It’s a rare thing for throttleman Jay Muller—a veteran offshore racer with world-championship-winning ways—to be at a race without a ride. But that’s exactly what’s happening this weekend at the Offshore Powerboat Association-produced St. Clair River Classic, which is the fourth of eight races in the American Power Boat Association Offshore National Championship Series.
Using their father’s 40-foot Motion catamaran powered by Sterling Performance engine, Chase and Jax Muller will run their first Super Cat race on Sunday.
Until the middle of this week, Muller had planned to throttle the Phase 5 Super Stock-class catamaran with owner/driver Albert Penta and had worked with the crew to get the 32-foot Doug Wright catamaran set up for contest on the Detroit Metro area waterway. With that in mind, he explained, he planned to devote all of his attention to the Super Stock race and have his sons Chase and Jax run their first Super Cat race in their father’s former 40-foot Motion raceboat dubbed Wicked.
Penta’s decision to exit the sport made Muller’s first plan moot. But the second, getting his sons to experience their first Super Cat green flag, is still full speed ahead.
“Even though Phase 5 has become ‘Phased Out’ I’m going to be the Super Cat crew chief for Chase and Jax and have them run together on Sunday,” said Muller. “I will run with Jax in testing today and then the boys will be on their own in tomorrow’s race.”
A couple of experienced Bracket 700-class racers, the Muller brothers are far from rookies in the sport. But Sunday’s St. Clair event will provide them with a no-stress opportunity to experience their first Super Cat event as they will run solo in the class. The St. Clair event is not part of the 2022 Super Cat internal schedule and the following weekend’s Great Lakes Grand Prix in Michigan City is, so no other Super Cat teams are competing tomorrow.
But one week later, they’ll be joined in the Michigan City milling area by a full fleet of Super Cat raceboats including WHM Motorsports, which is throttled by their father and owned and driven by offshore racing legend Billy Mauff. “Chase and Jax are running in St. Clair to help them get ready for Michigan City,” said Muller.
Asked if he’ll be nervous sharing the racecourse and competing against 21-year-old Chase 19-year-old Jax on Lake Michigan just eight days from now, Muller laughed.
“They are both super-smart and experienced racers so I’m not worried about them—plus they have an excellent crew chief,” he said, then chuckled again. “I’m sure I’ll be proud to see them from WHM in the milling area. But as the saying goes, once the green flag drops the B.S. stops, and I’m in it to win the race.”
The Muller brothers have been around powerboat racing for most of their young lives. Photo by Tim Sharkey copyright Sharkey Images.
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