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Herd Racing ready for Classic

Jul. 27, 2013 @ 01:00 AM

HUNTINGTON — So far Jerry Guinn has hit it off with Herd Racing teammate Dana Tomes.

“We blend together,” Guinn said Friday when the two Herd Racing boats were awaiting inspection for the American Powerboat Association Superleague’s Huntington Classic scheduled Saturday and Sunday on the Ohio River at Harris Riverfront Park. “He’s the promoter. I keep the boats on the water. What’s nice is everything’s in house.”

Guinn and Tomes are drivers in Formula 2 (SST 120 and SST 200). Formula 3 boats (SST 60) also are competing for the APBA’s North East Divisional Championship. The event is APBA sanctioned and conducted by APR Events Group, the nation’s top promoter of outboard powerboat racing. Huntington is the third stop on the

Superleague schedule. Earlier races were held in Pittsburgh and Knoxville. Tomes placed fourth and Guinn fifth in Pittsburgh.

Guinn took fourth and Tomes sixth in Knoxville.

“In a project you surround yourself with good people,” Guinn said. “We have. We have problems like the rest of them, but we work through them.”

Guinn, 70, lives in West Portsmouth, Ohio. He has been racing boats for some 50 years all over the United States.

“The reflexes are OK,” Guinn said. “I can still handle it.”

Two years ago, Guinn retired from teaching at Shawnee High in Louisville. He taught Marine Technology for 14 years. He compared it to a trade school. He followed the guidelines of Mercury Marine.

“I helped them get into the boat business. All aspects,” Guinn said. “We had access to the latest in everything. It was state of the art. They liked it.”

Guinn helped students build engines and handle the retail side as well.

Two years ago, that Shawnee High senior class built the motor that powers Guinn’s No. 31 on the water.

“It’s one of the last we built,” he said. “It makes racing now special.”

He said students combined to build 25 to 30 motors during his tenure. This weekend will be like many others for Formula 2 drivers who will try to catch Terry Rinker if they can.

Rinker won the Formula 2 title in Huntington the past two seasons and is the Superleague’s two-time defending champion. In 2012, Rinker became the first driver to sweep all the tour races in Formula 2 (six) in one season.

“Terry’s got the experience,” Guinn said. “He is beatable.”

To do so, everything must go right from the outset. That begins with the hole shot — ­who accelerates the fastest from the start at the dock to the first turn. Rinker usually leads in that category and pulls away over the 30 laps.

“You’ve got to tell yourself (to) go,” Guinn said. “You’re going to go 30 laps. You don’t try to win in the first five laps, but 30 laps isn’t a lot of time. You’ve got to be good in the turns, especially turn two. It’s no different than NASCAR. You have to hit your mark every time.”

Guinn’s the first to admit when Rinker gets into clean water, running him down is next to impossible.

“He doesn’t miss a note,” Guinn said. “It’s a big mental game. He goes so fast he doesn’t have to look into his mirrors. You have to make him look into his mirrors. That can mess things up. He just doesn’t have to do that very much.”

Qualifying on Saturday starts at 2 p.m. On Sunday, last-chance qualifying begins at 1 p.m. For the finals, Formula 3 boats go Sunday at 2 p.m. and Formula 2 at 3 p.m. . Awards and autograph session start Sunday at 4 p.m. Admission is free.




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