MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin -
Sunday, August 1, 2004
Everyone knew it was only a matter of time, but few expected two in one
weekend. Two checkered flags for the #7 Lucas Oil Scarab. Two sweet first
place victories in two days of racing at the APBA GMC Milwaukee Offshore
Thousands of race fans lined the Veterans Park waterfront, some close enough
to feel the spray when the raceboats rounded inner turns on the 4.8 mile
liquid track at Milwaukee Bay, with Veterans Park on one side and the Lake
Michigan breakwater on the other.
Waiting for all eight boats to line up at the start, the pace boat finally
let the green flag fly half-way down the long straightaway. This gave the
boats little time to sort out a running order before the first turn. The #18
Donzi and the #7 Lucas Oil Scarab were running neck and neck and no more
than a few feet apart. By the left hand turns at the top of the course, both
boats were still rub-rail to rub-rail with #18 on the inside line.
Heading back towards Veterans Park, #7 Lucas Oil Scarab and #18 Donzi were
flying. The winds were blowing over 20 mph, and a change in wind direction
had stirred up the waters. Turn Six was a right-hander. "That was the
hairiest part of the race," said Nick Pavlichek, throttleman for #7 Lucas
Oil Scarab. "There was scarcely enough room to hold our line, but I wasn't
backing off either, we had a nose ahead and we all knew whoever established
an overlap would win the race."
On the left-hand Turns One and Two, the #7 was a bow length ahead but on the
outside. The #18 held a tight line on Turn One and swept wide on Turn
Two-forcing Lucas Oil to dart inside, taking a full blast of rooster tail.
"Switching to the inside wasn't our plan at that moment, but it was our only
choice to stay on terms," said Nigel Hook, Captain of the #7 Lucas Oil
Scarab. "We took advantage of it, though, and used it to turn the tables. By
the time were round the top end again we had pulled a lead enough to chose
our own line through the corners."
Once firmly established, #7 Lucas Oil Scarab extended the lead, lap by lap,
to over 13 seconds at the checkered flag. "There's probably no other team I
would feel comfortable with while racing so close at over 100 mph in choppy
water, especially flying around left and right hand turns. Ken and Scott are
true professionals and race to win every time, " said Hook.
In talking to journalist David Coleman of the Milwaukee Sentinel after
receiving the 1st Place award, Hook expressed his concern over the
unforgiving boundaries of the race course. Although he said of course this
was overshadowed by the glory of beating the number one boat in the country,
the #18 Donzi driven by Ken Bowman and throttled by Scott Conrad.
"We've come so close in past races-in the Port Huron race we missed beating
them by 2 seconds at the end of the race," said Hook. "But here on
Saturday's first place win we led the race from green flag to checkered
flag. Sunday's win was different. That was the real battle. Clearly the
Donzi Team was determined to not lose their crown twice in a row."
GMC, the title sponsor of the APBA GMC Pro Grade Series, made this Milwaukee
Offshore Grand Prix their premier event, with 500 GMC guests and employees
present. APBA enhanced the experience by running the Super Vee class race on
both Saturday and Sunday, giving the #7 Lucas Oil Scarab this unusual
opportunity to win two checkered flags in one weekend.
The next race for the #7 Lucas Oil Team will be August 8 in Washington,
The team wants to thank the primary sponsor Lucas Oil (www.lucasoil.com
<http://www.lucasoil.com>) for their continued support and excellence in
their lubricants, which keep the ship humming. Lucas Oil lubricates the
brilliant Weismann Surface Drives and transmissions (www.weismann.net
<http://www.weismann.net>), which have proven to be indestructible.
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