OPA Racing’s second stop in its 2021 season—Lake Race on the Lake of the Ozarks, MO—featured competition in numerous classes across four different races.
Eight boats came out to battle for the trophy in Super Stock Class, which had been won by Team Allen Lawn Care in Cocoa Beach. (Five of the eight boats call the Lake of the Ozarks home.) In this ten-lap race, CMR Roofing driver Eric Belisle and throttleman Shaun Torrente jumped to an early lead, chased by Myrick Coil and Rusty Williams in Performance Boat Center/FASS Fuel Systems and Rob Unnerstall and Casey Boaz in CR Racing. The positioning didn’t change much, if at all, for the duration of the race, with CMR Roofing taking first place, followed by Performance Boat Center/FASS Fuel Systems and CR Racing.
Bracket Class 200 racing pitted driver Billy Shipley and throttleman Chad Woody in Team Woody, a 35′ Fountain powered by Tyler Crockett engines, against the legendary Bat Boat MTI (with driver Elliot Gray and throttleman Terry Forsythe) and We on Top (with driver Robert Bryant and throttleman Brian Cole). Although the Bat Boat enjoyed a comfortable lead during the first half of the race, the boat experienced mechanical gremlins, alternately falling off and getting back on plane. This allowed Team Woody to take the lead and finish in first place, while We on Top (with driver Heath Kirkwood and throttlman Brian Cole) finished in second.
“The water was great out there,” Shipley said. “Once we got into our own water and ran out in front by ourselves, it was just like making passes on the lake. We’re from Fort Worth, so our local lake, Possum Kingdom Lake, is similar to this one. It’s kind of flat, super fast, full speed the entire time, except for when you have to slow down in the turns.”
#509 Shoreline Plumbing, with driver John Coen and throttleman Brent Appiarius, continued its winning streak in Bracket 500 class after a victory two weeks ago at the season-kickoff event in Cocoa Beach. #527 Team Woody, #517 Bulletproof and #520 Reindl Powerboats followed. Bracket 500 boats ran eight laps and are limited to 75 mph.
In Bracket 400 Class, Cocoa Beach winner Predator (featuring Dean Stahlman and Nate Hunt) had some fierce competition in Old School, featuring driver Matt Soper and throttleman Daniel Soper, who enjoyed a considerable lead throughout the race and finished first. Predator came in second, with Throttle Therapy finishing third. (Burning Man fell out of the race with mechanical issues.) Bracket 400 boats ran 10 laps and are limited to 85 mph.
In Bracket 600 class, Deception led for most of the race, but in the final lap, Rum Runners/NuWave Marine—which had been consistently in second place—overtook them and captured the win in the class. Congratulations to repeat winners Mike McColgan and Francis Vellutato in Rum Runners!
In Bracket 700 Class, featuring boats with a single outboard engine limited to 60 mph, it was Jackhammer (with driver Ray Maldonado and throttleman Julian Maldonado) claiming victory, with The Punisher (featuring driver Derek Dawson and throttleman Beau Purtle) finishing second and Ella’s Nightmare (with driver Dominic Stancombe and throttleman Michael Stancombe) in third.
Several boats ran unopposed in their classes, including 450R Class (Marine Technology), Bracket 300 Class (Team Woody), Stock Vee (Relentless), Mod Vee (Boatfloater.com) and Vee Extreme (Knucklehead Racing).