Dave Villwock and J. Michael Kelly huddled together in Lampson Pits on Friday.
Villwock would draw something up on the top of an oil drum, and Kelly would listen and then discuss it with him.
Meet the new team: The former driving great and the young veteran driver who came just a few feet from earning his first victory last season at the Columbia Cup.
For Villwock, its a chance for him to help a team get untracked.
Things didnt end so well in the 2012 H1 Unlimited season for Dave Villwock, the winningest unlimited hydroplane driver of all time with 67 victories.
In January in Doha, Qatar, Villwock had two disqualifications and one failure to start in his U-96 Spirit of Qatar boat. Then, in his last heat, Villwock caught a roller that flew the boat, causing it to hit the water hard enough that it broke the motor mounts and starting a fire.
The fire damage was enough that team manager Erick Ellstrom made the decision to shut things down for the 2013 season until he could get the boat fixed.
Villwock announced his retirement as a driver a few months later.
But boat racing gets in your blood and its hard to get out.
Billy and Jane Schumacher knew that. So they hired Villwock as a consultant for their 37 Beacon Plumbing team.
It started when Dave went over to Moses Lake earlier this year and asked J. Michael if he planned on staying with the team, said Jane Schumacher. J. Michael said yes, and he told us what Dave asked. We put in a call to Dave immediately and asked if hed like to work with us.
What else am I gonna do? said Villwock. Were just having fun.
Its been really good, she said. He gets along with everyone and interfaces with the team quite well. (Villwocks wife) Holly and I have become best friends.
And Kelly has taken advantage of the arrangement.
I dont think you could ask for a better set-up guy, said Kelly. To have him on my team coaching is great. You kind of have to take any advice he gives, hes done so much. I have picked up a lot of stuff from him.
But before Villwock became a great driver, he was one of the better crew chiefs around.
People forget hes been a great crew chief with the Circus Circus and Pico, said Jane Schumacher.
And he was team manager while driving for those great Budweiser teams.
So hes been working with the 37 crew on getting more speed out of the boat.
Weve gained speed, said Villwock. Its just a bunch of little set-up things.
Part of it is equipment, some of it old.
Right now were using an old propellor that I think was used to hold a door open, Villwock joked. But I think Bill Cahill (the owner of Beacon Plumbing) wants to commit more money.
Jane Schumacher confirmed that.
Were on board for three more years with Beacon, she said.
Which gives the team more time to jell.
Dave doesnt want to completely change me, Kelly said. I can still be myself. But Im basically a big sponge. Hes taught me a lot of stuff.
Its been a process.
Before, J. Michael had an uncontrollable boat ride, said Villwock. Were trying. Its faster. J. Michael is trying to listen, and doing a good job. Were chewing away at a lot of things.
And everyone on the Beacon Plumbing team seems happy.
We like him, said Jane Schumacher. He doesnt have the pressure of driving anymore. I thinks hes enjoyed this.