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Racer Prepares For Drag Boat Race

By Amanda Brannon
Published On: Aug 10 2012 05:25:10 PM CDT
PLYMOUTH -

Dr. Bruce Tripp and his team plan to race in the Outboard Drag Race Association/East Coast Drag Boat Association "Rumble on the Roanoke" in Plymouth on Saturday and Sunday.

"It gets pretty fast. I think the fastest I've seen it is 117 miles per hour," Tripp said.

More than thirty-five drag boats from across the country are expected to compete in the race.

"It's really the best spectator course we have on the circuit. You can go and watch the start and you can go and watch the finish line. You can [also] stop in-between. There's no admission so it's the best of all worlds," he said.

However, before any racing can be done Tripp and his team have to drop "Mint To Fly" in the water for a practice run.

"Oh, I'm going to win [Saturday]. That's why we are out here in all this wind to test this boat," Tripp said.

Due to some wiring harness issues with the motor, Tripp is unable to get his boat in the water on Friday.

Bruce has been racing in ODBA races for fifteen-years but said this weekends race may be one of his last.

"We've got the 20th anniversary world championships coming up in October and I'd like to win that. I might retire after that," he said.

Bruce said the sport of drag boat racing also has its challenges. He's had his fair share of accidents over the years.

"I had one where I got the boat a little too high and when it came down and it hooked to the right and I hit a pontoon boat. It flipped over and I went out the bottom," he said.

A close call though isn't going to stop this racer from competing.

"I guess it's just the need for speed. I enjoy it," Tripp said.

According to Plymouth Mayor Brian Roth, the race will begin at Noon on Saturday and Sunday. The quarter-mile race will take place on Saturday, while the 800 foot race will take place on Sunday.

Racers come from all over including: Texas, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and Tennessee.

Roth said the boats will race rain or shine and admission for specators is free.