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What's happening at Herd Racing . . .
What's happening at Herd Racing . . .

SUNDAY, November 16, 2014 - It may be winter outdoors, but that doesn't mean everything grinds to a halt just yet.  Lots is in the works.  Our 2015 Herd Racing wall calendar is ready for distribution, preparations for an addition to our race shop is entering it's second week and we continue to try to get our equipment ready for 2015.

The annual closing of the Marshall Memorial Fountain took place on Friday.  Each year the university honors the 75 people killed in the 1970 plane crash during a ceremony on campus.  This year's event was very well attended.  The annual event shuts off the fountain for the winter.

Our team calendar is being printed and should arrive from Fidelity Printing sometime this coming week.  You can get your printed version or download and print your own by clicking on the following link:

Excavation started late last week to expand the land around our race shop in order to allow us to begin construction on the building addition sometime next year.  Our hope is to double the size of the building so we can have safe indoor storage for all of our boats, equipment and hauler.  Our new hauler is about four feet longer than our current building which requires the Freightliner tractor to stay outdoors for the winter.

Our fuel injection system for our F1 boat is back from Brucato and ready to install.  The Seebold F1 hull will be getting the F1 motor installed in the next couple of weeks.  Then the seat, new belts and a few other tweaks will take place before the boat heads for the paint shop in early spring.  Our two SST-120 engines are nearing completion and will be back in the shop in the next few weeks.  It will be great to enter the 2015 race season with four fresh powerheads in both F1 and F2.  We have never had what I would call top-notch engines on our boats, let alone three more in the hauler of each type in case we need them.

Dana Tomes

2105 likely to bring tough scheduling choices . . .
2105 likely to bring tough scheduling choices . . .

SATURDAY, November 08, 2014 - Do you ever feel like if you can't run the whole schedule that it takes some of the motivation away.  That's the issue Herd Racing is facing for the second consecutive year in 2015.  It's impossible to compete for a high finishing position in any given league if you can't compete in all, or at least most, of the league's races.

In 2014, our team was able to compete in just one race in USF1 and one in Powerboat Nationals.  We were able to compete in both of the Buckeye Outboard Association races conducted in 2014, but the BOA does not award points nor crown a champion, post results, etc.  For the first year in our five seasons of tunnel boat racing we were not able to attend any races conducted by Powerboat Superleague.

In 2015, our desire to compete for high points in any given racing league will again likely be impacted -- this time by non-competing leagues conducting races on the same weekend.  There appears to be plenty of race sites available for all leagues and clubs to boast a multi-race schedule, but there just isn't a long enough racing season in our neck of the woods to fit them all in on their own weekend.

Here's our dilema.  The APR race in Knoxville is the same weekend as the USF1 race at LaPorte.  The Marietta race, whose committee is yet to announce who will conduct it's 2015 event, is the same weekend as the USF1's race in Valleyfield.  You may argue that these conflicts aren't really conflicts at all because they don't offer the same racing classes.  True, but many teams like ours like to compete in multiple racing classes, like F3, F2 and F1, at various times of the year.  Many teams also rely on crew help from drivers of other classes of racing which impacts both teams when the teams are at separate race sites on the same weekend.

Some other examples are the last weekend in July when the Huntington race is conducted on the same date as another race in Minnesota. Regardless of which race you choose, neither get the boat count they should because of the competition of the other.  Changing race dates isn't easy either as just about every weekend from late May to late August already has a race scheduled somewhere.

The bottom line is it really isn't anyone's fault, it just happens.  The good news is that if you can find a boat race on just about any given weekend, and sometimes as many as two or three if you look, then the sport must be getting a litle more healthy.  Good news in some respects, but when you take a deeper look at the whole picture you tend to see the same boats and same drivers that have been there for years.  They are all just spread out amongst a lot more classes and racing clubs and leagues than there used to be.

Rumors have it that the F1Sport group in Texas will expand to Nashville in 2015 to race it's hybrid F1/F2 engine packages.  APR will likely continue it's SST200/SST120 mixture, while USF1 will pretty much accept any V-6 engine you want to bolt on for it's races.  Everyone's intentions are good and drawing enough boats to put on a show for the fans is the ultimate hope for any promoter.

I guess when the day is over each promotor does what he feels like is best to make his show most successful.  Unfortunately, it just comes down to the guy like me who wants to be two places at once having to make a hard choice.  I guess having to choose one race over another is a good thing if you ask boat racers in most other countries.

Dana Tomes

Weekly update . . .
Weekly update . . .

SATURDAY, November 01, 2014 - Well, it seems winter is close by.  Today's high in Huntington won't crack 40 degrees which somewhat socks the motivation out of working in an unheated race shop.  I had planned to begin cleaning out the shop and packing in the boats and trailers today, but that has been put aside in hopes of a warmer day later this coming week.  But, the past week hasn't been all couch and television as today is looking to be.

Our big hauler trailer got a roof treatment this past week under a windy day of warm sun.  The seams around the edge of the roof were leaking in two places in the boat storage area so we cleaned and applied four coats of rubberized roof paint around the entire trailer.  Seems to have worked.  A check last night under steady rains showed no signs of moisture inside.  Hoping to move the trailer indoors this coming week and begin the annual checkup of packing wheel bearings, checking brakes, lights, air conditioning, heating, plumbing, etc.  It shouldn't take a whole lot to get the trailer physically ready for 2015, a season that will likely see quite a bit more of long distance travel than we have experienced the past couple seasons.

Our new Freightliner toterhome will go to the shop this week for some service work.  Brakes, air lines, oil change, filter changes, and the like to get it ready for a long winter's nap.  It would be great to have the truck and trailer physically ready to race before winter so all that remains in the spring is a few days of cleanup and packing the goods for racing.

All of our race motors are still on the work bench being rebuilt.  Two 120 powerheads are down south and almost done while two F1 powerheads are in Ohio.  Our F1 fuel injection systems have been sent back to the manufacturer for flow testing and tuning.  We're going to run 2.4 Mercury bridgeport engines in Formula 1 next year, but the rules packages for 2.4s are pretty liberal so we hope to have our's about as snappy as the 2.5s we will be competing against, minus the five figure price tag needed to bolt a quality 2.5 powerhead on the boat.

And, the Herd Racing pilot has started his annual fickle attempt to good health.  A recent routine doctor visit prompted the annual semi-serious attempt at weight loss to get a little more serious.  The blood pressure was up a little, the weight a little more and chlorestorol a little spiked too.  Biscuits, apple butter, donuts, Swiss cake rolls, Star crunch and Nutty bars have been taken out of my daily menu options.  You know things are serious.  Earlier this week I actually ate a banana.  I hope this works because it sure is miserable.

Dana Tomes

Busy week coming to end . . .
Busy week coming to end . . .

FRIDAY, October 24, 2014 - A very busy week is one day from being in the books.  We started out week last Sunday afternoon detailing and applying decals to our Hoffman F1 backup boat in preparation for a public appearance.  Monday took us two hours to the north to visit with 38 star students at Blennerhassett Elementary School in Parkersburg, WV who had been participating in a reading event during the fall semester.  The two most improved readers in each of the school's 19 classes got to spend some time with us and get their photos taken with the boat.

Back in the shop this week we modified the fifth wheel connection on our living quarters hauler to match it up with our new toterhome hauler.  Tomorrow, the toterhome will head out for a state inspection and get ready for some routine maintenance and improvements we want to get behind us before the West Virginia winter kicks in.  We will begin moving the hauler indoors and packing the shop full of boats and other toys this coming week as we have some good weather coming.

Our two SST-120 powerheads are on the work bench getting new pistons and some porting, head and carberator work.  We expect those to be finished up and back at the shop by Thanksgiving.  And two of our F1 2.4 liter powerheads are also on the work bench getting the fuel injection system overhauled. By the time we get ready to head to the water in April 2015 we should have everything rebuilt and ready to race in both F1 and SST-120.

In other news, the Huntington Classic airing's on Fox Sports Ohio ended it's initial run of airings tonight with an 8 p.m. primetime showing.  In all, the race aired seven times on the network and no further airings are scheduled at this time.  The race is always available on YouTube by clicking on the RMG Sports site or by visiting

Dana Tomes

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