KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) — Dave Villwock drove Spirit of Qatar to the fastest qualifying speed Friday for the Lamb Weston Columbia Cup unlimited hydroplane race at Kennewick, Wash. Villwock averaged 160.892 mph in his fastest lap around the 2.5-mile course. Steve David in Oh Boy! Oberto posted 159.204 mph.
The third-fastest qualifier was Kip Brown in Red Dot, with an average speed of 156.565. Behind him were J.W. Myers in Peters & May at 153.149 and Jeff Bernard in Graham Trucking, at 152.261.
Other qualifiers include Mike Webster in Great Scott! Presents Campaign WSU at 149.571, Jon Zimmerman in Miss Visit Tri-Cities.com at 149.417, and Brian Perkins in Miss Albert Lee at 148.644.
J. Michael Kelly, driver of Degree Men, had trouble leaving the pit area because of engine fuel problems. After his crew replaced the engine, he managed a qualifying lap at 148.299 mph.
Also qualifying: Scott Liddycoat in Valken.com at 146.527, Greg Hopp in Miss Beacon Plumbing at 143.857, Mark Evans in Formulaboats.com at 142.222, and Ken Muscatel in 97 Rock at 131.199.
Elimination heats begin Saturday afternoon and continue Sunday, followed by the winner-take-all final heat late Sunday afternoon.