Round 1 of USTS at PLEASANT PRAIRIE. The Competition this weekend was as hot as the weather, both days in the 90’s which was about 40 degrees warmer than a couple of years ago this weekend. We had a great turnout of drivers, spectators and crews and our thanks to Pete and Kelly Nydahl for all the hard work in putting this together.
Our first class up was K-Pro last two heats as Brady Brinkman and Cooper Thompson had a spirited battle in the 3rd heat with Brady taking it by a ½ boat length. That set up a win overall for Brady as he put his mark on the 2018 season as he prepares to defend his 2017 National Championship. Cooper found enough speed and a great start to take the 4th heat over all. Hudson Gryskiewizc of Loveland, Co, in his first competition ever did an outstanding job. His starts became better and better over the 4 heats and was a factor in the 4th heat. Congrats to Brady and welcome aboard Hudson, grandson of Pete and son of Jared.
700R was up next and Andrew Thrilby told the boys that 2018 is ready to take all comers. He won the 500R class yesterday and came back and took the two heat wins for the 700R crown as well. Driving a completely new look for the Thirlby boats, Andrew is paying tribute to Grand Pa Ed this year sans the traditional green paint for a clear/Black trim combo as Grand Pa Ed used to run. So much so that he took Ed’s number of M-16 for this year as well. Well done young man, well done. He of course was not the only boat out there as the venerable Pete Voss showing that NY leg picked of the 2nd spot, while Joe Franck, in just his second year of 700R, finished in the third spot on the podium. Austin Van Over was unable to run the 1st heat, but came back for a 2nd in the 2nd heat.
Can we say Brad Dygert 3 times real fast, because that was what he was in all three heats to take the title and begin his defense of his 2017 crown. Lyndsay McGrath had all sorts of issues with the pipe breaking in one heat, and loading up for awhile in another, but clearly had speed and finished on the podium in second. Lyndsay is quite the track start in her home town as well as she was voted the hardest working team member at her school Congrats Lyndsay. Brianna Payn continues to improve every race and finished in the 3rd spot.
10 250H’s hit the water and do I mean hit it, nonstop action on every straightway and every corneeer. Zack Larose in the first heat came up with about 5 others in a pack at the start with the inside line. He went through the first turn and exploded out of the corner with the lead and was never headed the rest of the heat. This was the same boat and engine combo that Zack blew over testing on Friday, but the Larose family clearly know their stuff as they say. He clearly had speed on all the other boats. Eric Schmidt never gave up and pulled away from the rest as well in that heat.
In the 2nd heat, as the milling was going on, Chris Hellsten and Zack came up to the first turn with Chris inside of Zack, I don’t think Zack saw him until too late as Zack and Chris bumped at pretty good speed and Zack got airborne, but got it back down, but the engine loaded up and he found himself sitting toward the first turn watching Eric Schmidt go on to victory in the second heat. Amy Nydahl was following for 2nd and finished behind Eric, but she was not going to be denied a heat win and promptly went out and scorched the field in the 3rdheat. Pete Kelly drove a great steady 3 heats, always competitive and finished on the podium in 3rd.
Can we say Brad Dygert 3X’s fast once again as he will have won 6 heats in a row between 125r and 175H as he begins defense of that title as well. Jon Wienandt who took a year off from the fray is back with us again and doing great and finished 2nd to Brad. Wonderful to have Jon back with us once again. Shannon Chance was not going to let her daughter Lyndsay show her up as she did a great job and finished on the podium in the 3rd spot. However Lyndsay, remind Mom that you took a silver medal this weekend to ………LOL Congrats to you both.
1100H was up next with Eric Van Over at the wheel of the Thrilby Pugh capsule entry went out and won the first heat after having won the 2nd heat yesterday and looked like he might take all the marbles for the weekend in his first time ever in a capsule. Ah, but the gremlins can grab you anytime and unfortunately he ended up sitting in he bottom turn watching Dan Kirts win another one of his many races in his career. Dan has won over 40 National Championships, and 3 world Titles to his name and has a legacy in boat racing other than those with son Jim and Grandson Andy, and Nephew Tom all racing as well. Congrats to you Dan. David Hooten was not going to be denied a win in a heat nor was he gong be denied the podium as he won the last heat and finished 2nd overall and Eric took home the 3rdspot.
350R was our last class of the day and up to that point, no one had hit the water on Sunday. Unfortunately at the start of the first heat a gaggle of the guys were coming up for the start and some bumping occurred and Dave Anderson was thrown from his boat and suffered a gash to one of his hands. We red flagged the heat and started all over. Tim Small was not going to be denied a good run this weekend as he had issues on Saturday in both the 500R and 250R classes. He promptly went out and won the first two heats with JJ Walls, defending 2017 Champ in the Brinkman entry, finishing a close second. Tim had the inside in both heats and JJ just could not get around him. JJ was not going to be denied a heat win and scored a convincing victory in the 3rd heat. It must have been an interesting ride home for Mike and Rich Krier as they tied on points for the 3rd spot on the podium with Mike winning on time.
Again my thanks to Sue and her crew at the judges stand, Todd, Big Pal, Paul Bosnich, Rick Jedwabny and of course Pete and Kelly Nydahl. We look forward to seeing you al at Springfield the last weekend in June.
- Andy Kirts sent me a note to let you know that he is doing well and up and walking after Surgery Saturday evening on his wound to the leg from his accident in 500R. Andy get well soon my man, we want you back, great competitor.
Photo gallery can be seen by clicking on the link in the Twitter card
— Raceday Live 🏁 (@HydroRacerTV) May 29, 2018