Sprint boats return for St. John race
The second stop at Webb’s Slough on the United States Sprint Boat Association circuit is set for Saturday, featuring some of the fastest race boats in the country out to tame the twisting course located just outside of St. John.
Super Boat driver Dean Lautenschlager picked up the USSBA’s last race in Eastern Washington in June and aims to guide his boat to back-to-back victories this weekend. Dan Morrison leads the Super Boat drivers’ championship points standings, heading into the weekend with a six-point edge on Cory Johnson, with Lautenschlager in third place.
USSBA Group A-400 and Super Modified teams will also be in action at Webb’s Slough this weekend.
Sprint boat racing pits a driver and navigator against the course. No side-by-side competition takes place; the winner is the team that can run the course in the shortest amount of time. The boats produce more than 1,000 horsepower and have a roll bar over the driver and navigator.
The race site is attracting the attention of major players in the motorsports community, as Speed TV will have camera crews on hand to record the event for a future broadcast. Action will be featured in the Lucas Oil On the Edge programming that airs on the all-motorsports channel.
Arriving just in time for the Speed crews will be Jack Bright Sr., who has announced that he will be returning to Group A-400 action at Webb’s Slough after a lengthy absence from the circuit.
“I know that I am out of the points race but we can sure stir up the pot,” Bright said. “We hope to finish first this weekend and leave a few crumbs for the rest of them out there. We had the (water) pump totally overhauled so I should be much faster.”
Hosting two USSBA events in St. John has become a community source of pride, but this year’s end-of-summer stop comes as harvest is in full swing across the Palouse. This can affect volunteers, community organizer Becky Dickerson said.
“We have plenty (of area) farmers cutting and I doubt they’ll be getting off the combine. There will be plenty of manpower around and (slough owners) Matt and Amanda Webb make it easy for people to help where they can,” Dickerson said.
A community-wide welcoming effort is always part of the USSBA’s stop in St. John, she added.
“The community really knows how to roll out the welcome mat and show off the town,” she said.
Fans can venture to St. John tonight for the prerace show-and-shine event held downtown. Featuring boat inspections and an up-close opportunity to see a sprint boat while it’s nestled on the trailer, the Friday event is a popular kickoff to any Webb’s Slough race weekend.
Tickets for the USSBA action at Webb’s Slough are available throughout the Inland Northwest, including Davis Office Furniture in Spokane, Mark Webb Diamond Jewelry in Spokane, Webb’s Empire Foods in St. John and Ackerman’s Heating and Air Conditioning in Colfax. Online purchasing is offered through 8 tonight at brownpapertickets.com A ticket purchase through the website enters the buyer into a drawing for two hooded sweatshirts, two tumblers, a tote bag and other items featuring the Webb’s Slough/USSBA designs.
For more information regarding this weekend’s USSBA stop in Eastern Washington log onto webbsslough.com.
E-mail Doug Pace at email@example.com