Lake Marble Falls hosts annual event
Daryl Ehrlich (top) launches out of the water en route to his Top Fuel Hydro win on Lake Marble Falls last weekend. (
By J.M. Hallas
MARBLE FALLS -- Sunday capped off the final day of the 22nd annual Lakefest at Lake Marble Falls featuring the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series. It was a nice, cool (comparatively speaking), breezy morning as final eliminations began on the “liquid quarter mile.” About 120 boats took part in the weekend’s events racing in the Pro and Sportsman classes.
Several special guests were in the house this weekend, including TV star Jesse James and NHRA Funny Car driver Alexis Dejoria. As part of Pro Modified driver Marty Logan’s Chris Kyle, American Hero tour, Chris’ wife, Taya, was in the house signing autographs and went out on the barge to make a pass with Logan’s boat.
Round one of eliminations was tough on the Top Fuel Hydros. Scotty Lumbert had his chute deploy early, causing the boat to jump out of the water, tear off one of the twin props, and crash, all while getting the win light. Lumbert was all right, but the boat, not so much. Daryl Ehrlich had his boat shut off early and coast through the finish beams. Luckily, his opponent, Joel Weber, broke on the starting line.
Round Rock racer Daryl Ehrlich backed up his 2012 Lakefest win with another consistent pass. Ehrlich, in the Eddie Know owned Problem Child, laid down another 3.5-second pass going 3.569 at 251.593 mph in the semifinals. It was Ehrlich all the way as Bryan Sanders had trouble coming off the line and failed to complete his run.
Ehrlich, the defending and multi-time Top Fuel Hydro Champion, continues on his way to another title. With a bye run in the finals, Ehrlich had one thing in mind, but it wasn’t a possible new record. The semifinal took its toll on equipment, burning up parts and pieces. The crew thrashed to get the boat together, but transmission parts were unavailable. So Ehrlich, in an anticlimactic ending, fired the motor and got to take off and break the timing beams for the win.
Randy Ball, “The Okie,” busted the Top Alcohol Flat class all weekend long. After grabbing the No. 1 qualifying spot on Saturday, Ball continued his winning ways in eliminations. Ball, in the “Oklahoman,” took out local racer Marcus Kinsey in round one. Then on a bye run in the finals, after Bill Miller failed to show, Ball laid down a blast of 5.245 seconds at 155.666 mph, his best of the weekend, to take home the win.
In the Pro Modified finals, it came down to the local hero, Doug Maderer of Austin versus the out-of-towner, Mike Lamb of Fairfield, Iowa. Lamb was first off the line, but Maderer tracked him by halfway. Unfortunately, Maderer ran too quick on the top end and broke out by a hundredth, handing the victory to Lamb, who missed the index by three tenths.
The Pro Outlaws, basically a second chance race for the Pro Modifieds, run a 1,000-foot track. With a 5.50 index, it came down to Shannon Beal and Todd MacAnally. With nearly identical reaction times, Beal held a slight edge. He was able to hold that margin to the finish line for the win in 5.581 seconds at 158.932 mph.
In other competition:
•Quick Eliminator Finals: Todd Ebert, Another Wet Dream, 6.044 @ 142.640.
•Pro Eliminator Finals: Ronnie Hodge, Ripsaw, 8.122 @ 132.743.
•Top Eliminator Finals: Jeff Vail, Shock Therapy, 9.056 @ 114.504.
•Modified Eliminator Finals: Brent Riley, Payton Me Crazy, 10.020 @ 102.l740.
•Stock Eliminator Finals: Paul Hodges, Banana Spit, 10.997 @ 91.650.
•River Racer Finals: Terry Marshall, 12.134 @ 80.573.
•Second Chance Finals: JJ Sternadel, Water Bender, 16.283 @ 58.027.
•PWC 1 Finals: Andrew Decker, N Way 2 Deep, 19.594 @ 45.918.
•PWC 2 Finals: Kyle Fawks, Youngblood, 16.759 @ 56.988.