Mercury Racing outboard power dominated the final event of the 2021 Upper Midwest Power Boat Association (UMPBA) drag racing series held September 11 on Rice Lake, Wis. The event took place in front of the Moose Lodge 402 building and featured racers from New Hampshire, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin competing in five classes.
UMPBA is a grass-roots drag racing series hosting events on an 800-foot course, organized in brackets based on a break-out speed. If a racer exceeds the break-out speed for that class, they are eliminated. Racing in each class is open to boats powered by outboards, inboards and jet drives.
Nine entries contested the Lake Racer class for boats running up to 65 mph, including first-time racer Ryan Pease driving a Hydrostream Valero powered by a Mercury Racing 225 outboard. RJ Dubiel prevailed in the class backed by a Mercury Racing 2.4 outboard. Coming in a close second was Scott Kunke in a Baker Mod VP x-18, followed by Gary Carbonneau in a Liberator powered by a Mercury Racing 200.
After making some slight modifications to his boat-and-motor setup, Dubiel was back out front in Lake Racer 1 (66 to 75 mph), besting Jason Greene of Iowa in an Allison XB02 powered by a Mercury Racing 2.5 200 and the “UFO” boat driven by Marc Gajdos.
The boat speeds reached 85 mph in Lake Racer 2 and the Hydrostream driven by Mark K. topped the class, defeating Mark Kirby in a Mercury Racing-powered Mirage River Racer and Kristian Kozan of Illinois in a Sterling Tunnel powered by a 260hp Mercury Racing 2.5 outboard.
The 10-boat field in Lake Racer 3 (86 to 95 mph) saw some of the closest racing of the day. Dave Hanle charged to a first-place finish piloting a Mercury Racing-powered Allison XR2002. Bob Carlson claimed second place with an Eliminator Daytona powered by a Mercury Racing 2.5 outboard, followed by Joe Peroceschi in a Mercury Racing-powered Mirage Wildcat.
The final class of the day featured six boats capable of topping 105 mph in just 800 feet. In his first race of the season, Gordy Johnson secured first place a carbon fiber STV River Rocket powered by a Mariner 300 outboard. Bob Albee took second place in a Triad DR-20 powered by a Mercury Racing 2.5 Drag 300, followed by Dave Hanle in the Allison XR2002.
The UMPBA was able to raise more than $400 for the Moose Lodge at the Rice Lake event.
“We are really pleased with the growth of this series over the past two years,” said UMPBA President Brett Seubert. “We raced at some great venues, had more than 50 entries on average for each event, and most of all great racing. Our formula keeps this racing grass roots and affordable. The rules are simple and the competition is fun.”