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ABRA Makes Evansville Hydroplane Race Official

 (The Spokesman-Review)
(The Spokesman-Review)

Race dates for the 31st annual Thunder on the Ohio will be August 21-23 on the Ohio River course.

ABRA Makes Evansville Race Official

Courtesy: ABRA Media Relations

It is official, Thunder on the Ohio will return to Evansville in August.  The American Boat Racing Association announcement came this afternoon during a teleconference with ABRA Vice Chairman Ken Muscatel , entertainment promoter Ken Deans and Evansville Race Chairman Tom Sawyer.  And this year, the unlimited race will be the main focus of the event.

"It's a racing event, not a large community festival with racing as a piece of it," said ABRA Vice Chairman, boat owner/driver and promoter Muscatel.  "Its centerpiece is unlimited racing."

Race dates for the 31st annual Thunder on the Ohio will be August 21-23 on the Ohio River course.

"Our sport has been a part of Evansville for 30 years and it would have been sad to see this event go away," said American Boat Racing Association chairman Sam Cole. "The venue that has been created lends itself to the waterfront location and should provide entertainment, great food and the fastest racing boats in the world. My hat is off to those who have put this together-- Ken Muscatel, Tom Sawyer and the great hydroplane fans of Evansville."

A fleet of at least 10 unlimited hydroplanes are expected to be in Evansville before the fleet heads to Qatar for the season finale in November.

Even though the hydroplanes will be the main focus, the newly organized Thunder on the Ohio Committee is working with other groups to make it a full weekend of fun for the area.

Discussions are currently ongoing to bring a major company for a national BBQ and rib contest for professionals and amateur classes to Evansville.  Entry information will be available May 1st on a new website

And Indiana's Road Knights Car Club also will also host a Cruise In. Car enthusiasts will be coming from the entire tri-state area to cruise on the riverfront.  This Cruise In will be open to ALL makes and models and all other clubs are invited to
attend. All the details will be on the new website but currently fans can visit

There will be beverage centers throughout the venue with reasonably priced waters, soft drinks and beer along with other food vendors at the event.

"In order to make this happen we needed a board in Evansville who was going to be active and able to put forth the kind of effort and participation you need to make this event succeed," added Muscatel. "We're gonna run a tight ship."

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Keeping Pace

Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.