Huntington Classic to bring in top boats
HUNTINGTON -- Nearly 20 of the best powerboat racing teams in North America will take to the Ohio River later this month to compete in the third Huntington Classic. Races are scheduled July 26-28 at Harris Riverfront Park. Admission is free to the public.
Drivers in Formula 2 and Formula 3 tunnel boats will be competing for the American Power Boat Association's North East Divisional Championship. The Huntington Classic is the third stop on the 2013 American Performance Racing Superleague schedule.
The events are sanctioned by the American Power Boat Association and conducted by APR Events Group, the country's premier promoter of outboard powerboat racing.
"We are excited to be bringing the national racing tour to Huntington for the third straight year," said event organizer Dan Ferguson. "Huntington is one of the favorite stops on the league schedule and we typically have drawn race teams from as far away as Canada to the north and Florida to the south."
"We are confident this year's event will make the fans, the citizens of the Huntington area, and the racers themselves want to keep Huntington as an annual stop on the tour."
One of the teams expected in Huntington is the Amsoil Racing Team based in Tampa, Fla. Terry Rinker has won the Huntington race the past two seasons and his Amsoil team plans to enter three boats. Rinker is the league's two-time defending champion and won the North American Championship title July 4 in Pittsburgh.
"Rinker is one of the best known names in boat racing and we're happy to have Terry and his teams coming back to Huntington," Ferguson said. "His participation in the race will draw the best teams out there to come and try to knock him off the podium."
One team gunning for a podium finish is West Virginia's only powerboat racing team, Herd Racing, based in Lesage. The team features the No. 66 boat driven by Dana Tomes of Lesage and No. 31 driven by Jerry Guinn of Stout, Ohio. Tomes and Guinn finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the North American Championships. Both are ranked in the Top 5 on the national tour. Tomes finished third in the 2012 league standings and seventh earlier this summer in the World Championships in France.
"Having a local favorite is good for the fans," Ferguson said. "Our local team is as good as most of the teams out there and it is exciting for the fans to have a local connection to the race and locals teams to cheer for."
Other friendly activities are scheduled through the weekend, including a Waterways Expo which will teach visitors about the Ohio River system and the many advantages the river provides, including recreation, entertainment and career opportunities.
More information about the Classic is available at www.huntingtonclassic.com.