In what has become somewhat of a tradition, a racer with the first name of David won the 2008 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Top Gun award. From 1997 to 2001 David Scott was unbeatable in the Shootout, winning it all five years. From there Dave Villwock won the event in 2002 and ‘04 while David Callan won in ‘03 as well as ‘04-’07. Scott took back the trophy Sunday, winning the 20th anniversary Top Gun for the fastest overall speed for the sixth time.
In what has become somewhat of a tradition, a racer with the first name of David won the 2008 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Top Gun award.
From 1997 to 2001, David Scott was unbeatable in the Shootout, winning it all five years. Then Dave Villwock won the event in 2002 and ‘04, while David Callan won in ‘03 as well as ‘05-’07.
Scott took back the trophy Sunday, winning the 20th anniversary Top Gun for the fastest overall speed for the sixth time.
Scott has a summer home at the 2-mile marker of the lake and said that this win meant more than any other.
“(This race, and this win) is extra special, I look forward to it each year,” Scott said.
This was the first year that the event was sponsored by Captain Ron’s Bar and Grill, and also marked the first year of a new location for the course. The race was headquarters at Shooters at the 23-mile marker for its first 19 years.
Racers remarked how well prepared Captain Ron’s was for the event.
“I think everyone did a great job,” Scott said. “It’s really unbelievable what they accomplished in their first year.”
Scott’s winning speed of 178 mph was the first time since 2004 that no racer broke the 200-mph barrier. It was also the slowest time since Scott won in 2001 with a speed of 165.
Dr. Mike Janssen, who owns three boats for the Cutting Edge Marine team and also drives for the squad, had a theory for why the speeds were slower this year.
“The course on the first day was challenging, it narrows and you can’t see when to slow down,” Janssen said. He said by Sunday there were signs that helped the driver’s vision, which helped him improve his speed on Sunday by 15 mph.
John Caparell of San Diego made his first trip to the Shootout. He said he was persuaded to come by Ron Duggan, owner of Captain Ron’s. Caparell said that Duggan promised a world-class event. And he delivered.
Caparell had an adventure on the course when the boat’s belt broke on his first ride. After bringing it back to shore and fixing it, the belt broke a second time in the water.
This time Caparell pulled up to a stranger’s dock, who loaned him tools and went to a store to get him spare parts. Caparell was amazed by this, saying that this type of friendliness is an uncommon experience.
Unlike Caparell, Jim Dorris and his wife Carolyn are Shootout veterans. Jim was a pioneer in 1995 when he was the first person to enter a pontoon boat in a high-performance division.
Jim said when he started others thought it was a joke, but he has since made believers of the spectators that pontoons can speed. Dorris broke his personal best speed this year by moving at 76 mph, his previous best was 75.
Another veteran competing in the Shootout was Bryan Houpt. 2008 was Houpt’s eighth Shootout, and he said it was his favorite one so far.
Last year Houpt flipped his boat at over 100 mph while racing in the Offshore Super Series event at the Lake of the Ozarks. Although this was his first official race on the lake since that crash, he said he had no reservations.
Houpt said that “it’s not if you’re going to flip your boat, but when.” That’s why he made it a point to get back behind the wheel just a few weeks after the crash.
While many things about the event changed this year, Scott said one thing that won’t change in the future is his entrance into the shootout, despite the fact that his sponsorship by Bud Light is currently up in the air.
“We really don’t know what’s going to happen (with new ownership of Anheuser Busch),” Scott said. “I can tell you this (no matter the sponsor), Dave Scott will be back next year.”
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