Budweiser Cup winners
Past champions in the Budweiser Cup Series swamp buggy points competition:
1991 – David Sims, Shagnasty
1992 – Terry Langford, Rubber Duck
1993 – Roy Ortega, Terminator
1994 – David Sims, Shagnasty
1995 – Eddie Chesser, The Outlaw
1996 – Eddie Chesser, The Outlaw
1997 – Eddie Chesser, The Outlaw
1998 – Eddie Chesser, The Outlaw
1999 – Eddie Chesser, The Outlaw
2000 – Eddie Chesser, The Outlaw
2001 – Donnie Cooper, Tractor Traction
2002 – William Thornton, Cold Duck
2003 – Leonard Chesser, Dats Da One
2004 – Eddie Chesser, Hi-Tech Redneck
2005 – Bonnie Walsh, Fatal Attraction
2006 – Terry Walsh, For Sale
2007 – William Thornton, Cold Duck
2008 – Dan Greenling, Roll On
2009 – William Thornton, Cold Duck
2010 – Eddie Chesser, The Rapture
What: Spring Classic swamp buggy races
Where: Florida Sports Park (intersection of Collier Boulevard and Rattlesnake Hammock Road)
Saturday: Test runs and heat races beginning at 12:30 p.m. Gates open at 10:30 a.m.
Sunday: Points racing begins at 12:30 p.m.
Tickets: Adult tickets are $6 for Saturday’s racing. Under 12 are admitted free; Sunday adult tickets are $20 at the track, $17.50 in advance.
Parking: On-site parking is free
NAPLES — Make no mistake. Whenever Eddie Chesser buckles into his swamp buggy racer called The Rapture, he plans on winning.
That having been said, a pair of runner-up finishes have served him well heading into Sunday’s Spring Classic at the Florida Sports Park. By finishing second in the Big Feature in both the October and January competitions, Chesser has the lead in the Budweiser Cup points championship heading into the 2010-11 finale. His 20 total points to date give him a five-point edge over Dan Greenling’s Roll On and a seven-point margin over Tyler Johns’ Patriot.
Chesser already is an eight-time Bud Cup champ with his four-wheel-drive, Pro Modified entry. Rarely does he have much competition within his own class. So unless there is an upset in an early round Sunday, he has a very good opportunity to claim championship number nine.
In the Spring Classic, drivers will add to their points totals based on how they finish within their class and also in a series of feature races that involve the various class winners. Drivers also can earn three bonus points if they drive the same buggy in all three events each year.
Greenling and Johns both pilot two-wheel-drive Pro Mod missiles and they claimed Big Feature honors in October and January respectively -- ahead of Chesser in each case.
Other frontrunners in the points after two events include Steve Armstrong’s Evil & Wicked (9), Lorrie Johns’ Lady Liberty (9), Wayne Harris’ Southern Comfort (9), William Thornton’s Cold Duck (8) and Nikki Johnson’s Grits (8). Thirteen other drivers have earned points as well.
The current points system was introduced in 1991. At one stage, Eddie Chesser won six straight titles (1995-2000). Other drivers with multiple titles include William Thornton (3) and David Sims (2).
Unique to the list of champions are husband/wife drivers Terry Walsh and Bonnie Walsh. She took the points honors in 2005 and he followed in her tracks in 2006. While Bonnie still competes, Terry has not raced of late due to a heart condition.
As usual, many of the buggies will be on the track Saturday for test laps, some preliminary heat races and time trials. None of Saturday’s action will figure into the points.
The green flag drops at 12:30 p.m. both days. While Saturday’s event will last only a couple of hours, Sunday’s show will run about four hours, and conclude with the traditional dunking of the swamp buggy queen.
The Florida Sports Park is located on Collier Boulevard, about three miles south of I-75 Exit 101. Tickets are available at the Sports Park ticket windows. There is ample free parking on-site.