Ebert family doubles the fun while Robbins sets Top Fuel Hydro record at Diamond Drag Boat Nationals
WHEATLAND, Missouri- Shelby Ebert repeated her Pro Mod championship at the 8th annual Diamond Drag Boat Nationals on Sunday at Lucas Oil Speedway, but this celebration was even better than a year ago.
That’s because Ebert’s dad, Todd Ebert, won the Quick Eliminator final a few minutes prior. So when Shelby followed up, it became an absolute day to remember for Team Ebert.
“It’s a really big day, a father-daughter win,” a smiling Todd Ebert said. “We did this years ago in Oklahoma. It doesn’t happen very often. And this tops that.”
That was about seven years ago when Shelby was a 16-year-old working her way up through the ranks in a sportsman class. This time, both took home pro division trophies on a day that saw blazing speeds on Lake Lucas.
In a record-breaking Top Fuel Hydro final, Mike Robbins in “Nitro Nuts” went an 875-foot record 243.9502 miles per hour in 3.23 seconds. He beat season points leader and No. 1 qualifier Tyler Speer who recorded a 232.077 speed at 3.26 seconds in “Shockwave.”
Other pro division winners included Andy Reynolds in “Running with Scissors” (Top Alcohol Hydro), Bill Diez in “War Party” (Top Alcohol Flat) and Theresa Ward in “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” (Pro Outlaw).
But no one doubled up like the Ebert family of Wamego, Kansas. Shelby Ebert, driving her hot-pink “Can’t Touch This” beat Rob Burklin’s “The Pearl” by the narrowest of margins, .0013 seconds with a speed of 165 miles per hour. Todd Ebert drove “Another Wet Dream” to the win over Tip Draffen’s “Haulin Glass.” Both drivers red-lighted at the start, but Ebert got the win by not jumping the start as much.
“This is incredible,” Shelby Ebert said. “I can’t even describe the feeling, when your Dad is successful and you are as well.”
She was sitting in the holding area watching Todd Ebert’s race and didn’t know how it turned out, as both Todd and had red lights on the takeoff. Todd Ebert’s minus-.0269 time reaction violation was less than Draffen’s minus-.1292.
“When I heard on the radio that he won, I got doubly excited,” Shelby Ebert said. “At that point, it didn’t really matter what I did. I was just relieved and happy that he won. That’s great for us. If I won, that’s stellar and if I got second it’s still a great day.”
But Ebert admitted, one she found out she had won in the close duel with Burklin, that the win was extra special. Her first Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series win a year ago was at the top of her career list – until Sunday.
“That father-daughter championship definitely is number one. My first win here a year ago was definitely number two,” she said. “We’re not ever going to be able to re-do these times in our lives. It’s great to be able to enjoy this with him.”
The Top Fuel Hydro final, on a day in which excessive wind delayed the action a couple of times, was one for the books with both top seeds blazing down the track.
“I just want to thank all the fans for hanging out today and waiting for the wind to die down so we could put on a show,” said Robbins, who also won the 2016 Diamond Drag Boat Nationals. “And I think we put on a pretty good show.
“Hats off to Tyler. I’ve been chasing him all year so I owe him one.”