It's sunny, I'm in Tri-Cities, and Andy has "Thunderstruck" cranked up on the main computer. Along the little chunk of river we know as HydroTown, all is right with the world.
Good morning, Tri-Cities. It feels good to be home – just in time for the 2008 edition of the Columbia Cup. As Andy very astutely pointed out, this is the closest I have come to missing the show in my life. Even back in 1999, when I was hospitalized for food poisoning on Friday morning, I was still back down in the pits by Saturday evening. Not so this time.
Boats have been tentatively hitting the waters this morning, but a stiff breeze is making everybody conservative. We're off to a good start already, with the biggest field of unlimiteds seen this season, and an unlimited light fleet that rivals the largest numbers of the year as well. It's going to be a terrific race once the wind lays down a little.
Congratulations to Dave Villwock, Steve David and Jimmy King, who all won heat races yesterday. Kudos especially go out to Villwock, who is continuing his winning ways in his first race of the season, and King, who has struggled all season long in the U-3.
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Jerry Hopp, Michael Flaherty and the amazing J. Craig Fletcher all traded wins in the Unlimited Lights heats yesterday. Fletcher especially impresses me, grabbing the first win of his short carreer in Polson, Mont. last weekend. Fletcher picked up the former WildFire and UL-33 Graham Trucking hull over the off season, and his program has really been boosted by the effort.
I'll be covering the racing action all day, and keeping you updated. Look for more updates soon!