Day one had a hurdle of its own to face, the weather. The rain delayed part of the performances, but it did not stop the show from going on. Continue reading below to find out about day one highlights.
Without at least one significant challenge to face, the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout hosted at Captain Ron’s Bar & Grill in Sunrise Beach, Mo., wouldn’t be an “official” 2020 event. Every high-performance happening so far this year—meaning the few that weren’t canceled—have had to clear some kind of hurdle. For the first competition day of the 32nd annual top-speed contest, that hurdle was weather.
By late morning, rain came down in sheets and forced organizers to postpone all runs on the three-quarter-mile course. A few hours later, the course was opened and the runs were extended an hour until 5 p.m. to get more participants involved. In all, minus the personal watercraft that ran first thing in the morning, the spectator fleet saw 68 runs from more than 40 of the 67 registered boats.
Before the weather delay, there were several noteworthy performances, starting with Tyler Crockett’s hair-raising, 113-mph pass. Early in the run, the fan-favorite Michigander’s 26-foot Joker powerboat equipped with a 3,000-hp alcohol-fueled entered a violent chine walk that didn’t quit until Crockett cleared the end of the course.
In the competitive Super Stock class, the CR Racing Doug Wright cat owned by teammates Casey Boaz and Rob Unnerstall hit 117 mph and is sitting on top of the leaderboard ahead of Reese Langheim and Ricky Maldonado in the Jackhammer Victory cat, which ran 112 mph. Bill Allen was joined in the cockpit of his Team Allen Lawn Care and Landscaping Doug Wright by his good friend’s daughter, Sabrina Kowalik, and they reached 103 mph. The Auto Alert/Performance Boat Center team of Myrick Coil (one of five members of the event’s 2020 Bob Morgan Memorial Hall of Fame class) and Rusty Williams only ran in the exhibition against the aerobatic aircraft, but Coil said they will make an official pass in the Doug Wright tomorrow.
Coil, who made two passes with Tyler Miller, owner of the M-Con Skater 438 raceboat, one at 120 mph and the other at 119 mph, said he also is going to run a Wright Performance 360 cat with twin 450R engines on Sunday.
“We’re going to put our head mechanic/crew chief Jake Leckliter in the boat tomorrow,” Miller said. “He’s an employee of Performance Boat Center and has been with us for three years now and is always the first guy to the pits at every race getting the boat ready. He deserves a shot in the seat in front of his hometown and all of his co-workers for his first pass at the Shootout.
“I told Jake he only has to run 121 mph tomorrow and he’ll have bragging rights on his boss—the Hall of Famer—every day at work for a year,” he added with a laugh.