Back at his home and engine shop in Ruby, Mich., Tyler Crockett is already planning his assault on the 134-mph, single-engine V-bottom top-speed record he set in late August at the annual Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Missouri. Running a 26-foot Joker V-bottom with more than 3,000 hp ready to erupt behind him would be enough to send most Shootout competitors into retirement, but not Crockett. So he’s getting a jump on the 2022 event.
Despite that the 200-mph mark didn’t fall this time, the 2021 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout thrilled the masses with several excellent efforts. Photo by Jeff Helmkamp copyright Helmkamp Photos.
Because, you know, who wouldn’t want to go faster in just three-quarters-of-a-mile in an open- cockpit, barely connected to the water 26-footer?
“I’m getting a head-start on next year—140 mph is my new goal,” he said. “I learned a lot with props and balance of the boat this time. Next year, it’s on.”
Crockett may be a joyful, death-defying nut-job, but he embodies the spirt of the Central Missouri happening. As they have for the past 33 years, folks like him—OK, there’s no one like him—have descended on the Lake of the Ozarks for two sweaty days to chase their top-speed dreams. They range from Shootout legends John Cosker and Tony Battiato, who ran 194 mph in American Ethanol, a 51-foot Mystic Powerboats catamaran with 12,000 hp worth of engines under the hatch, to Shootout rookies Jack Gladke and his co-pilot Joe Laquitara, both of whom came all the way from Upstate New York to run Gladke’s 2008 Donzi 38 ZRC powered by twin Mercury Racing 700SCi engines to 107 mph.
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