Wake The Lake Springfield Ohio 2019

Rinker Remains On A Roll With
Fourth-Straight NGK F1 Victory In Ohio

 Written by Jason Johnson

Following the last-minute cancellation of the fourth race of the 2019 NGK Spark Plugs F1 Powerboat Championship in Pittsburgh—an unfortunate turn of events that had nothing to do with the NGK F1 series and has even led to legal action against the local management company—the series organizers and teams rebounded to put on a remarkable show a week later at last weekend’s Springfield F1 Grand Prix in Ohio.

Ashton Rinker remained hot in Springfield, Ohio, last weekend, winning his fourth-straight NGK Spark Plugs F1 Powerboat Championship race of the season. All photos courtesy Kevin Pyles/MOTO Marketing Group

Although the victor was the same—Florida’s Ashton Rinker earned his fourth win in four races this season—the third annual Wake the Lake that took place on Champions Park Lake at the Clark County Fairgrounds in Springfield, Ohio, appears to have put the city back on the international boat racing map thanks to the privately held multi-use permanent powerboat racing facility.

“Winning in Springfield was awesome because it’s like the Indy 500 for our sport; but it was even cooler to see my cousin (Chris Rinker) finish fourth last weekend,” said Rinker, who has a chance to become the first undefeated driver in an F1 tunnel-boat season since his father, Terry, won every race in 2006. “Chris is a rookie driver and he continues to improve and climb up the point standings. It’s cool to see how much he’s developed and how well he’s competing with some of the best drivers in the country.

“Not at all—we’re in a great place right now and we’re going to continue to put the best possible boat on the water,” added Rinker when asked if he or his teammates are getting complacent after winning the first four races of the season. “For me, it’s been a great season, but we need to finish it off in Colorado in a couple of weeks. Besides the Pittsburgh setback, which was disappointing but out of our control, the series as a whole is going very well and the competition amongst the teams is the best it’s been in many years. We have some big-name sponsors showing interest for next year.”

Rinker made sure to thank his teammates, particularly his crew chief James Chambers, as well as his primary sponsors, which include Rinker’s Boat World and McLain Trailers. Obviously he is confident heading into the Roar of the Rockies season finale in Windsor, Colo. (Aug. 31-Sept. 1).

“We’re dialed in—it’s going to be hard for anyone to catch us,” Rinker continued. “We’re not skipping a beat and I don’t think the altitude of Colorado is going to affect us. We might lose some horsepower, but we have some tricks up our sleeves. We have good motors, a nice selection of props available and some other goodies in the toolbox. Our goal now is to get Chris on the podium and get him up there in overall points.”

Fairchild, a two-time American Power Boat Association Hall of Champions inductee, called the 2019 event the best one yet and thanked everyone from the sponsors and the fans to the fairground officials and the teams that made the trip to Ohio for the event.

“It was a great weekend with great weather, great fans and great competitors,” Fairchild said. “B2B Motorsports and UPPG cannot thank the Clark County Fairgrounds and Dean Blair enough for the fabulous facility. We had a massive field of boats in all the classes, including OPC and mods, and we had massive crowds. Champions Park is truly becoming the place to race.”

In the competitive Formula Lights class, Michigan’s Steve Merleau finished ahead of Texas’ Grant Schubert and Florida’s Carlos Mendana. In the J-Hydro class, Kentucky’s Alden Merrill edged out a couple of Texans—Shane Bulter and Jack Schubert—to claim the victory and move into third in the overall standings behind Butler (first) and Schubert.


NGK F1 PBC Springfield OH
2019 NGK F1 Powerboat Championship Series Round 5 in Springfield, OH August 9-11th

NGK Spark Plugs F1 Powerboat Championship ready to “wake up” Springfield, OH with high-adrenaline boat racing action returning to “Wake the Lake 3” on Aug. 9-11, 2019. “Lake at Champions Park” inside the Historic Clark County Fairgrounds will be the site of this popular event for the 3rd consecutive year.

“Wake the Lake 3”, presented by Coldwell Banker, will be roaring into Springfield, OH on August 10-11, 2019 for the 4th round of the NGK Spark Plugs Formula 1 Powerboat Championship, marking the 3rd annual F1 racing event at the popular “Lake at Champions Park,” a protected smooth-water lake inside the Historic Clark County Fairgrounds. This body of water has a long history with speed, as it was a secret test lake for many of boat racing’s legends, and where state-of-the-art outboard technology was developed.

Race teams will soon be flocking to the park, with more than 25 F1 boats expected to hit the water in their 120-mph flying rockets. “Wake the Lake 3,” presented by Coldwell Banker, is hosting the longest course of the NGK F1 circuit which also incorporates a formidable righthand corner that can push a driver’s skills to the very edge.

Along with the NGK F1 stars, fans will be entranced by the Formula Lights racers; smaller rockets that can maneuver through the tight corners just as deftly as the F1’s. An eager squad of J Hydro junior drivers will also be on hand as well as several classes of Stock Outboard.

The weekend will be loaded with activities for all the fans, including tailgate parties, vendors, VIP tents, “Saving Pluto” concert, R/C boats, driver autograph parade and more! Gates open at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $15 per day, or $25 for a weekend pass. Free admission for kids 12 and under. Friday’s testing day is also free.

With only two races left of the 2019 season, racers are running out of time to add to the seasonal point chase. Currently leading in F1 points is Florida racer, and reigning 2018 NGK F1 Champion, #20 Ashton Rinker “​Rinker’s Boat World,” with 885 points. Rinker has been victorious at all three of the series events this season, but closing in behind him is driver #62 Chris Fairchild of Paw Paw, IL, who has managed to nail 4 heat victories this season but continues to miss out on a Final win. Fairchild joined the ranks of McCollough Racing Team this year and sits in second with 796 points. The lone Canadian driver, #94 Rusty Wyatt, who is often seen leading the pack in heat races, is also hungry to grab his first Final heat victory.

2018 “Wake the Lake” winner, #03 Dustin Terry of Louisiana, who also races for McCollough Racing team, missed collecting any points at the last event in Bay City, Michigan when Tropical Storm Barry caused flight cancellations that kept Terry stuck in the Bayou State for most of that event. Terry caught a last minute flight and managed to arrive just minutes before the Bay City Final. But disaster struck when Terry”s boat caught a strong gust on the Saginaw River and blew over, causing serious damage to the boat but leaving Terry uninjured. Dustin Terry will be back in Springfield to defend his 2018 “Wake the Lake” championship title, where fans watched 5 different winners emerge from the event’s six heat races.
Formula Lights driver and points leader, #6 Mark Schmerbauch of WI, came out of retirement for 2019 and is on fire with a tally of 556 points, followed by #95 Dustin Pearson who has earned 418 points. #191M Jake Alkema sits in third with 382. Racing will be fierce as the F-Lights winner at Springfield will also be awarded the additional title of APBA (American Powerboat Association) F-Light (SST45) Divisional Champion.
Watch for the J-Hydro racers in their wooden 8-foot boats – a class designed for kids aged 9-16. These future F1 racers compete with one hand on the wheel and the other on a hand throttle as they speed around the course on their knees at 40 mph. Currently leading the points standings in the J-Hydro class is #5 Shane Butler in a very tight battle with #24 Jack Schubert; two drivers from the state of Texas.


Full 2019 NGK F1 season schedule:

May 3-5: Port Neches, TX F1 Winner: #20 Ashton Rinker
June 28-29: Toledo, OH F1 Winner: #20 Ashton Rinker
Airs: Sunday, July 14, 2019, 12:30 p.m. ET
July 12-14: Bay City, MI F1 Winner; #20 Ashton Rinker
Airs: Sunday, August 4, 2019, 12:30 p.m. ET
Aug. 3-4: Pittsburgh, PA – No Race
Aug. 9-11: Springfield, OH – F1, F-Light, J-Hydro
*APBA F-Light (SST45) Divisional Championships
Airs: Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019, 12:30 p.m. ET
Aug. 31-Sept. 1: Windsor, CO – F1, F-Light, Tri Hull, J-Hydro
*APBA F1 National Championships
*APBA F-Light (SST45) National Championships
*APBA Tri Hull National Championships
Airs: Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019 5:30 p.m. ET
Watch the Live-Streamed racing action, filmed by Greenlight TV, on race weekend by visiting NGK F1’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/NGKF1PowerboatChampionship.
Greenlight TV will film the NGK Spark Plugs F1 Powerboat Championship racing action all season long, producing a 30-minute show of each event to air on CBS Sports Network. “Wake the Lake 3,” presented by Coldwell Banker from Springfield, OH will air Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019 12:30 p.m. ET.
If you miss the show, you can still watch the replay on Motor Trend On Demand for a minimal fee. In 2018, CBS Sports Network television coverage reached 2.7 billion households with 45 airings of the 6 episodes (a 225% increase over 2017, and a 420% increase worldwide to 9 billion households). To view the shows on-demand, visit: https://www.motortrendondemand.com/show/us-f1-powerboats-championship-/73231972.
The NGK Spark Plugs Formula 1 Powerboat Championship is honored to have the strong commitment of title sponsor, NGK Spark Plugs – The Ignition Specialist. Since 1936, NGK Spark Plugs has been the world leader in technology, innovation, and world-class quality in the design of spark plugs and oxygen sensors. Today, NGK manufactures NGK Spark Plugs and NTK Oxygen Sensors for virtually every automotive manufacturer in the world.
NGK has built a reputation for quality and reliability, and a commitment to excellence continues to be the driving force behind the company’s advanced research and development programs. In North America, NGK is headquartered in Wixom, MI and maintains manufacturing, inventory, and distribution facilities in Irvine, CA, Sissonville, WV, and Chicago, IL.
For more information about NGK Spark Plugs, (U.S.A), Inc., please visit our website www.ngksparkplugs.com.
Get more information on the exciting NGK Spark Plugs F1 Powerboat Championship by visiting NGK F1 Powerboat Championship on Facebook.
Author: Val Collins
Press Contact: Tim Seebold- timseebold@hotmail.com