Marathon, Florida -
Sunday, May 16th, 2004:
"One of the toughest race courses" commented Nigel Hook about the
5.5 mile race track with 6 left-hand turns and one right-hander. "After
taking the 90 degree right-hand corner at full speed, you're heading
straight to the left-hand corner in treacherous water under the seven mile
Marathon, mid-way down in the lovely Florida Keys, has been hosting
offshore powerboat racing for over twelve years and their welcome was clear
during the boat parade through the town. The weather was 85F in temperature,
cooled down by stiff winds. Seas conditions on the Gulf side were calm.
Forty-three race boats registered for the first race in the APBA GMC
Pro Grade National Series, with television coverage on Fox Sports Network.
Eight Super Vee race boats lined up in the first row for the start of the
12:00 pm race on Sunday.
Jumping to early lead with blasting acceleration was #30 Miccosukee
Indian Gaming with Brett Lee Furshman and Troy Hannon. To the inside was the
#18 Donzi, driven by Ken Bowen and Scott Conrad, and to the outside was the
#7 Lucas Oil driven by Nigel Hook and Nick Pavlicheck.
"I could see the eyes of the #59 Donzi throttleman Michael Flanigan,
as they ran right into us from starboard rear side", said Nick Pavlichek in
the #7 Lucas Oil. The ram from the rookie team of Michael Flanigan and Alan
Green in the #59 Donzi knocked Lucas Oil into third place, and the lead pack
rounded the first two left-hand corners in tight procession.
Heading into the first right-hand corner, turn #3, again the Michael
and Alan pair tried to challenge to the #7 Lucas Oil by cutting inside only
to spin out of control. The Donzi eventually retired from the race and to
make their day worse their driving maneuvers were penalized by the Chief
As the leading pack turned in to run parallel along side the famous
bridge a cannon fired and fireworks lit up the bright sunny sky. It was now
Bowen and Conrad in the #18 boat edging past the Miccosukee Indian Gaming
pair of Fursham and Hannon with the #7 Lucas Oil in hot pursuit.
"Once we got clobbered from behind and with the two quickest boats
in the class on the inside lanes, third was actually not a bad place to be,"
commented Nigel Hook, Captain of Lucas Oil. "We fought hard to make up
ground so we could have a chance to pass for second and first place, but it
was tricky on such a road course. We would make up seconds and then lost
more coming up on slow traffic being lapped."
In the biggest class and most competitive race of the day, the #7
Lucas Oil took third-place. "In the money and on the podium - we're pretty
happy with the result", declared Nick Pavlichek in only his fourth race with
Saturday, May 15th, 2004:
Over 30 race boats competed in the Performance and Outlaw Class
races. The unique aspect of the Performance Class racing is that the top
speed is capped and verified by a sealed onboard GPS.
The Lucas Oil team entered the #7 boat as #P2-7 in Performance 2.
This class is limited to a maximum speed of 99.9 mph. The challenge is to
select the propellers and gear ratios such that this speed is never
"This really shifts all the emphasis to driving skills", said Nigel
Hook, "although lets not take anything away from the Throttleman who has to
make sure we get the most acceleration and speed without getting a penalty
for exceeding the limit for the class". At the end of the race the #P2-7
Lucas Oil came closest to the mark recording 99.8 mph. The next closest
competitor was over two miles per hour off the target.
The action persisted for this entire race with positions changing
almost every lap, turn buoys breaking loose and all within such close
proximity to the fans on shore.
This was the first race for the new TV production company led by
Gary Scott. The race will be aired on national TV on FOX SPORTS NETWORK,
with air dates on the weekend and late Friday afternoons. The recording crew
filmed the Lucas Oil Captain Nigel Hook passing the annual dunker safety
test for enclosed cockpit boats and interviewed Nigel specifically on the
unique configuration of the #7 race boat. "Lucas Oil has always been
recognized for their innovation on the leading edge of technology and this
boat is no exception", said Nigel. "Utilizing the Weismann surface drives
and transmissions we are able to mount both engines facing each other in the
boat. This neutralizes the immense torque of the Mercury 525 Racing Engines
and also allows the engines to sit a foot lower in the boat compared to the
competition, drastically improving handling and safety." Nigel went on to
describe how this technology was originally designed for high-speed military
watercraft and is now being pioneered further in the grueling racing arena.
Nick is CEO of the Alton Company, which has been maintaining the #7
Lucas Oil. See www.altonco.com > for information
about his custom truck manufacturing company. Nick's leadership and
perfection for the mechanicals has resulted in his company's success and is
showing in the flawless record of the race team.
The team wants to thank the primary sponsor Lucas Oil 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 ), which have
proven to be indestructible and also the incredibly reliable Mercury 525
Nick and Nigel wish to thank to onshore crew that keeps on
performing an outstanding feat of making this team successful and retaining
such a high profile for its sponsors: Dean Henne, Keli and Richard Gunn,
John and Adam Hanas, Tony Wiese and Janet Wilson.
The RaceWater (www.racewater.com team
couldn't run without the support and superb products from the following
* Mastercraft Seats - the finest, off-road and
* ALCOA Wheels - Hot Forged Aluminum Wheels for the
truck, trailer and motorhome
* GOODYEAR TIRE AND RUBBER Commercial and Consumer
Divisions - truck, trailer and motorhome tires
* KODIAK trailer disc brakes - stainless steel disc
brakes for the trailer
* Active Technologies - patented ActiBrake electric
over hydraulic trailer brake actuator
* PPG - paint for the trailer and the raceboat
* hosenow.com - custom hoses and belts for the "new"