Saturday afternoon during the break


Nearly everyone in the pits is taking a good lunch break today, with a few exceptions. Here's an update at the midway-point of Saturday's action.

U-1 - The Ellstrom presents Amos W. Hoss boat appears to be ready for this afternoon's heats. There's a decent crowd of fans around the Ellstrom pits checking out the U-1 merchandise that's offered for sale.

U-3 - The last motor available to the team is now in the boat. Crew member John Walcker said the waste gate stuck open the last time the boat was out running, and the boost was stuck at 80. Walcker said there was a lot of horsepower for awhile, and the engine blew. The team did put the last available turbo Allison into the boat, and is asking that fans simply root for them to be able to start and finish heats without destroying any more motors.

U-5 - There's not a sole around the U-5 in its pit area right now. Occasionally, we'll see some fans invited up on deck to sit in the cockpit, or have a picture taken. But all-in-all, it looks like the team is set for the heat racing later today.

U-6 - Calm is also the order in the Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison pits, as the team and its supporters have a chance to take in the air show.

U-7 - The second entry is one of the active hotspots in the pits, where the crew continues to try and find more speed for Jimmy Shane. Both Mike Allen -- two broken ribs and all -- and Jim Harvey are helping out.

U-10 - The cowling is on the U-10 Hoss Mortgage Investors hull, and things seem to be pretty quiet in their pits. Looks like there may be a little bit of adjustment type work going on in the cockpit.

U-13 - There is a little bit of activity in the U-13 Graham Trucking presents Spirit of Detroit pit, as the team is working on fine-tuning. They're down to one engine and one prop for the rest of the weekend. Other teams have offered props, if the U-13 needs one. The team, of course, is hoping they won't need one.

U-17 - Over at the Our Gang Racing Team pit area, the team appears to be making adjustments to the motor, likely trying to find a little more speed for Kip Brown as the boat moves into competitive heats this afternoon.

U-25 - The Miss Procraft Windows team his working hard to get Dr. Ken Muscatel a better ride. Dr. Ken is quoted on the ABRA website as saying, "The boat is running too light. It gets aired out when I'm only one-fourth of the way down the chute. I'm losing at least ten miles per hour because I can't keep my foot in it. The ride is good, but it's just too light. We've tried changing the wing, we've added weight to the front, and I'm using the canard as much as I can, but nothing seems to help."

As a result, the team is currently making changes to the adjustable surfaces of the boat. They've already made a rather significant changes to the canard to give Muscatel more downforce with the canard. The team has also added weight to the right front of the boat by installing sandbags. Lastly, the team is changing the "bras" on the bow blocks of the boat to try and pack less air under the hull.

U-37 - Judging by the lack of serious activity in the Miss Beacon Plumbing pits and the successful qualifying speeds earlier today, this team seems ready for this afternoon's heat racing.

U-48 - The Albert Lee presents Lakeridge Paving was unable to make it back to the pits under its own power when out for its last test session of the morning. The problem? The boat ran out of fuel. "We're doing our part to conserve fuel," said crew member Patrick Gleason. In all seriousness, Gleason said, the team decided it didn't need to run a full 60 gallons aboard the boat, with the design of controlling the weight of the boat.

"We're really pleased though," Gleason added, "we're within just a little bit of the other boat (the U-50 Miss Albert Lee), and we feel good about that."

U-50 - Quiet in the pits as the team just makes sure they're ready for the first heats of the day.

U-100 - There was virtually no one in the U-100 pits when we made our pass through, looking for stories to report, so all must be good with them...and they must be ready to race.

U-787 - Not sure if we're through seeing the U-787 Boeing presents Salute to Seafair on the water for today or not, but it did qualify for the race at over 147 mph, making the Boeing executives on site very happy.