We may have very well had our most exciting, challenging and hard
fought trophy of our careers this past weekend. It started with a few days of
rain which not only turned the pits into a mud hole (Missouri clay can be quite
slippery) but canceled any chances at qualifying. That part wasn't too bad because we ended up #1 due to our current points lead. Sunday the skies cleared and on to eliminations we went with a much needed first round win over the "E-3 Spark Plugs" sponsored boat. That helped to increase our points lead for the championship!
What was to follow on that race is what makes this story so interesting. The boat erupts into flames near the finish line and burns the parachutes off the boat. Daryl was able to get it stopped just before the beach but the fire didn't quit. The fuel tank split the seams and filled the boat with nitro which caught the fiberglass, wiring and anything else that could burn ablaze and after using every fire bottle that rescue had to offer, it seemed the fire was out and everyone okay. However the excitement was not quite over - when the jet-ski started to tow the boat to the out ramp the fire re-lit and the boat was smoldering again... When you hear the announcer call for a fire truck to the ramp at a boat race you start to WORRY!! Fortunately our rescue team is a pretty smart bunch and after what seemed like an eternity, they finally had to sink the boat to put the fire out. Now we not only have a severely charred boat but a soggy one to boot. When they returned the ol' girl to the pits our hearts sunk.... everything that could be burned was toast. All the wiring, computer, ignition, starter, and hoses were done as well as the fuel tank and lines. The silver lining was that it didn't appear that we hurt the engine. Our first thoughts are always that the engine started the fire, and to be honest we're still not sure why it caught on fire. Now here's when you really test your fortitude and will to win - the team jumped into high gear and stripped her down to bare bones .We tore everything out of the
boat and started from scratch, Eddie's orders to the guys were "just make it start and make it stop", we're goin' "old school " for the final round (fortunately after our first round win, we had a bye into the final)!!!! Who needs all of those stinkin' electronics anyhow, just more stuff to burn!! Fortunately we had loaded a spare fuel tank before we hit the tour and got very lucky there. The boys were thrashing, sweating and I'm pretty sure we were all bleeding before this was over but we made it to the in ramp with just minutes to spare and took out the Lucas Oil Speed Sport Special (our arch rival and #2 in points.) for the trophy with a 3.60 et at 246 MPH.
This story is not over yet I'm afraid.....after a great launch and what seemed to be a perfect run, fire once again was trailing the boat and once again our hearts sunk like a rock. A header had broken off during the run and 1,000 of the 8,000 h.p. was chewing up the side of the boat as she went by. This caused the boat to pull severely and Madd Maxx had his hands full through the traps finally coming to rest on the rocky shore at the end of the track. This was was a little bitty fire compared to the last one, but the rocks weren't too friendly to the bottom of the boat or the propellers and underwater hardware. Our competition did a submarine job off the starting line and disappeared for a moment, all was good with them minus another soggy boat. With this third win in a row and four straight final rounds we are currently in the 510 points in the lead for the championship (1 round equals 100 points). With only 6 rounds of competition left in the season, we need just one round win to clinch the championship, but we plan on winning them all!
A huge thank you to all our sponsors, fans, friends, and family for your continued support of EKR and it's "Problem Children". We will rebuild as best we can and keep hammering the competition.....The 2012 "Repeat Offenders" tour rolls on!!!!
Next stop is San Diego Bayfair September 14-16th. Also, make note that this Wheatland race will air on CBS Saturday, September 22nd at 11am PST. Be sure to set your DVR's!!