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Sanders tops Compton in finals to win Top Fuel Hydro race at the 26th annual LakeFest Drag Boat races at Lake Marble Falls

by Jay Hallas | Posted on Monday, August 14th, 2017

By JM Hallas

MARBLE FALLS, Texas – After two days of qualifying it was time for the final eliminations at the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series, 26th Annual LakeFest. Today was the day to find out who would take home the championship trophies in each class, and maybe set a new record or two in the process. Although with the heat and air density it would be difficult.

Recapping Saturday final qualifying; In the Pro classes Bryan Sanders (Nitrochondriac)-Top Fuel Hydro, Travis Tutle (Short Fuse) – Top Alcohol Hydro and Tony Scarlotta (Shazam)-Top Alcohol Flats went to their rooms on top the qualifying sheets.

The Pro Modifieds saw Mike Lamb (Just 1 More) keep the number one spot while the Gus Ward (Whisky Tango Foxtrot) snagged the Pro Outlaw number one spot on his final pass.

In the Sportsman it was Steve Carters perfect 6.000(Ratical Proposition)-Quick Eliminator, Ray Males(Blue Thunder)-Pro Eliminator, Robert Winder(Mommas Diamond)-Top Eliminator, Randy Cockrell(Cant Get Right)-Modified Eliminator, CD Ward(Rockets Red Glare)-Stock Eliminator, Andrew Decker(N 2 Deep)-River Racer and Hope Helm(Woodys Wild Child)-Personal Watercraft securing the number one spots.

Winner Bryan Sanders (far lane) gets the starting line advantage on Scott Compton in Top Fuel Hydro finals. Photo by JM Hallas


Sanders Scores on Second Try

It started out to be a matchup of two Tommy Thompson Motorsports boats in the Top Fuel Hydro finals, Bryan Sanders (Nitrochondriac) and Scott Compton (Liquid VooDoo). As the two boats staged the timing system malfunctioned in Sanders’ lane. Compton, whose side worked, went and made and good pass and briefly was awarded the win, while Sanders stayed on the line.

But wait, there’s more.

Once LODBRS officials discovered what happened some options were thrown out. After a discussion with the owner of both boats, Thompson, they opted to do a rerun. Now this isn’t like you can just come back up and run once they’ve been started. Both crews thrashed to get their boats back to the lanes. The entire process took about two hours.

During that period most fans stayed awaiting a side by side pass. As the teams rolled to the in-ramp they threw out t-shirt to show their appreciation to everyone waiting. Then the fans were treated to a side by side 3.52 second pass that was won on the starting line by Sanders with his 7/100thadvantage off the line. As Compton went through the traps the boat started rocking side to side, he was able to pull the chutes and get the boat stopped still afloat.

Top Fuel Hydro

Bryan Sanders, 3.526 @ 266.26

Scott Compton, 3.528 @ 254.76

Round 1 Eliminations

Bryan Sanders, 3.542 @ 268.22

Kevin Burgess (Locked and Loaded) 4.731 @ 137.87

Scott Compton, 3,566 @ 253.65

Daryl Erlich (Problem Child) 4.151 @ 241.54


Winner Travis Tutle (far lane) gets past Dale Riggs for Top Alcohol Hydro win. Photo by JM Hallas


Tutle Tops Top Alcohol

Travis Tutle (Short Fuse) had everything going his way throughout the weekend. After leading the way in qualifying on both days, Tutle was paired with Dale Riggs (Bad Moon Rising) in the Top Alcohol Hydro finals. Riggs went .040 red at the start, a good thing since Tutle had trouble at about 100′ before getting back on the gas and completing his run

Top Alcohol Hydro

Travis Tutle, 5.039 @ 168.56

Dale Riggs, N/T (red light)

Round 1 Eliminations

Travis Tutle, 4.567 @ 197.83

Rick Allen (Little White Lie), 5.685 @ 98.70

Dale Riggs, 4.623 @ 190.21

Steve Streeter (Untouchable), 4.627 @ 198.19


Tony Scarlotta gets the nose up in Top Alcohol Flat. Photo by JM Hallas


Scarlotta Sweeps Flats

Tony Scarlotta (Shazam) had the field covered by about 2/10th all weekend and made his way to the finals. Bill Diez (War Party) was his opponent but during engine warm-up a problem was discovered. Instead of making a single pass Scarlotta showed good sportsmanship allowing Diez and crew time to get the boat ready for the finals.

Diaz did everything he could, killing Scarlotta on the lights, but Scarlotta’s boat was just too tough as he blasted past Diez to grab the victory on the top end. Scarlotta, who got a leg on a new LODBRS speed record, couldn’t back up that number in the finals.

Top Alcohol Flats

Tony Scarlotta, 5.294 @ 164.51

Bill Diez, 5.858 @ 145.11

Round 2 Eliminations

Tony Scarlotta, 5.200 @ 167.37

Bill Miller, Party to the Max, 5.633 @ 150.22

Bill Diez, 9,679 @ 59.19


Round 1 Eliminations

Tony Scarlotta, 5.304 @ 162.39


Bill Diez, 9.508 @ 64.68

Spike Gorr (My Way) N/T broke

Bill Miller, 5.589 @ 150.41

Competition bye (Marcus Kinsey broke)


Pro Mod winner Mike Lamb on a pass. Photo by JM Hallas


Pro Modifieds (7.00)

Mike Lamb(Just 1 More) who led both days of qualifying, made his way to the Pro Mod finals against Shelby Evert(Cant touch This). Ebert left 2/100th earlier than Lamb, but he was able to chase her down on the big end to score the win.

Mike Lamb, 7.048 @ 168.07 defeats Shelby Ebert, 7.085 @ 179.56

Lamb also took down Casey Beal (Another Split Decision), Robb Burklin (The Pearl) and had a round 1 bye. Ebert trailered Joe McIntyre (Hydro Commando), Tim Ortiz (Empty Pockets) and got a bye into the finals.


Pro Outlaw winner Gus Ward skimming the water. Photo by JM Hallas


Pro Outlaw (5.40)

Gus Ward (Whisky Tango Foxtrot) grabbed the number 1 qualifying spot on Saturday then parleyed that into the Pro Outlaw win. Ward got the win on the starting line when Tommy Thompson (A Few Dollars More) went red. It would have been an interesting race at the finish had Thompson not went red with only 1/100th difference on their ET slips.

Gus Ward, 5.473 @ 16623 defeats Tommy Thompson, 5.463 @ 157.98(red)

Ward ousted Eric Dement (Real Bad Boy), Lee Warren (Say When) with a round 2 bye on his way to the finals. Thompson bested Chris Bean (Team Sound Design), Jim Richards (Alka-hauler) and had a bye in the semifinals.


Winner Tommy Rice goes by the starting buoy in Quick Eliminator. Photo by JM Hallas


Quick Eliminator (6.00)

The finals in Quick Eliminator was decided at the starting after Henry Boehne(Lucky Draw) went red by .025 giving the win to Tommy Rice(Another Wet Dream) who ran a 6.070 @ 144.06


Ray Males on his winning Pro Eliminator run. Photo by JM Hallas


Pro Eliminator (8.00)

Ray Males (Blue Thunder) had no competition in the class and made a ceremonial run for the victory

Ray Males, 8.327 @ 119.94


Winner Vic Fugate (near lane) against Brian Winslett in Top Eliminator finals. Photo by JM Hallas


Top Eliminator (9.00)

Vic Fugate (Lunatic Friends) took home the Top Eliminator hardware getting the win early when Brian Winslett (Flat Fancy) lit the red light.

Vic Fugate, 9.341 @ 115.13 defeats Brian Winslett, 9.196 @ 115.49(red)


Winner Austin Fugate on a Modified Eliminator pass. Photo by JM Hallas


Modified Eliminator (10.00)

The Fugate family took home another trophy in Modified Eliminator when Austin Fugate (Minor in Possession) got the win over Thurl Howard (Gone Ballistic) in a double red light race.

Austin Fugate (-.017) 10.04 @ 113.00 defeats Thurl Howard (-.047) 10.129 @ 101.92


Stock Eliminator winner Steve Walls. Photo by JM Hallas


Stock Eliminator (11.00)

Steve Walls (Sotally Tober) got the victory in Stock Eliminator at the big end after Kyle Fawks (Booger Red) broke out.

Steve Walls, 11.052 @ 88.06 defeats Kyle Fawks, 10.970 @ 87.37


Winner Andrew Decker (far lane) on finals pass against Tracy Lowe. Photo by JM Hallas


River Racer (12.00)

Top qualifier Andrew Decker (N 2 Deep) carried the number one spot all the way to the finish getting finals hole shot victory over Tracy Lowe (Intimidator)

Andrew Decker, 12.184 @ 77.86 defeats Tracy Lowe, 12.088 @ 94.37


Personal Watercraft winner Nate Stephenson (far lane) in finals with Cade Janecek. Photo by JM Hallas


Personal Watercraft 1(12.00/dial in)

Nate Stephenson (Dominator) took the Personal Watercraft hardware back to Oklahoma getting win over Cade Janecek (All or Nothing) in the finals.

Nate Stephenson, 17.185 @ 54.18 defeats Cade Janecek, 17.978 @ 52.75


Second chance Personal Watercraft winner Taylor Travis. Photo by JM Hallas


The Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series travels to Wheatland, Mo. for the 7th Annual Diamond Nationals during Labor Day weekend (Sept 1-3). You can follow them at





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