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Hi Point NCM Shootout at Pleasant Prairie

By Ray Rodda

Aug 24, 2016

The action will heat up in a couple of weeks, as the US Title Series round number six comes up at Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin the weekend after Labor Day. Many of the classes have tight races and the action will be furious as the drives vie for the coveted Plaques and Title Series jackets that go with the championships which will be awarded at the USTS annual meeting coming up in November.
Mackenzie Hellsten and Brianna Payn are up close and personal as they chase the championship as Mackenzie looks to repeat for 2016 as she was the champ in 2015. Just 87.5 points separate these young ladies, daughters of long time champs, Chris Hellsten and Brian Payn. Brianna looks to duplicate what Mackenzie did last year, taking the US Title Series Nationals and then finished it off with the Hi Point Championship for 2015.
Rex Bayer who has won a couple of the rounds in the Title Series finds himself back in the third spot, as he missed a couple of rounds as Rex is a star baseball player, who’s team ended up playing on a couple of race dates. In addition young Brady Brinkman, first year driver and son of Tom Brinkman has taken like a duck to, wait, like a Brinkman to the water.
Mackenzie Hellsten—-1737.5
Rex Bayer 1215.5
Brady Brinkman 844
In the 125 Hydro class Raymond Hammond of Florida, holds a tenuous lead over Todd Anderson who took the Nationals while Raymond has had some motor issues while participating in each round this year. He also leads a great young man, Brandon Mills who finds himself in the TBR orange and black hydro in the third spot. Jon Wienandt, who has always been a tough competitor, finds himself looking for a boat after crashing both the 125 and 175 boats in two consecutive weeks. David Tenny who won last year finds himself way back in the sixth spot as he was unable to be at a couple of events this year.
Raymond Hammond 1305
Todd Anderson 1069
Brandon Mills 922

125 Runabout.

Young Brad Dygert continues to learn each week of racing as he is in just his second year of racing, but showing great ability and speed. Brad was probably one of the top favorites coming into the USTS Nationals at Depue but saw it go awry as he had motor troubles in a couple of heats and allowed Tim Small to take the title over the other drivers. Brianna Payn and Jackson Hall helped themselves to points at Depue and the top drivers are:
Brad Dygert 1578.5
Brianna Payn 1271
Jackson Hall 842

175 Hydro
Bailey Burkland has taken advantage of a great running boat and has parlayed a couple of wins into almost a 300 point lead for the championship. Jon Wienandt has watched a season literally come apart at the bottom and sponson’s of his two boats this year. Jon fortunately was uninjured in both incidents but cannot say the same thing about the two hydro’s. None the less, Jon has had a good points season and is fighting to hold off a surging Raymond Hammond for the third spot.

Bailey Burkland 1550
Jon Wienandt 1050
Raymond Hammond 1013.5

250 Hydro
Amy Nydahl will lead a strong contingent of some of the hottest competitors in boat racing with Pete Kelly, Chris Hellsten, and Kurtis Nydahl, Amy’s brother all chasing for the title. The top four drivers are separated by only 262 points as we head to PP for the final. What those 3 heats will bring, who knows, but I can tell you this, a lot of sweat and work will go into preparing and lot of breath will be held until it’s over.
Amy Nydahl 1465
Pete Kelly 1314.5
Chris Hellsten 1253.5
Kurtis Nydahl 1203

250 Runabout
What a battle we will see between the Brinkman entry with JJ Walls at the wheel, with Tim Small trying to run him down, just 39.5 points behind. What the heats at PP will be about is starts, starts, starts, for all three heats to determine the winner. Mike Krier in that beautiful self built, Krier Runabout has moved himself into the third spot, even though Mike has missed a couple of races due to being an Agriculture Technologist, better known as someone who puts food on our tables as a farmer.
JJ Walls 1477
Tim Small 1437.5
Mike Krier 1050

350 Hydro
Well brother Kurtis leads sister Amy by just 43.5 points for the top spot in 350 Hydro as we head to the last race of the season. The two of them have just been beating on one another all year and Amy really helped herself with the win at the Nationals in Depue this year and picked up a couple of 100 points over Kurtis there. Gary Buskirk took quite a tumble literally and figuratively in the chase for the Hi Point Crown in 350 Hydro, but still holds the third spot overall. Gary flipped for the 2nd time in 3 years at the head of the front straightaway at the USTS Nationals, as they headed to the first turn. Fortunately Gary was again uninjured, but probably tumbled at least 6 or 7 times coming out of the boat. Grateful
Kurtis Nydahl 1737.5
Amy Nydahl 1694
Gary Buskirk 1112

350 Runabout
Tim Small and Brian Payn are in a heated battle to take home the coveted jacket in November as they are just 196.5 points apart, with Tim holding the slim margin going to Pleasant Prairie. This has been a fun match to watch all year with Tim gaining his margin from his win at the USTS Nationals at Depue. JJ Walls in the Brinkman is in the third spot.

Tim Small 1600
Brian Payn 1403.5
JJ Walls 1055

500 Hydro
Ike Yoder continues to be the steadiest of the steady 500H drivers and takes a small lead into Pleasant Prairie for the upcoming weekend, over Doug Hall by 123 points and Dan Kirts, the USTS Nationals winner by 240 points. The question will be, did Doug and Dan repair their boats from the accident when Dan collided with Doug’s transom at the end of the last heat at the Nationals. If so, look out as Dan in the 2 Cylinder and Doug in the big 4 cylinder GRM power will contend with the years old, but reliable Koeing of Ike’s. This should be fun to watch.
Ike Yoder 1178.5
Doug Hall 1019
Dan Kirts 938

500 Runabout
This along with 250/350H has to be one of those crazy classes where it is up for grabs. The beauty of this class, is that anywhere from 9 to 14 of them show at our events and you just never know who is coming out on top.
Right now Tim Small holds a 123 point lead over Kurt Nydahl and 227 over Andrew Thirlby, and you know there are others lurking there such as Pete Voss, RC Hawie, Derek Gesler, and Brennan Burkland, all more than willing to play spoiler at any given time.
Tim Small 1400
Kurtis Nydahl 1277
Andrew Thirlby 1172.5

700 Runabout
The story all year for good and bad has been Austin Van Over, driving the Mike Thirlby prepared, Thirlby Automotive entry, as heading to the Nationals, Austin had won every heat of racing he had been in. At the Nationals, what can happen in boat racing happened as Austin had a myriad of t144roubles, jumped the gun in one heat and had a big time stick of the motor right in front of the fans on the front straightaway, and as Dad, Eric said, he was very lucky he did not go out over the deck when she stuck. Austin said he could begin to feel it going, and hungered down in the cockpit and a good think. Well that gave RC Hawie, Andrew Thirlby, and the National Champ this year, Derek Gesler an opportunity to move up on Austin, although he still holds a commanding lead.
Austin Van Over 1853.5
RC Hawie 1444
Andrew Thirlby 1200.5

1100 Hydro
Amy Nydahl, also in the Thirlby Automotive entry has been pretty dominating in 1100H with taking the Nationals amongst her 4 titles this year, Amy has about a 480 point lead on David Hooten and Ike Yoder in the the 3rd spot. Amy has been in the mix and as you have read earlier, she stands a chance at taking 3 of the jackets for The US Title Series Hi Point Championships as well. I’m sure some of her competitors are saying not so fast, well wait, she is fast and has proven it all summer long.

Well, we hope to see many of you fans and racers in a short 10 days at Lake Andrea for the final round of excitement in the Title Series season. I wish to thank our many fans who follow us from race to race and want you to know we appreciate that support where ever we are racing.