GOOD TIMES: Art and Dorothy Oberto (above) celebrate the Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison’s victory in Heat 1A Saturday. The boat flies underneath the Madison-Milton bridge (below) during Sunday’s Heat 2B. The win was the Madison team’s third on its home course and second with the Oberto sponsorship. (Staff photos by David Campbell, above, and Mark Campbell, below)
GOOD TIMES: Art and Dorothy Oberto (above) celebrate the Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison’s victory in Heat 1A Saturday. The boat flies underneath the Madison-Milton bridge (below) during Sunday’s Heat 2B. The win was the Madison team’s third on its home course and second with the Oberto sponsorship. (Staff photos by David Campbell, above, and Mark Campbell, below)
There was plenty of second-guessing after Steve David chose lane two for the final heat of the Lucas Oil Indiana Governor's Cup on Sunday.

One would think people would have learned not to doubt the wily old veteran by now.

David used that lane choice to overwhelm the field and drive the U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison to a dominating victory on her home waters.

"This is my 10th career win, my 10th year driving for Madison and it's been 10 years since we've won here," David said. "It feels great."

David had accumulated the most points in the preliminary heats and per H1 Unlimited rules, had first choice of lanes in the final. The 56-year-old Lighthouse Point, Fla. spent 25 minutes at the judge's stand mulling over what lane to pick before deciding to eschew lane one in favor of two.

"That was the gamble. We could have gone from hero to zero quickly," David said. "But we had had success from lane two all day and I just felt like it was the way to go."

It proved to be a winning decision. J.W. Myers, in lane one aboard the U-37 Miss Peters & May, couldn't keep the Oberto at bay. J. Michael Kelly, sitting in lane three aboard the U-7 Graham Trucking, didn't have enough boat speed to get around David.

In the end, Myers and Kelly put on a heck of a show for second place, but by lap two David and the Oberto had checked out of that battle and were cruising to an easy victory.

"In a way, Steve's decision sealed our strategy," Myers said. "When he took lane two, you had to figure that he felt like he had the boat speed to get around us. There wasn't much we could do."

The victory capped off what was a strong weekend overall for the Oberto. Other than a third place in Heat 2B, David and the Oberto were perfect all weekend. But it was that second heat that almost cost the team the chance for victory.

Paired in the same flight with powerhouses Dave Villwock and Jeff Bernard and stuck in lane three, David knew he was going to need a strong effort in order to pull out the win. However, he never got the chance. Villwock pushed him out to the edge of the race course and Bernard kept him from getting a serious run.

In the end, David's plight in Heat 2B paled in comparison to what Bernard and Villwock would face in their next heat. A flagrant N2 violation in the third heat kept Bernard out of the final and Villwock was forced into the trailer position after his engine caught fire in the same heat.

"I guess it was karma," David said.

The victory was the 10th of David's Unlimited career, tying him with Mark Evans for 15th all-time. He is just four wins shy of the top 10. It was also Miss Madison Racing's 12th career victory and third on its home course, joining the 1971 Gold Cup and 2001 wins.

It was a good weekend for sponsor Oh Boy! Oberto as well. Owners Art and Dorothy Oberto were honored as the Regatta Parade grand marshals on Friday and as Indiana Governor's Cup champions on Sunday - prompting son, Larry Oberto, to remind everyone that while the family and company are based in Seattle, they are awfully fond of Madison and appreciate the history of the community and its boat racing team.

"I know I kind of swiped your name, but it's your boat, your crew and your community," Larry Oberto told the hundreds of fans who remained on hand for the awards ceremony. "It's your Miss Madison."



Follow the Oh Boy! Oberto Miss Madison and all Unlimited Hydroplane action this season at www.courierunlimiteds.com and on twitter at www.twitter.com/unlimiteds.