Scarlata’s K-5. Phil is working on a boat of his own and used this weekend to get some seat time in the newly vinyl wrapped K-5.
Even though only four boats were present the action was not disappointing. Scarlata would win all the races in the “rocket-like” K-69, but Steve piloted the K-711 to an impressive number two finish on Saturday. However, on Sunday morning Steve turned the boat over in the south turn. Fortunately he was uninjured in the mishap. The flip tore the wing off the boat and filled the engine and electronics with water. The K-711 team with the assistance of Gordy (Jennings) and several others pulled the engine and dried everything out working feverishly in the heat of the day. They came back and ran again finishing second behind Scarlata.
The normally full Super-Stock class would see only five entries this race. Dave Rankin won each heat but not without a battle with Paul Fitzgerald in Mike Smith’s SS-24 Bezer “April” out of Baltimore, MD. Paul took consistent second place finishes and was followed by Dan Bertone in the SS-29 and Tony Scarlata in the SS/PS-68 in the four Super-stock races of the weekend. The cumulative points had Rankin in for the weekend’s win, Fitzgerald second, and Dan Bertone grabbing the number three spot.
The Grand National boats always put on a great show and this weekend would be no exception. Nine boats would line up for the Lemans style start off the beach. The first race on Saturday would see Robby Devine in the GN-47 and Joey Cucci in Ted Kolby’s GN-24 “Body Snatcher” battle it out for seven laps, side by side, back and forth. Robby finally got a break and got in front and won the heat. In the second heat Dennis Rankin would take the win in the GN-29 followed by Cucci and Bill Wheeler in the GN-7.
Sunday’s 20-lap final it would be Cucci again battling this time with Paul Grichar in Ben Marrone’s wood deck GN-305 “Plan B”. They went at it side by side for three or four laps before Cucci got the edge and remained in front for good. The weekend’s results were Cucci in the “Body Snatcher” taking the gold, Paul Grichar in the “Plan B” taking second, and Darrin Sousamian in the GN-44 sliding into third place.
The Cracker Boxes… what a show these guys put on. With straightaway speeds in excess of 100 mph in come cases, these boats are just crazy. Saturday, the Performance Boats sponsored boat of Mark Conavey’s, with Dave Laws and Lake Stump aboard would take a first and second place finish. This secured first place for the day ahead of the P-100 boat and the 24-P.
Sunday would see Tony Lombardo and Alexandra Adams in the P-100 take both wins, securing the weekend gold. Second overall went to Brett Beard and Brandon Brodecki in the 24-P “Cracker Jack”, and third to the P-9 with Scott Schatz and Bob Williams. I want to mention the Suncoast Motorsports team of Ed Solis, which campaigns the P-9 and the P-92. A freak accident occurred in the pits before the final Cracker Box race. During some maneuvering of the team’s semi rig, team member Eric Weingarten was pinned between the tractor and trailer. He was rushed to the hospital with some life threatening injuries. Thankfully, the last I’ve heard at press time he is recovering and doing well. The two Suncoast Crackers, didn’t run Sunday’s final race as a result of the accident.
Other class winners include Tammy Dawe in ASH, Tony Lombardo in CSH, Steven Dawe in 45SS, Dan Schwartz in SST-120, Spenser Love in SST-45, Mike Menter in 20SSH, Mike March in Nostalgia Flat, and Pat Roque in PWC.
Ross Wallach and the Southern California Speedboat Club always put on a great event for the racers, spectators, and sponsors. This race was no exception. Although there were several boats over the course of the weekend that sunk, flipped or otherwise stopped the racing action, there were no serious injuries, other than the accident in the pits. The SCSC crew moves the race program right along with minimal downtime. My hat is off to these folks every time I see one of these events go off. Whether it is the SCSC, the NJBA, or other small clubs, these volunteers work their butts off organizing and running these events. They are appreciated. The next SCSC race is scheduled for Long Beach, Ca during the first part of August. It’s a great historic drag and circle race venue. Hope to see all of you out there.
Pictures are presently being re-hosted and will be posted here soon (10/22/09)
I have been a boater for the better part
of 40 years and owner of Rex Marine
since 1981. In my blogs I will attempt to
tell a story of each event I cover,
from my perspective and through my
photos. I hope more people will become
involved as spectators or racers as a result
of my coverage. Enjoy