Greg Hopp will pull double-duty this weekend, driving the U-100 Mirageboats.com and the UL-15 Graham Trucking GT-Happy Go Lucky presents Pump Tech of Moses Lake. It's the first time anybody will do that this year.
Hopp has driven the UL-15 in four races already this year, and the U-100 in two others. At Madison, the bottom of the U-100 buckled on him.
"I knew the bottom was broken at Madison," he said. "I could feel it. I started as trailer boat and caught the U-50 Spirit of the Navy in the Madison final. We both hit a hole and ended up facing each other at 150 mph. We got it straightened out, but I hit that same hole the next time around.
"This time the bottom buckled," he said. "At that point I was afraid for my life ... and my family jewels. The safety hatch didn't give way, but it bent enough that water was coming through. I had my hand on the escape hatch and was ready to pull it. I wasn't going to get cleaned out like that."
As for driving two boats this weekend, "it's a lot of driving. I'm involved in setups with both boats. When Monday comes around I'll be worthless. It never fails too. They always put both of my boats at opposite ends of the pits. I have to do a lot of running."
Hopp works for Boeing as a member of the 767 wing crew.
"They probably don't like me now," he said. "I get all of my vacation in April, I work three days a week, and all of my vacation is gone by October. Then Boeing owns me all winter long."