HOME COOKING: Crew members of the Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison (above) celebrate as their boat crosses the finish line after winning the Lucas Oil Indiana Governor’s Cup Sunday. Driver Steve David accepted the first-place trophy (below, center) from sponsors Forrest and Charlotte Lucas. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
HOME COOKING: Crew members of the Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison (above) celebrate as their boat crosses the finish line after winning the Lucas Oil Indiana Governor’s Cup Sunday. Driver Steve David accepted the first-place trophy (below, center) from sponsors Forrest and Charlotte Lucas. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
Steve David brought the hometown fans to their feet, driving the U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison to a dominating win at the Lucas Oil Indiana Governor's Cup in Madison on Sunday.

Nearly perfect all weekend, David was even more so in the final heat. After racing even with U-37 Miss Peters & May driver J.W. Myers and U-7 Graham Trucking driver J. Michael Kelly for a lap, David slammed down the accelerator and pulled away for the team's third win on its home course and first since 2001.

"If I wasn't wearing these sunglasses right now, you'd see me crying," said David.

Starting with the top qualifying position on Friday through the final heat on Sunday, the Oh Boy! Oberto showed itself to be the top boat in the fleet.

David won Heat 1A on Saturday easily and powered past Kelly and the Graham Trucking in a dominating Heat 3A victory on Sunday.

It was that win in the third heat that convinced David that he could charge to victory from lane two in the final and he showed why.

"In a way, Steve's decision sealed our strategy," said Myers, who was in lane one. "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."

Myers ended up third in the Miss Peters & May after a back-and-forth battle with Kelly that went down to the wire. Kelly has now finished first or second in each of his last three races dating back to a runner-up finish at Evansville last August.

"I knew that I didn't have much of a chance to drive around Steve from the outside," Kelly said. "My only really hope was to catch J.W. Luckily I was able to do that."

Brian Perkins finished fourth aboard the U-21 Miss Albert Lee to cap a strong weekend in the team's new boat.

You have to look all the way down to fifth before you find Dave Villwock's name. The Auburn, Wash. native won his first two heats of the weekend aboard the U-96 Spirit of Qatar before running into trouble in the third heat thanks to a rare miscue by the normally strong Ellstrom Race Team.

As Villwock was pulling away from the dock, flames began shooting out of the rear of the boat and it came to a halt in the river. The more Villwock tried to get the boat to move, the more the fire spread.

As it turns out, team members accidentally neglected to remove protective pillows from the engine when it was installed in the boat and the pads caught fire. The result was a destroyed hot section, a melted engine and zero points.

"If I had known about it, I could have just reached in there and grabbed them out," said Villwock, shrugging his shoulders. "But we really wouldn't have had the time had we found out anyway. It's just one of those things."

The Qatar's blunder forced Villwock to run through the slop from the trailer position in the final. After an initial run at trying to catch the leaders, Villwock settled in for a fifth-place finish.

Mike Webster, driving the U-22 Miss Broadway Tavern, placed sixth.

While Villwock had a rough ending to his weekend, it was nothing compared to the rest of the field. Four boats saw their chances at victory taken away due to mechanical error and one thanks to penalty.

Kip Brown had his first career heat win firmly in his hands before a shudder inside the boat's gearbox forced him to shut the boat down and ultimately ended his day with a broken gearbox. Moments earlier, Myers had been penalized a lap for striking a buoy opening the door for Brown to claim an easy victory until he felt the vibration just as he was crossing the start/finish line and immediately turned toward the pits.

Brown's crew didn't realize he was in trouble and tried to point him back onto the course, but it didn't take long before they realized what Brown was doing.

"They thought I forgot the lap count and we're trying to get me to keep going. I wish I could have," Brown said. "I heard a buzzing in the back and felt a vibration and was fortunate it was in front of the pits. It's a real shame. The boat is running great and that would have been my first heat win."

The damage was confined to the gearbox, but it was a total loss.

The U-13 Spirit of Detroit broke a propeller off its drive shaft and threw the three-bladed prop clear through the stabilizer wing of the boat in Heat 3A to end an otherwise strong race weekend for rookie Cal Phipps. The U-25 BoylandNissan.com suffered damage in the second set of heats and the U-100 Leland Unlimited never got on the water due to battery issues.

U-5 Formulaboats.com driver Jeff Bernard had a fast boat all weekend - maybe a little too fast to escape the bad luck. His weekend started with a flagrant fuel violation in qualifying that kept him from recording an official speed and a flagrant N2 violation in Heat 3B took away a win and kept him out of the final. He finished the weekend with just 469 points.

The victory, the 10th of David's career and the 12th in the Miss Madison's history, also gave the Oh Boy! Oberto team the leg up in the High Points chase in what is scheduled to be a five-race season. The Oberto will carry a 155-point lead over second-place Kelly and the Graham Trucking and a 215-point advantage over Myers into the next race at Detroit next weekend.

"It has been about 10 years since we have won this race in front of our home fans and I can tell you it feels great," said David. "I told these fans that I would do my best to win the hometown race in Madison, the high points championship and the Gold Cup in Detroit. You can't do both unless you win the first one here."