For at least two good reasons, offshore racer Clyde Petty is on a mission to notch a top-three finish in tomorrow’s Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix, which is the third contest in the six-contest American Power Boat Association Offshore Championship Series. First, the Class 4 racer lives in the Southwest Florida city and would love a good showing in front of his hometown fans. Second, The Doll House, his former primary sponsor is out of the game so Petty is throttling his well-known, open-cockpit 28-foot Larry Smith Scarab V-bottom without his longtime backer.
With his team renamed Rollin’ Dirty Offshore, Clyde Petty is hoping for a strong showing in front of his hometown crowd this weekend (click image to enlarge). Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
With his former sponsor gone, Petty has renamed his team, which includes driver Nate Hunt and Mark Robbins, Rollin’ Dirty Offshore.
“I am not going to have any major sponsors in Sarasota,” said Petty. “But it’s time for me to do my own thing, start a new chapter and do the best we can. We got third in the first race of the season in Cocoa Beach (Fla.) and we didn’t compete in the Lake Race. We’d like to improve on our Cocoa Beach result.”
Though Petty’s 28-footer is equipped with twin 525-hp engines that would move it faster, Class 4 is a speed-bracketed category limited to a top speed of 85 mph. Petty said he is expecting up to eight boats to compete in his class this weekend.
As for future title sponsors, Petty said that although he doesn’t currently have any solid prospects he hasn’t ruled out future backers.
“It has to be a good fit—someone who wants to showcase a brand and help the team,” he said.
To that end, Petty picked up Hann Marine International as a new sponsor in advance of the race.
The Rollin’ Dirty Offshore racing team now has plenty of open real estate for sponsor logos on its 28-foot raceboat.
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