Terry Troxell, who drove the U-13 Miss Al Deeby Dodge to arguably the biggest upset in Unlimited hydroplane history, died Saturday of a heart attack at his home in Gig Harbor, Wash.

He was 61.

Troxell, who won three races at the Unlimited level, was called upon to drive the U-13 at the 2005 APBA Gold Cup, literally weeks after owner Dave Bartush founded the team. Despite working with just one gearbox, one engine and one propeller, Troxell coaxed the former Winston Eagle through all four preliminary heats then shocked the hydro world by winning the final.

Troxell previously drove the U-99 Znetix II to victory at Tri-Cities, Wash. in 2001 and the U-16 Miss Elam Plus to a win at St. Clair, Mich. in 2004.

"Words can't express my sadness. Terry was a racer's racer," said U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison driver Steve David. "Prayers to Sue, Jeff and the rest of the family."

Troxell, a graphic artist by trade, was one of the most-highly decorated drivers in the Limited ranks and was inducted into the APBA Hall of Champions in 1997 and 1998. He didn't make his debut at the highest level until hired to drive owner Fred Leland's U-99 in 2000 as a 50-year-old rookie.

Despite his late start in the Unlimiteds, Troxell made the most of his brief career. He was a contender from the moment he slid into the cockpit. He finished second at Madison in 2002, a year after he drew the field over the start line early allowing the hometown Oh Boy! Oberto to claim top honors.

After Troxell's upset win in the Gold Cup, Bartush decided to take the U-13 national. Troxell drove the boat for the rest of the 2005 season before suffering a minor stroke later that year. He recovered and drove for Leland the following season at Seattle.

He didn't drive an Unlimited after 2006, but his racing career was far from over. He competed in a Limited race just last week in the state of Washington.

Marriage to Sue Weber aligned Troxell with one of the first families of hydroplane racing. For the past few seasons, he has mentored stepson Jeff Bernard, driver of the U-5 Formulaboats.com, and son-in-law Kip Brown, driver of the U-17 Our Gang Racing.

"Terry has always been someone I have looked up to and his demeanor is something we all can aspire to," wrote Brown on an internet message board. "His untimely death is a shock to his whole family and we all appreciate the race community's warmth and well-wishes."

Memorial plans have not been announced, but the family is tentatively planning an event at the Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum in Kent, Wash., on Saturday afternoon. Time and other details will be available on www.abrahydroplanes.com as soon as they are finalized.

Jim Harvey joins U-100 team

Former Unlimited owner Jim Harvey will serve as team manager of the U-100 Mirageboats.com team, the ABRA announced Sunday.

Harvey, who owned and campaigned the U-2 Harvey Motorsports team for nearly 20 years, will oversee the U-100's 2009 season as owner Fred Leland undergoes chemotherapy treatment.

Before owning his own team, Harvey served as crew chief of the famed Atlas Van Lines team. As an owner, he teamed with current Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison driver Steve David to win three races in the 1990s. He has five wins total as an Unlimited owner.

Harvey is not the only new face to join the U-100 team. Curt Tavener, who served as crew chief for the U-13 Spirit of Detroit team for the past several seasons, will serve in the same capacity for the U-100 team along with his brother, Barney.

The Taverners have completely refurbished Leland's 1999 hull, which the team will campaign in 2009. The hull does not have the full front canard wing, standard on all current Unlimiteds, but the Leland hull that does have a full canard has linkage problems with the wing that cannot be corrected at this time.

Barney Tavener is redoing the team's color scheme. The truck has been painted and the hull goes under the paint gun today.

The team will take four engines to the season-opening races at Madison at Detroit. Harvey describes two as "fresh," having been completely refurbished. The other two are described as spares.