Defending champion Chip Hanauer's chances of winning a record 10th American Power Boat Assn. unlimited hydroplane Gold Cup today were dealt a blow Saturday when the driver of Miss Budweiser was injured in a freak pre-race accident on the Detroit River.
Hanauer was jockeying for position before the start of the first heat when the escape hatch on the bottom of the boat tore off, sending a wall of water into the cockpit. He was hospitalized with a strained back and injuries to the groin.
Bernie Little, owner of Miss Budweiser, said he would wait until today to decide if Hanauer could drive in the Gold Cup heats and final. Mike Hanson took over for Hanauer in the second heat Saturday and finished fifth after being penalized for hitting a buoy close to the grandstand area.
Mark Tate and Dave Villwock each won two heats.