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Top Speed Racers Are Set to Make a Splash

October 06, 1994|LAURIE K. SCHENDEN

No one is happier about returning to the drag boat races at Puddingstone Lake this year than Clinton Anderson. Almost a year ago, he was being pulled out of the water in Phoenix after crashing a Top Fueler in a test drive--and he wasn't breathing.

But not only did he fully recover from the accident, he was back in his boat by March, and has won four of the five IHBA (International Hot Boat Assn.) races this year.

This weekend, Anderson will compete against other Top Fueler racers, including record-holder Ron Braaksma of San Bernardino, in the IHBA Mission Foods Fallnationals.

The grassy hillsides of Bonelli Park offer great views of the lake, so bring a blanket or lawn chair and prepare to watch 14 classes of drag boats going 220 to 235 m.p.h. in qualifying matches Saturday and the finals Sunday.

The event--which offers food concessions and vendor booths--is family-oriented, says promoter Jeff Wolf.

Admission also includes pit passes, where you can watch pit crews at work. "The boats like the ones in Clinton's class get their engines torn down after each race," Wolf says.

"They're rebuilt in less than an hour and a half."

Gates open at 7 a.m. each day; racing is from 9 a.m. to about 4:30 p.m. Puddingstone Lake, Frank G. Bonelli Park, 120 E. Via Verde, San Dimas. Saturday, $18; Sunday, $22; children under 12 get in free. (800) DRAG-INFO.

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