USTS 2016 Season opener post race wrap up by Ray Rodda

“My favorite answer to people who ask, “How did the races go?” EVERYONE WENT HOME from the race site. That is a wonderful feeling. Oh, and we had a blast and witnessed some great racing besides that”

Photo Credit Doug Schultz

I cannot tell you how gracious a host the Lake Alfred Lion’s Club has been to the USTS and the friendships continue to deepen each year with some really wonderful people as our hosts. Rita, Dave and their Son Steve and his Son Hunter were everywhere this weekend. From the meet and greet Friday evening to the BBQ dinner Saturday, it was top shelf.
And did I mention we had a race there as well???? 
Well our youngsters kicked off the day on Sunday, that there wind was still a blow’en but with the changes we made in the course it all worked to the advantage of the drivers and the crowd. 
As the first heat started, we took a look at the tapes and oops, we did not have a legal boat amongst them. So the red flag came to bear and we called them off the course and give them two more chances to get it right, which MacKenzie Hellsten got more than right. She picked up where she left off in 2015, after winning the USTS Nationals and the USTS High Point Championship, she promptly ran the table in the other two heats for the win. Brianna Payn did a great job coming from the back in one of the heats that counted took the second spot, with the only young man of the five drivers, Rex Bayer, took the 3rd spot.

Mackenzie
Brianna
Rex

Photo Credit Doug Schultz

250H came up next and what a donnybrook this turned out to be. Chris Hellsten took the first heat, Amy Nydahl finishing second, then Amy the second heat and Chris finished second. So tied on points for the third heat they both promptly jumped the gun for no points in the 3rd heat. Tied on points, Pete Kelley had jumped in another heat, and JP Jedwabny was unable to finish in a heat. That left it to the stop watches and Amy not only won on time, but her win in her heat set the fastest time. Both JP and Pete have to be very happy with their new Bud Gann built hydro’s to finish 3rd and 4th in the field.

Amy
Chris
Pete

Photo Credit Doug Schultz

Next up was the 350R and everyone was chasing Tim Small in the first two heats. Yesterday in the 250R, Tim never finished a heat and changed everything there is to change in the ignition to try resolve the issue, but to no avail. Then he went out this morning and ran a couple of test laps in the 350 and low and behold, it stopped again. Tim looking back at the motor, turned the cap on the fuel tank, and uh oh, no sound came out and the problem was solved by putting new tank in and run away in the first two heats. Brian Payn chased him in the first two heats, until in the 3rd, this great young man out of Center Point, Ia took home the 3rd heat with a win. 
One of my favorite things when I think about Brian was at Depue. A young man had a bike that the handle bars were lose and he bit the ground in front of Brian as he was walking up the hill toward the Depue Men’s Club shelter. He stopped and helped the young man up, went and got a couple of tools. Instead of just doing it, Brian taught the young man how to tighten it up himself and the pride in that youngster was priceless. But I digress
Tim 
Brian
Rich Krier

125R came up next with a really fun race for Bradley Dygert of Bristol, In, hmmmm, is there another racing family from Bristol, Hirts, Flirts, No Danny Kirts that’s who. Well it did not come easily, as Brianna Payn, racing for the first time in the 125R they purchased ran a great race. Andrew and Brad diced it out in the third heat with Andrew leading up until the top turn of lap 4, when Brad got by him and took the overall win. 
A wonderful tradition in boat racing was promptly executed when Brad came back to the pits as Ben Thompson tackled Brad and gave him a good dunking. Congrats Brad.
Brad Dygert
Andrew Thirlby
Brianna Payn

Well next up was the 500R with 9 of them hitting the water and Kurtis Nydahl looking to double up after winning the 350H crown yesterday and get one up on sister Amy. Well Kurt ran off and hid in the first two heats with tremendous speed out of that Thirlby Automotive, Mike Thirlby wrenched runabout. David Hooten started an odyssey of jacket changes, as for the first time in my recollection he was in runabout, and pointed the nose to the sky in the first turn, but was able to get it back down and continued on. RC Hawie and Derek Gesler were his nemesis, but Kurtis had too much for them to reel him in. 
However, Kurtis found himself sitting on the beach with an engine problem in the 3rd heat and it was Derek Gesler’s turn to run off and hide. However with gun jumping and engine troubles, Kurtis 800 points was enough to take the title.

Kurtis
RC Hawie
Derek

In the 1100H first heat, David Hooten had to jump out of the Runabout change the life jacket and climb in the capsule and off he went with the win in the first heat by a good margin over Amy Nydahl, Jim Wright, and Ike Yoder and took home her second title of the weekend to match up with brother Kurtis.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Kelly Nydahl and her family as Kelly’s Mother went home to He who sent her to the earth. Bless you and your family Kelly
The last of the day belonged to the 175H with not only Amy and Kurtis doubling up, but all the way down from Candia, NH, Bob Cronin took home the 175’s with 3 perfect heat wins. Wow, was he flying. David Tenney and Jon Wienandt rounded out the top three. 
Tara Cook and Austin Van Over came to join the USTS and both did quite well in their debut, especially Austin who won the 700R yesterday in the Thirlby Automotive entry.

Again on behalf of the USTS, we thank the Lake Alfred Lion’s Club, the Race for Kids, with Gary Levin and Bill Hosler, doing yeoman’s work to put this together. Our thanks also to Polk County Sports and Marketing for their support as well. Can’t say enough about the USTS team that makes this sing, thanks to you all.

Ray

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