The Sarasota Offshore Grand Prix wrapped up prematurely, when the final race of the weekend—featuring a field of 10 Super Stock entries—suffered three separate accidents, leading to officials calling an end to the competition. (None of the racers involved were seriously injured.)
The field of 10 first narrowed to nine when driver Cole Leibel and throttleman Gary Ballough, piloting Big East Construction, flipped and landed upside down during an early lap. A red flag put a temporary stop to the action, and after all of the pilots emerged under their own power, the race restarted. Action had barely resumed when the 30′ Skater Steele Offshore Racing (with Dominick Steele and Julian Maldonado) rolled over, and CMR Roofing (with Shaun Torrente and Sean Conner), reportedly stuffed, almost simultaneously. Steele landed upside down, while CMR sustained heavy damages. There were no immediate reports of injuries. P1 Offshore called an end to the event.
Prior to the Super Stock debacle, Sunday’s race featured a truly astonishing come-from-behind spectacle, as Class 1 boats took center stage. After the three competitors—Huski Racing, 222 Offshore Australia and JBS Racing—took off, Huski (with driver Travis Pastrana and throttleman Steve Curtis) grabbed the initial lead. However, the 47′ Victory hull inexplicably slowed and then stopped during the first lap, allowing 222 (with Darren Nicholson and Giovanni Carpitella, piloting another 47′ Victory) to leap ahead. In short order, the Huski team got the boat restarted, and then began the daunting task of first passing JBS, and finally 222 Offshore Australia, to recapture its original lead. JBS Racing (a 42′ MTI with Team Punisher driver Charlie McCarthy filling in for an ailing Jeff Stevenson, with throttleman Micheal Stancombe) broke motor mounts on the starboard engine toward the end of the race. (345 Racing/XInsurance, which had been slated to race, sustained a trim cylinder damage during Saturday testing.)
Seven teams participated in Super Cat class, with the 38′ Skater M-CON (featuring Myrick Coil and Tyler Miller) grabbing an early lead. However, they were overtaken by Pro Floors Racing (with driver Wayne Valder of New Zealand racing with local hero Grant Bruggemann), forcing M-CON to settle for second place. Graydel/C.J. Grant Racing (with Chris Grant and Billy Moore) was running a strong third for nearly the entire race when they inexplicably lost power in the final lap. WHM Motorsports (with Billy Mauff and Jay Muller) finished third.
Running simultaneously with the Super Cats were two entries in 450 Factory Stock Class. It was won by KLOVAR Motorsports (with Randy Keys and Billy Allen), besting the current World Champion Team Marine Technology (with Taylor Scism running with her father, MTI President Randy Scism, filling in for throttleman Johnny Tomlinson).
Earlier in the day, Stock Vee and Modified Vee classes ran simultaneously. Driver Brit Lilly, running with WHM throttleman Jay Muller (filling in for Kevin Smith) in Stock Vee, was the man to beat, as they enjoyed a comfortable lead throughout most of the race. They were followed by Fastboys Racing, Shocker and Twisted Tea, the latter featuring double-duty driver Pastrana with Jim York. You Gun Learn, with Dante Napoli and Mikey Bocchino, spun out and took out a large buoy during the race, which caused a bit of confusion on the course until a personal watercraft was able to replace the buoy during the action.
Meanwhile, in Modified Vee, hometown team members Steve and Stephen Kildahl were victorious in Boatfloater.com, besting Sun Print and Punisher on the 6.7-mile course.
Winners in the bracket classes included:
- Predator (Class 400), with Dean Stahlman, Nate Hunt and Ryan Stahlman. GNS Motorsports (with Grant Greytok and Bill Reeves) suffered a motor issue.
- Team Woody (Class 500), with J.J. Turk and Micheal Stancombe.
- Powerhouse Racing (Class 600), with Nelson Sawyer and Damon Marotta Jr. running uncontested.
- Offshore Ohmies (Class 700) with Joel Murawski and Ben Osypian.
P1 Offshore racing concludes with the St. Pete Grand Prix in St. Petersburg, FL, Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2-4.