Driver Steve David with crew members Aubrey Hanson and Cindy Shirley.  (Staff photos by David Campbell)
Driver Steve David with crew members Aubrey Hanson and Cindy Shirley. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
SAN DIEGO - Steve David said he was going to take both qualifying and the first sets of heats easy in an attempt to secure the national championship.

He lied.

David blew away the field early Saturday morning to take the top qualifying speed, then raced to an easy win in Heat 1B of the San Diego Bayfair Presented by the Union-Tribune.

The impressive performance put the U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison just 91 points away from clinching the American Boat Racing Association 2008 national title - the team's first ever boat title. A fourth-place finish in the first heat Sunday will clinch the crown.

"That's the second time I've lied to you," David said with a laugh. "We just want to get the points, but this is also a tough field. We know we can't just coast to the win."

The Oh Boy! Oberto, third in qualifying after Friday, moved into the top position with a lap of 161.406 mph early Saturday morning. Every boat that hit the water of Mission Bay on Saturday upped their speed from the day before, but nobody came close to the Oberto.

"We wanted to have a good speed and that was 2 mph faster than we went last year," David said. "The crew has the boat running perfectly."

In the first elimination heat on Saturday, David settled for lane two after Mike Allen and the U-7 Formulaboats.com II secured lane one. But David still hit the start first and held off a determined Jimmy King and the U-3 Grandview Resorts Presents Hoss Mortgage for the win.

"We still want to win and I knew Jimmy was right there," David said. "My rear-view window was full of red."

Jeff Bernard and the U-5 Formulaboats.com won Heat 1A to take over second place in the national points race.

The second set of heats will be at 3 p.m. EDT Sunday with the winner-take-all final set for an 8:15 p.m. start.

---

FINAL QUALIFYING RESULTS

1. Steve David, U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison, 161.406 mph

2. Jeff Bernard, U-5 Formulaboats.com, 160.199

3. Jean Theoret, U-37 Miss Beacon Plumbing, 159.769

4. Mike Allen, U-7 Formulaboats.com II, 157.227

5. J. Michael Kelly, U-13 Graham Trucking, 155.755

6. Jimmy King, U-3 Hoss Mortgage Investors, 155.084

7. Ken Muscatel, U-25 Superior Racing, 148.743

8. Brian Perkins, U-50 Spirit of the Navy, 146.582

9. Greg Hopp, U-100 Mirage Boats, no speed/chairman's option.

---

UNLIMITEDS HEAT 1A

1. Jeff Bernard, U-5 Formulaboats.com, 155.413; 2. Jean Theoret, U-37 Miss Beacon Plumbing, 149.850; 3. Ken Muscatel, U-25 Superior Racing, 132.097; 4. J. Michael Kelly, U-13 Graham Trucking, 122.250; Greg Hopp, U-100 Mirageboats.com, DNF.

UNLIMITEDS HEAT 1B

1. Steve David, U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto, 152.005; 2. Jimmy King, U-3 Hoss Mortgage Investors, 151.119; 3. Mike Allen, U-7 Formulaboats.com II, 144.208; 4. Brian Perkins, U-50 Spirit of the Navy, 128.619.