Miss Beacon Plumbing Returns To Racing
Miss Beacon Plumbing owner Bill Cahill and Kelly and Sharon Stocklin are teaming up to race on the H1 Unlimited circuit in 2021. Cahill explains the rationale behind the partnership with the Stocklin’s Bucket List Racing Team. “Kelly and I think a lot alike in regards the adage that the harder you work, the luckier you get. I have worked with Dave Villwock in the past and I believe that Miss Beacon Plumbing can become a major force in unlimited hydroplane racing!”
After a successful test session on June 4 in Tri Cities, Washington, the team is setting its sight on the first race of the season in Guntersville, Alabama on June 27 on Lake Guntersville.
Miss Beacon Plumbing History
Beacon Plumbing entered the sport in 2004, sponsoring Fred Leland’s team for two races. In its first race, Miss Beacon Plumbing Earned enough points to reach the winner-take-all final heat. Unfortunately, Leland’s boat failed to finish the final, but Bill Cahill saw the benefits of sponsoring an unlimited hydroplane.
The next year, Beacon Plumbing sponsored the Leland team again. Jerry Hale flipped the boat at Tri Cities, all but ending any hope of Leland fielding a competitive boat for the 2005 Seattle Seafair race on Lake Washington.
In 2006, Beacon Plumbing made a major move, sponsoring Billy and Jane Schumacher’s U-37 team. At the APBA Gold Cup in Detroit, Michigan, Jean Theoret guided a battered hull to victory in the oldest active trophy in motorsports. Miss Beacon Plumbing followed the Detroit victory with a win on Miss Beacon Plumbing’s home course in Seattle. “Winning the Seafair race is one of the highlights of my life,” Bill Cahill said afterwards. Jean Theoret raced Miss Beacon Plumbing to victory in the U.I.M. World Championship on San Diego’s Mission Bay. The future looked bright.
For the next eight years, the Miss Beacon Plumbing name appeared on multiple boats owned by Billy and Jane Schumacher with limited success. The only race victory for the team took place in Evansville, Indiana in 2008. After the 2014 season, it appeared that Beacon Plumbing was finished with the sport of unlimited hydroplane racing.
After looking for the right opportunity to return to unlimited racing, Bill Cahill reached and agreement to return to the H1 circuit. “Unlimited hydroplane racing has been good for Beacon Plumbing,” Cahill said in March, 2021. “We look forward to a successful season with our new race team!”
Team Owners: Kelly and Sharon Stocklin
For most of his adult life, Kelly Stocklin has been involved in powerboat racing. 2012, Kelly and Sharon Stocklin purchased the G-13, one of the boats built for the G Class automotive series and was approved by H1 to run the boat as an unlimited using a Lycoming T-53 turbine power plant and Bucket List Racing was born. “Among the things on my ‘bucket list’ was to see if I could take this smaller boat and compete on the H1 Unlimited series. We achieved our goals of winning an unlimited heat and turning in a lap of more than 150 mph.”
Kelly Stocklin is a local legend when it comes to boat racing. Stocklin’s racing resume dates back to 1974 and includes decades of competition in the major flat bottom classes, super stock, pro stock and pro comp. He was a long-time record holder in the pro stock category, part of the team that has set multiple runabout records in all classes. Kelly has been instrumental in the evolution and implementation of driver safety capsules in these classes.
In 1980, Kelly joined Squire Shop’s U-2 unlimited team as crew member for four years. Shortly thereafter, he joined Ron Brown as an outside vendor on Budweiser’s first turbine attempt (T-1) while working in the nuclear energy field.
In 1997, Dave Villwock took over the Budweiser team and asked Kelly to join in starting a long-term, in-house propeller manufacturing project which ultimately produced the world’s fastest and most durable propellers. Today, Kelly and Dave continue to make the world’s fastest propellers. In the early 1990’s, Stocklin’s first experience in the cockpit of a hydroplane came in the 7-liter class. He was an early participant in the Unlimited Light Class and long-time driver of Thunder Valley Racing’s supercharged UL.
At age 61, when most have retired, Kelly Stocklin started his driving career in the Unlimited class and was named the 2012 H1 Unlimited Rookie of the Year. Having accomplished that bucket list item, he is happy to have handed over driving responsibilities to Dustin Echols. Kelly manufactures the team’s gear boxes and drive shafts, and continues to supply propellers for Bucket List Racing and other H1 race teams.
Kelly and Sharon Stocklin purchased a Lycoming T55 powered hydroplane from Go Fast Turn Left Racing in 2020 and are looking forward to racing the U-40 this summer. “This project is a lot of work, but we have a great team.” Since acquiring the U-40 hull, Kelly has spent every day building parts to make the boat into a serious contender. If hard work equals success, Miss Beacon Plumbing should be a major force on the H1 Unlimited circuit in 2021.
Miss Beacon Plumbing Driver: Dave Villwock
In 2021, Dave Villwock returns to unlimited racing after a five-year hiatus. “When Kelly and Sharon bought the boat, the opportunity to return to the cockpit of Miss Beacon Plumbing.”
Villwock’s resume places him it the rarified air of drivers; he has won 67 H1 Unlimited races, 10 APBA Gold Cups, and 10 H1 National Driving Championships.In a ten-year span, he won 145 heats of the 223 started. Dave’s take on his success puts his career in perspective. “I don’t know where my record stands, but if there is a Mt. Rushmore for unlimited hydroplane drivers, I think I’ve earned a place with all-time greats and that’s pretty cool!”
Before he became a driver, Miss Circus Circus team owner Bill Bennett hired Villwock to sort out his boat. Within two years, Villwock and his crew helped Chip Hanauer drive to the national championship.
After many years of success on the flat-bottom circuit, Dave Villwock was offered to drive Ron Jones Jr’s Coor’s Dry at the 1992 San Diego race. Much to the surprise of the experts, Dave Villwock became the second driver in history to win his first unlimited race. Little did those who saw the win realize that they had witnessed the beginning of Hall of Fame career.
Two years later, Villwock joined Fred Leland’s PICO American Dream racing team. In addition to driving, Villwock worked his magic, turning Leland’s middle-of-the-pack team into a winner. 1996 was a breakthrough year for Dave Villwock. He won six out of eight races and secured the first of his ten driving championships. Racing on the Detroit River, Dave Villwock won the first of ten APBA Gold Cups.
In 1997, Miss Budweiser team owner Bernie Little hired Villwock to drive and improve his boat’s performance. Little expounded on the selection of Dave Villwock. “He is not just a great driver, but he has a lot of knowledge that he can use to make Miss Budweiser even better.” While at the Budweiser team, Dave Villwock brought in Kelly Stocklin to develop a propeller program. That year, Dave rewarded Bernie Little with an APBA Gold Cup and the national championship. By the time Miss Budweiser retired, Villwock owned the record for most career wins for the legendary team. When Budweiser left the sport in 2004, his career seemed uncertain.
Villwock joined Erick Ellstrom’s Miss Elam Plus team in 2005. During his time with the Ellstrom’s, Dave Villwock won five straight APBA Gold Cups and multiple national championships. At the end of the 2013 season, Villwock parted ways with Ellstrom, leaving with his record-setting total of 67 career wins.
Dave Villwock’s first experience with Bill Cahill came in 2014. “Bill was sponsoring Billy and Jane Schumacher’s Miss Beacon Plumbing. The boat had some serious handling issues, so they brought me in to help make the boat better.” He made the boat better, but at the end of the season, his driving career appeared to have ended.
“I am looking forward to bringing Miss Beacon Plumbing into the winner’s circle in 2021.” If hard work and determination count, Miss Beacon Plumbing’s future looks bright!
Crew Chief: Taylor Evans
Taylor Evans of Beaver Lake, Washington, is Crew Chief of the U 40 program for the 2021 H1 Unlimited season. Taylor joined the Bucket List Racing team at its inception in 2012. His abilities, knowledge and responsibilities have increased each year. The 440, then using the number U 18, was not available to Bucket List Racing for the 2013 race season. Taylor joined the U 37 team midseason that year, and continued over winter and through the 2014 season, gaining valuable experience in the areas of hull repair and setup of a T-55 powered Unlimited hydroplane.
During his life outside of boat racing, Taylor learned various skills ranging from electrical systems to welding.
Taylor rejoined Bucket List Racing during the winter of 2014 and crewed during the 2015 season. He began working for the team on a full-time basis in fall 2015 as Crew Chief of the 440 and helped the team exceed the goals for the boat. Along with Team Manager Dave Villwock, Taylor is responsible for all maintenance of and modifications to the U-40. “We have a team with a lot of talent. My job is to manage them and make certain everything is ready for us to race.”
June 26-27: Southern Cup on Lake Guntersville, Guntersville, Alabama.
July 2-4: APBA Gold Cup on the Ohio River, Madison, Indiana.
July 23-25: HapoColumbia Cup on the Columbia River, Tri Cities, Washington.September 17-19: HomeStreet Bank Bayfair on Mission Bay, San Diego, California.