After running a couple of nearly flawless races on Wednesday and Friday in Key West, Fla., Gary Ballough is hoping that Sunday’s double-points race will lead to his 11th world championship. Ballough and driver Omar Danial, who resides in Dubai, are in prime position after earning the maximum points with its two Superboat Stock class victories in Ballough’s Blacksand Doug Wright.
Still, Ballough isn’t counting on winning the title just yet. He knows anything can happen in the final race of the weekend, especially with a couple of competitive boats in DuceRods.com driven by Robert Nunziato and Dan Lawrence and DoubleEdge Motorsports driven by Ryan Beckley and John Gullans.
“We’re in the driver’s seat for Sunday so our strategy is to take it a little easy because we don’t have to win the race to bring home the championship,” said Ballough, who also races with Danial in the XCat World Series in the Middle East. “All we have to do is finish second, we just can’t finish too far back. And we have to avoid doing anything silly that would take us out of the running.
“At the same time, we wish the best for our competitors,” he added. “This will be No. 11 hopefully—or maybe it won’t be. You have to look at it that way or you’ll go home disappointed.”
The teammates did encounter a slight issue during Wednesday’s first race, which featured some wind-whipped conditions. Ballough explained that he got the boat a little out of shape on the outside between turns one and two, causing the boat to land hard on its side. When it did, it caught the engine cowling and blew a huge hole in it. And yes, that is Ballough in the photo at left wearing the cover on his head.