No competitor enjoys the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout more than Tyler Crockett. The famed Michigan-based engine-builder and former offshore racer looks forward to the Central Missouri top-speed contest, which he tackles in a 26-foot Joker V-bottom, every year. The 32nd annual event is scheduled for August 29-30.
With a bigger blower on his alcohol-fueled engine, Tyler Crockett is hoping to run 140 mph at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout this year. Photo from the 2019 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix/speedonthewater.com.
With a 565-cubic-inch blown alcohol engine of his own creation providing the power, Crockett ran 128 mph in his 26-footer last year. While most Shootout competitors in his class would have been delighted with that performance on the liquid three-quarter-mile course, Crockett—a truly colorful character—was disappointed.
“We were trying to make 26 to 30 pounds of boost and we were only making 19.5,” he said. “For this year, I added a bigger Top Fuel blower running 26 to 30 pounds of boost and I’ve already run 136 mph on the St. Clair River. I think it’s capable of 140 mph at the Shootout. That’s my goal.”
Crockett also said he plans to add 5 percent nitromethane from VP Racing Fuels into the alcohol fuel for the now-3,000-hp engine during his runs down the course the Shootout course. He’ll go without nitromethane on Saturday to “lay down a good base number” and then use it on Sunday. He said he’s hoping the engine will turn 8,000 rpm at peak performance.
“I like to do my runs earlier in the morning when it’s cooler and humidity is down,” he said.
To transfer the power to the water, Crockett is sticking with his tried-and-true IMCO Marine SCX drive with a new custom-made BBLADES propeller. (“I told Fred Inman, Jr., at IMCO I should be their poster child,” he quipped.) Brett Anderson, the owner of the Princeton, Wis., tuning, repair and fabrication company is crafting a 30-inch pitch five-blade wheel for the boat.
Crockett will run solo in the event.
“I used to have a lot people who wanted to run with me when the boat ran 90 mph,” he said, then laughed. “Now that it runs more than 130 mph, no one wants to go with me.”