Kropfeld Survives Bumping, Wins National Hydroplane Title

Associated Press

Veteran driver Jim Kropfeld regained the national unlimited hydroplane championship Monday by driving Miss Budweiser to victory in the protested final race of the series.

The turbine-powered craft won the $150,000 Las Vegas Budweiser Silver Cup, surviving a high-speed bumping on the first corner of the 2 1/2-mile oval course on Lake Mead.

Miller American, driven by Chip Hanauer of Seattle, Wash., finished second but failed to retain the national title by a margin of 31 points. Kropfeld, from Cincinnati, Ohio, had a total of 8,500 points in the nine-race series to 8,469 for Hanauer.

Miss Budweiser won both her heats before the final when Kropfeld, 46, gunned her to an average speed of 128.472 m.p.h. and the title.