View Full Version : Water Wars

02-23-2005, 06:52 PM
With all the things that have been said about Wayne Baldwin and Tim Butts the last few days, the OD Race in 1977 was one of the best races between them. We never got to run with the unlimiteds again. If you can't read the caption, it says:

"Butts (V-8) and Baldwin battle for the lead in Pro OD heat at Hydroglobe."

Peter Crowley
02-24-2005, 05:25 AM
I met Wayne Baldwin at the awards banquet for the '93 OA & OC World Championships in Lakeland. I didn't know who he was and he didn't know me. We ended up sitting next to each other! When he was still racing, I was still running the stock boats. I hadn't gotten into the PRO boats until after he retired. I did remember his name and had read about him in the Propeller magazines. Eventually, we introduced each other and began talking..... He was a very skilled and successful racer.

Master Oil Racing Team
02-24-2005, 10:55 AM
Peter--I remember that banquet very well. We had a very good conversation at a table in the farthest corner in the room.

That 77 UIM OD World Championship was one of the most exciting races I ever had, but the final heat was without a doubt my most heartbreaking. The first heat I lost my bubble shield and couldn't see very well going down the straights, but the engine was not responding good anyway out of the turns. Against mine and Jack Chances' wishes we ran a new formulation of Master Oil additive in the fuel. My dad insisted it would work fine, but as he saw it didn't, we went back to the original fuel mix. That afternoon I went to a motorcyle shop to buy some goggles. I never wore a bubble shield again

The final three heats were the next day, with two hours between heats and plenty of time for butterflies and thinking. Prior to the final heat I checked the postings and Tim and I would tie for points if I finished first the final heat and he came in second. I added up times on our best heats and for me to break the tie in my favor, I had to beat him by 11 seconds. That would be impossible unless I had things break my way but I was going to give it a try.

I had a good start and kept the hammer down all the way. Under normal racing circumstances I always would ease off the throttle if I got a comfortable lead to save the enging and especially the lower unit. In this case I needed to drive on the edge. We were going so fast all I concentrated on was turning in the quickest time I could. I had to read the water all the way. I never looked over at the pits to see that Tim had engine trouble and never made it off the bank. I could have eased off for the win,but--that's the way it is in racing.

Anyway, on the final lap I was lapping another driver toward the end of the front straight. I don't remember who it was. It was someone I have never known previously. He didn't move over to give me the right of way like you are supposed to when being lapped, but I don't blame him because he never even knew I was coming.

To set up for the turn I had to cross his wake and the transom slapped the water very hard on the other side. Unknown to me it popped the top float loose. I set up for the turn and when I started to accelerate through it, the motor started to blubber. I knew it was all over then. Nobody caught up to me until the middle of the back straight. Dan Kirts was the first to pass. I think one or two more got around by the time I got to the checkered flag. I felt my boat was running the slowest 90 mph I ever went.

I would have liked the win, but to be able to have such good competition is what it's all about.

Peter Crowley
02-24-2005, 11:23 AM
I didn't know that "Master Oil Racing Team" was Wayne Baldwin! Hello. My only experience with the World Championships was in Lakeland that year. I know that it sounds foolish now, but I didn't have a UIM rule book and really didn't know how everything went! They have some strange rules (compared to APBA) that I learned by being there- For example: you can't take your boat out of the pits for repair! My involvement was really "reactionary" rather than planned! I just raced when I was told to race... and did the best that I could in each heat! One fortunate thing happened for me- in one of the final heats, my engine didn't start on the first pull AND I later sheared a pin in the same heat. Of course that was my "throw-away" heat!
You certianly were far more organized that I was! I like to hear about "classic duels" in racing. In '93, I remember Neil LaRose and Dan kirts in a great race in the OC class.