Racers with local ties win six of seven titles
By GEOFF STOUTE
MORGAN CITY — Seven champions were crowned this weekend during Deep South Racing Association’s “Battle on the Basin,” ¼-mile and 1/8-mile outboard Drag Boat Racing World Championships at Russo’s Landing.
Racers with local ties took six of the seven classes as Randy Joubert of Berwick won the Pro Stock competition, Josh Broussard of Stephensville won the Performance Bass and Ski, Paul Gautreau of Pierre Park won the 1400 Modified, Todd Catrett of Morgan City won the Super Stock, Taylor Crabtree of Pensacola, Fla., won the Lake Racer and Craig Walker of Morgan City won the Outlaw. The lone outsider to win a race was Shane Stovall of Prattville, Ala., who won the Pro Gas division.
Broussard, Gautreau, Catrett and Crabtree all were sponsored by Evolution Marine, while Joubert was sponsored by Zuber Marine and Stagg Marine Transportation.
C&W Financial Services Inc. and Caldwell Racing sponsored Walker.
Jed Angelle, owner of Deep South Racing, said while the weather had some impact on the weekend, he still called it “awesome.”
Race promoter Marvin Catrett said Saturday’s racing got off to a late start because of the weather and they had to dodge it throughout the day before races concluded at 7 p.m.
On Sunday, he said they were able to dodge predicted unfavorable chances of rain and only received some sprinkles.
While Marvin Catrett said the rain always affects the number of spectators in attendance, he estimated they had nearly 1,000 people onsite Saturday and “probably another 600” on Sunday.
He said organizers got “probably about 60 percent” of the spectators that they normally have for races.
The boat count, however, Marvin Catrett said, was high, considering with economic challenges in recent years, they average approximately 35 to 40 boats at any type of drag racing.
As for why they had a successful turnout, he said, “First of all, we have a good purse and … it’s a great place to race.” The facility is spectacular.”
Both Marvin Catrette and Angelle were complimentary of the hospitality the racers received locally.
As for the racers, Todd Catrett also claimed the high point series in the Pro Stock and Super Stock. He was undefeated in the Pro Stock until he fell to Joubert in the Pro Stock. He raced in the event after suffering a mechanical malfunction.
His father, Marvin Catrett, said his son had “dominated” the class the day before.
While Todd Catrett had entered the race with 12 consecutive wins, he noted perhaps the looming No. 13 had an impact.
“That’s what I was thinking,” he said.
While he would have liked the win in Pro Stock, he said that he was satisfied with his finish, calling it “a good weekend.”
Broussard, who finished third on Saturday before winning the world championship on Sunday, noted that he was 50 pounds heavier on Saturday due to excess fuel and water his boat collected.
“Weight’s really critical,” he said.
He said he was able to empty the water for Sunday and was more successful.
Broussard, who was racing in a new boat this weekend, said he was happy with his performance.
Gautreau, who switched to the 1400 modified last year, won the world championship in his second year of competition in the class.
While he had to replace a broken motor after finishing third Saturday, he came back Sunday and won the class and took second in high points for the season.
Crabtree, who had Gautreau driving his boat for him because he could not attend the weekend event, won his first world title and took high points for the season.
Crabtree, who has been racing for five years, said he is still credited with the win because his boat was there.
However, he said if he would have been racing it instead of the veteran Gautreau, he said he wasn’t confident he still would have won.
“Paul’s still a lot better driver than I am,” he said.
As for Joubert, who took the Pro Stock class after coming out second to Catrett Saturday, said he made some small adjustments and finished undefeated Sunday.
“It was great,” he said of his weekend and his first championship.
Boat race winners:
Pro Stock: first place, Randy Joubert, Berwick; second place, Todd Catrett, Morgan City; and third place, Mitch Ludwig, Farmerville.
Performance Bass and Ski: first, Josh Broussard, Stephensville; second, Jay Aucoin, Stephensville; and third, Tyler Whitehead, Buna, Texas.
1400 Modified: first, Paul Gautreau, Pierre Part; second, Darrin Baxter, Prattville, Ala.; and third, Casey Weaver, Gulfport, Miss.
Super Stock: first, Catrett, Morgan City; second, B.J. Reulet, Chackbay; and third, Jed Angelle, Arnaudville.
Lake Racer: first, Taylor Crabtree, Pensacola, Fla., driven by Gautreau; second, Orin St. Marie, Donner; and third, Nick Chaisson, Chackbay.
Pro Gas: first, Shane Stovall, Prattville, Ala.; second, Aaron Campbell, Orange, Texas, driven by Bret Hamilton; and third, Chris Bean, Horsebay, Texas.
Outlaw: first, Craig Walker, Morgan City; second, Jacob Crabb, Mt. Pleasant, Texas; and third, Ryan Neil, Houma.