No one currently involved in offshore powerboat racing is there for the money—competition and recognition remain the sport’s coins of the realm. That makes being inducted into the American Powerboat Boat Association Hall of Champions a big deal among offshore racers, and for the dedicated Offshore Powerboat Association Done Deal and Smith Brothers Racing/CRC teams, that happened this week.
Done Deal’s driver Mike Mironyk and throttleman Steve Papp, who compete in OPA’s Super Vee Lite ranks, were inducted as National-Class competitors. Smith Brothers Racing/CRC’s driver Pete Smith and throttleman, Rich Smith, who run in OPA’s Class 6 category, were inducted as Bracketed-Class competitors.
“We are honored to be inducted into the Hall of Champions,” said Rich Smith. “If you look at the previous inductees in the Offshore category, it is a ‘Who’s Who’ of racing greats. To be part of the Hall with names like Betty Cook, Billy Martin, Jerry Jacoby and Joel Halpern is something, for sure. We watched them race as kids and to be racing ourselves now, and joining them in the Hall of Champions is unbelievable.”
The Smith Brothers Racing/CRC team competes in Class 6 on the Offshore Powerboat racing circuit (click image to enlarge). Photos courtesy/copyright Tim Sharkey/Sharkey Images.
The APBA Hall of Champions was established by the organization in 1974 to recognize and distinguish its most outstanding drivers from each season. The APBA annually inducts drivers from its categories of racing into this prestigious group. Membership in the Hall of Champions is limited to those drivers who had an “extraordinary racing season during the previous year,” according to the release.