H1 Unlimited decided to do the draws Friday night for Saturday’s first two heats of the HAPO APBA Gold Cup.
The lineup for Heat 1A, set for 2:30 p.m., includes the 96, 11, 7, 9, 21 and 18.
Heat 1B, scheduled for 3 p.m., will have the 1, 3, 5, 22 and 27.
All preliminary heat races in the Gold Cup will be four laps.
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The 12 and 100 still have to get their drivers certified. They will get those chances during testing from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
If they qualify, they will be added to the first two heats.
• Patrick Sankuer is the rookie driver for the U-12 Miss DiJulio this year. He has raced Grand Nationals before, but the U-12 is bigger in size.
“The biggest difference is the inertia from the weight,” Sankuer said. “The visibility is better in the unlimited, though. I have a much smaller window in my Grand National.”
Kevin Eacret, who is the rookie driver for the U-100 Grill on Gage presents Miss Carstar, understands Sankuer’s feelings.
“I’m feeling good,” Eacret said. “It’s the first time I’ve ever been in this boat. They’re both super fast boats. The Grand Prixs that I’ve driven are a lot lighter. It’s like going from a Cadillac to a go-kart. You’re moving in these things.
“But until you go into the turns in these things, that’s when you feel the g-forces.”
Eacret must complete four more laps at 130 mph or better in qualifying, and he becomes certified.
Sankuer has six in, and he needs nine more laps.
• Friday’s fan teaser of the unlimiteds’ Dash For Cash originally had J. Michael Kelly winning in the U-5 Graham Trucking.
But an N2 violation disqualified him, giving the win to the U-1 Oberto and Jimmy Shane.
All four participants were given $2,000.
• One reason that qualifying speeds weren’t high, said H1 Unlimited chairman Steve David, was that his new tech inspectors, Dan Walters and John Walters (no relation) went through the boats Thursday and found a lot of violations that needed fixing.
David said the teams received warnings and that the next incident would come with penalties.
“That’s why the speeds were lower,” David said.
• Jimmy King knows where he was when he found out that he would drive the U-3 Griggs presents Miss Ace Hardware in a competitive race for the first time in six years.
“We were in Valleyfield, Quebec, two weeks ago, and I was racing there,” King said. “I won, and I was more excited about driving this boat again. This is one of the best things ever to drive.”
• Here’s the longest named boat for the weekend: The U-21 Fasteners of Washington Idaho Montana presents Lakeridge Paving and Windy River Meats.
• The actual Gold Cup made it into Columbia Park on Friday.
It was brought by car as far as possible into the west end, then hauled in a four-wheeler with an armed patrol of police and state troopers, who were all smiles and posing with the steel case that held the cup.
It was brought to an undisclosed part of the east end of the park.