Champion Spark Plug Regatta – ERCU Race #1
- Three preliminary heats of five laps each for modern and vintage classes
- First and second connies for both classes (depending on boat count and attrition). Second connie winner advances to first connie as a trailer. First connie winner advances to the final as a trailer.
- Second place boat in the first connie is an alternate for the final.
- Winner-take-all championship finals for both modern and vintage
- Vintage boats may run their choice of props
History of the Real Champion Spark Plug Regatta
From 1971-83, Champion Spark Plugs sponsored the season opening Champion Spark Plug Regatta at Miami Marine Stadium in Miami, Fla.
This race often times sets the stage for how things would turn out during the coming season, even though the course was a tight 2 mile oval on salt water.
Over the 13 race history of the event, legendary driver Bill Muncey won five times and Dean Chenoweth won four times. Miss Budweiser was the all-time race win leader at the Champion Spark Plug Regatta by taking six titles home, including each of the last four. Atlas Van Lines won five, including each of the four prior to the Miss Budweiser win streak in the event’s final years.
Other winning drivers include Mickey Remund (1973), Howie Benns (1974), Billy Schumacher (1975) and Jim Kropfeld (1983).
The only year that the Champion Spark Plug Regatta didn’t kick off the season was 1983 – it’s final year – when the season started at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.