POTW: Rick McWaters

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Photo by: Matt Polito, www.dragbikephotos.com

We have to give a shout out to our old buddy Rick McWaters who had his way with the Yamaha Hot Rod Cruiser class at Indy, nabbing his second win in a row, winning it from the pole and setting all four available national records on the Patrick Racing Warrior. That’s called “clearing the table”.

We’ve been watching Rick since the early days when he ran 600 SuperSport in 1995. He had two wins that year running against the likes of Keith Dennis, Rickey Gadson, Chris Williams and even a roadracer named Tripp Nobles. One thing we always liked about Rick was that he was a true racer at heart and really shined in an out-the-back-door class.

He joined the Hot Rod Cruiser ranks early on and started kicking butt on a independently-campaigned Harley-Davidson. Then it was discovered that his engine builder made some questionable cylinder head modifications and Rick was stripped of a sure championship season. After serving a suspension, Rick came back all legal-like and again leapt to the front of the class. Nigel Patrick had decided he had enough and the only way to remove the thorn from his side was to hire him.

And so after a roller-coaster ride Rick finds himself all in blue, alongside two-time champ Mark Underwood. Nigel must have seen what we see in Rick and the decision has paid off especially against the unforeseen invasion of the competitive V-Rods of Jamie McNaughton and Larry Edmondson.

Rick came through all the way at the Pingel Thunder Nationals at Indy, qualifying on the pole, beating McNaughton in the final on a holeshot and setting new records of 9.25/144 in the quarter and 5.89/118 in the eighth. McNaughton did run quicker and faster during the event but at the end of the day, the racer in McWaters came out.

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