"Showdown in San Angelo" drag boat races celebrate milestone


SAN ANGELO, TX - For the 10th year in a row, the Craig Partusch Memorial annual Showdown in San Angelo Drag Boat Races brought the sun, meaning a lot of people are trying to beat the heat, by having some fun at the lake.

This weekend, Lake Nasworthy in San Angelo is being turned into a proving ground with some of the fastest watercraft out there, making the fun all about the machines.

"Boats. And how they go so fast," says spectator Hunter who brought his little brother along.

"Speed," laughed announcer Roger Monroe who's been a part of the series for over three decades. "This is my family -- this is awesome. I've been doing this for 36 years and the excitement hasn't worn off."

But as in any Lucas Oil Drag Boat racing series event, fans flip about the main event.

The big kahunas. Top Fuel Hydro boatscover onethousand feet of track at nearly four seconds, or300mph. And whether you're young or old, the enjoyment is the same.

Roger Monroe, who's worked all ten events at Lake Nasworthy, adds a special flair with his racing calls, bringing the good news, and also the not-so-good.

We caught up with one young fan named Nick who has a personal connection on the water.

"Dang it!," he said with his head down after two boats whizzed by. I asked him what happened, and he replied, "My grandfather lost."

But like it or not, this youngster has racing plans himself when he's barely old enough to have a license.

"I'm racing a boat when I'm 16," Nick said with a smirk.

This years race also celebrating a historical milestone, the 10th consecutive event in San Angelo, and it's been getting bigger and bigger each year.

And with it, the winds of change. From a new pit area, to a special boat ramp just for the event, helping not just the racers.

"We love it," said Monroe reflecting on the improvements over the years. "It helps us, but it benefits the public because they're getting the usage of it the rest of the year."

But one thing won't change. Fans lined up along the shore, popping a top.

"That's what racing is about too. Beer and fun," joked one of the many fans we spoke to.

The races run through Sunday afternoon and tickets are still available. The cost is $25 for each day and you can purchase at the gate.

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