Oberto team has perfect Columbia Cup weekend

Tri-City HeraldJuly 29, 2013 

One day after driving the 1 Oh Boy! Oberto to the 48th Lamb Weston Columbia Cup, Steve David called it a perfect weekend.

“Even though we got second in that third heat, that all was a process to learn for the final,” said David.

He was referring to Sunday’s heat 3A, in which Jimmy Shane in the 5 Graham Trucking got the inside lane at the start and held David off for the win.

“I didn’t nail that start,” admitted David. “Otherwise I think we could have won that heat too. If I’m outside of Jimmy, I can beat him as long as I can nail the start. He has to be inside of me to win.”

David praised the Oberto team, which worked hard all weekend to give him a fast raceboat.

“They just did work so hard,” he said. “We used every gearbox combination we have over the whole weekend. And they never complained once.”

While David loves to win in the Tri-Cities, he said this week’s Seafair race is incredibly important to the Oberto team.

The boat’s homeport is in Madison, Ind., but the team’s sponsor, Oberto, is based in Seattle.

And 85-year-old Art Oberto, the patriarch of the family, has rested up this past week so he can be in attendance.

“NASCAR has its Daytona, and IndyCar has its Indy 500,” said David. “The Tri-Cities is super important to Oberto. But Seattle is big to us.”

Lake Washington comes across as a tougher course than the Columbia River.

“Your track is faster, but really only turns 1 and 2 are tough,” David said. “Seattle is just rough. You have to be light to fly and be level.”

But Oberto has had success recently in Seattle.

“We’ve won three in a row, and four out of the last six,” he said.

The points race for the season is still pretty tight.

Unofficially, David and Oberto lead with 6,315 points coming out of the Columbia Cup.

Shane and Graham are next at 6,082.

In essence, Shane only lost 50 points after the weekend was done.

With three races remaining — Seattle, Coeur d’Alene and San Diego — things are still up in the air.

PRESIDENT HAPPY WITH WEEKEND: Water Follies President Mike Denslow was happy with the way the weekend turned out in Columbia Park.

“I was really impressed that we stayed so close on schedule, even though we had two flips,” said Denslow. “That goes back to the volunteers being prepared — the rescue team, water ops and the pits operations. We had a lot of positive comments.”

The undercard was strong too.

“The Grand Prix West boats put on a great show,” said Denslow. “They finished 22 of 24 boats in all of their heat races, with a ton of deck-to-deck. Personally, it reminds me of that automotive sound. It reminds me of the old days.”

When there was thunder in the thunderboats.

Denslow was also impressed with the 1-Liter boats.

“They were a success as well,” he said. “They were competitive, and almost every team had some relation to the unlimiteds. Like Nick Bononcini is the brother-in-law of Jimmy Shane, and Kayleigh Mallory is the sister of Brian Perkins. This is where those guys race a lot of those weekends when they’re not racing unlimiteds.”

It’s how many unlimited drivers started out.

“This is the biggest crowd, venue and track they run all year,” Denslow said. “We try to educate our crowd that these guys run at other places.”

Denslow also confirmed that many people who worked the Water Follies this year may be up helping the Coeur d’Alene people on Labor Day weekend.

“That’s the plan right now,” he said. “We’re working up a number. They asked for our rescue and water ops. They asked for a number what it cost. We been working with (organizer) Doug Miller for the last two years.”

Denslow said everyone wants Coeur d’Alene to succeed so it’s not a one-and-done event.

“Logistically, they have some challenges,” he said. “They don’t have the natural setting for a race course that we have here.”

MALLOW TALKS ABOUT RESIGNATION: Ryan Mallow said he doesn’t regret resigning as the 100 Central Coast Airbrush driver on Sunday morning.

“There wasn’t a doubt in my mind about it before the boat hit the water,” said Mallow. “Safety has always been a concern.”

Mallow was upset that Kelly Stocklin was put in the position of substitute driving for him Sunday, and even more upset when Kelly flipped the boat.

It was the second time in as many races the boat went over.

“I’m so glad Kelly is okay!” said Mallow in a Facebook post Sunday. “But I am so pissed this happened ... again!”

On Monday, Mallow said it wasn’t just about safety — although that’s a big part of it.

“My issues for resigning from driving the boat, weren’t so much just safety as the direction of the program,” he told the Herald. “That encompasses safety, performance, leadership. I just feel like I’m making the best decision for me personally and what I think may be a long career in boat racing.”

Mallow would love to drive an unlimited again some day.

“My plan is to pursue every possible option,” he said. “I already went down the unlimited roster, looking to see what they have. Teams I could fit with, in any role. I love the sport and I want to continue in it.

"I’ll still be active with my 1-liter,” he continued. “My decision I made? I don’t regret it one bit. I thought long and hard about it.”

Columbia Cup results

Qualifying

1 Oh Boy! Oberto, Steve David, 158.766 mph, 100 points

9 Team RedDOT, Jon Zimmerman, 155.089, 80

95 Spirit of Qatar, Kip Brown, 154.424, 70

37 Beacon Plumbing, J. Michael Kelly, 151.778, 60

5 Graham Trucking, Jimmy Shane, 151.339, 50

11 Peters & May, Tommy Thompson, 150.155, 40

57 FEDCO, Mark Evans, 148.109, 30

14 Miss DiJulio, Greg Hopp, 147.087, 30

21 Go Fast, Turn Left, Brian Perkins, 143.963, 30

22 PayneWest, Mike Webster, 130.000, 0

100 Central Coast, Kelly Stocklin, 130.000, 0

Heat 1A

1. 5 Graham Trucking, Shane, 145.172, 400 points

2. 9 Team RedDOT, Zimmerman, 142.351, 300

3. 57 FEDCO, Evans, 138.217, 225

4. 11 Peters & May, Thompson, 128.303, 169

5. 21 Go Fast, Turn Left, Jamie Nilsen, 125.353, 127

Heat 1B

1. 1 Oh Boy! Oberto, David, 148.313, 400

2. 95 Spirit of Qatar, Brown, 145.822, 300

3. 37 Beacon Plumbing, Kelly, 143.438, 225

4. 14 Miss DiJulio, Hopp, 128.152, 169

5. 22 PayneWest, Webster, 108.128, 127

DNS, 100 Central Coast, Mallow

Heat 2A

1. 1 Oh Boy! Oberto, David, 142.222, 400

2. 9 Team RedDOT, Zimmerman, 139.456, 300

3. 11 Peters & May, Thompson, 135.242, 225

4. 57 FEDCO, Evans, 134.265, 169

5. 22 PayneWest, Webster, 125.718, 127

DSQ, 100 Central Coast, Kelly Stocklin, 111.938, 0

Heat 2B

1. 5 Graham Trucking, Shane, 147.377, 400

2. 95 Spirit of Qatar, Brown, 140.043, 300

3. 21 Go Fast, Turn Left, Perkins, 136.331, 225

4. 14 Miss DiJulio, Hopp, 134.234, 169

DNS, 37 Beacon Plumbing, Kelly

Heat 3A

1. 5 Graham Trucking, Shane, 148.67, 400

2. 1 Oh Boy! Oberto, David, 147.869, 300

3. 9 Team RedDOT, Zimmerman, 137.557, 225

4. 21 Go Fast, Turn Left, Perkins, 128.028, 169

5. 14 Miss DiJulio, Hopp, 130.553, 127

Heat 3B

1. 95 Spirit of Qatar, Brown, 144.378, 400

2. 11 Peters & May, Thompson, 142.134, 300

3. 57 FEDCO, Evans, 140.934, 225

4. 22 PayneWest, Webster, 131.552, 169

DNF, 100 Central Coast, Stocklin

Final

1. 1 Oh Boy! Oberto, David, 147.654, 400

2. 5 Graham Trucking, Shane, 147.179, 300

3. 9 Team RedDOT, Zimmerman, 136.505, 225

4. 57 FEDCO, Evans, 135.421, 169

5. 11 Peters & May, Thompson, 125.413, 127

6. 21 Go Fast, Turn Left, Perkins, 116.873, 95

7. 95 Spirit of Qatar, Brown, 133.467, 71

Accumulated Points after Columbia Cup

1 Oh Boy! Oberto, Steve David, 1600

5 Graham Trucking, Jimmy Shane, 1550

95 Spirit of Qatar, Kip Brown, 1141

9 Team RedDOT, Jon Zimmerman, 1130

21 Go Fast, Turn Left, Brian Perkins, 1046

11 Peters & May, Tommy Thompson, 861

57 FEDCO, Mark Evans, 818

22 PayneWest Insurance, Mike Webster, 817

14 Miss DiJulio, Greg Hopp, 795

37 Miss Beacon Plumbing. J. Michael Kelly, 285

100 Central Coast Airbrush, Ryan Mallow, 0

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