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August 7th, 2009

Welcome to the wet and wild world of flatbottom boat racing!

It’s been a great year and even though the season is already half over, we are back in the shop getting ready for 2010.


We have been working away on the return of the Outlaw. Charlie has been busy with hardware and getting the bottom ready for those 130 mph blasts on the water. This boat will get a 500 cu in Alcohol burning, Kinsler stack injected, Pontiac ProStock engine fresh form Gus Foster. This engine made 1000 hp on the dyno!   It really likes to be heard from the beach when Charlie has the tach in the 9400 rpm range!   We have designed and machined a new idea in transom bars. It is a one piece billet bracket now instead of the angle aluminum and 5 pillow blocks as is most common in the flatbottom world. The machining was accomplished  by Dick St John at Joe Severance Racing. Lots of chips from that block of material. Started out as 110 lbs and now is close to 11 lbs!


We had the K boat out a little this year. Working with Kelly Stocklin on props has been a good thing for us. He not only is a great prop guy and a fellow racer, but he also is a driver of flatbottoms and UL’s!!!!!!  He is able to talk to Charlie and they can understand each other in order to tune the prop. Now if the guy doing the engine tuning was as sharp as the prop guy, well, there wouldn’t be a hole in the pan !!!


First outing , it decided to stress test a lifter. Not too bad, but it was a test!  The next time out, was a little “milky” on the oil situation as it was just plain to rich on the tune up. So after changing oil Sunday morning, the crewchief decided he was going to conserve a little oil (it is expensive right?) and tried only half the normal amount in the tank? Bad idea said #7 rod bearing to the rod. Then the #7 piston decided it was pissed off at the valves and then the party was in full swing. The loser was the pan, multiple holes, dents and lots of CARNAGE.  Dooh and a slap on the forehead.  Gus says he canned my ass, so I’ll get him some more parts to fix my stupidity.


As for the Wizard , we have been a little too busy with racing and the Outlaw, so this hull is just waiting for the finishing touches.


On that thought of the Wizard, we have to mention the passing of a great friend, brother, and racing partner, Craig “Runaway” Nicholson. He was involved in an excavating accident on Valentines Day this past February. He is missed very much by all of us, and will be for many years to come. His wife has decided to help us finish the boat and race it. We have since planned to finish the project with lots of help from the team and many others. Jon Byers will bring the hull back to it’s prior glory and more. Charlie will finish the capsule install and this will include enough room for Charlie himself to do the shakedown runs in this boat. After he has decided it is dialed in, one of the young guns on the team will take over and do it like Runaway would have. Dillon Wehrer says he is up to the task. This is Runaway’s godson!  I’m sure Runaway will be there for Dillon and guide him to the finish line as fast as can be!  I can just here Jackie (Runaway’s wife) and Julie Wehrer (Dillon’s Mom) on the beach now.

Look back for updates and more photos!

Thanks from all of us to all of you,
Tribal Thunder Racing