Dean Alan Chenoweth
August 27, 1937
Xenia, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||July 31, 1982 (aged 44)|
|Cause of death||Hydroplane racing accident|
|Resting place||Tallahassee, Florida|
|Monuments||Fountain in Lake Leon|
|Known for||Hydroplane racing|
Dean Alan Chenoweth (August 27, 1937 – July 31, 1982) was an American hydroplane racing pilot. Known for piloting the famous Miss Budweiser boat and the winner of four American Power Boat Association Gold Cups, he was killed at age 44 in a racing accident on the Columbia River.
Born in Xenia, Ohio, and a long-time resident of Tallahassee, Florida, Chenoweth began his career in motorboat racing at the age of 12. At 15, he won three national championships, in Class A and Class B hydroplanes and Class A stock boats.
Chenoweth moved to unlimited class hydroplane racing in 1968. Between 1968 and 1982, he won four APBA Gold Cups, in 1970, 1973, 1980, and 1981, and won the National High Point Championships four times. Chenoweth also set a record of twenty heat race wins in the first five events of the 1980 season.
Best known as the driver of Bernie Little's famed Miss Budweiser, and owner of a Budweiser distributorship in Tallahassee, where he moved in 1973, Chenoweth survived a number of spectacular accidents, including a massive blowover on Lake Washington at Seattle during a speed record attempt in October 1979.
While piloting Miss Budweiser in 1982, Chenoweth was killed on the Columbia River in Washington on July 31. During Saturday morning qualifying for the next day's Columbia Cup at the Tri-Cities, the boat was traveling at about 175 mph (280 km/h) when it blew over and impacted inverted. He suffered massive head, neck, and chest injuries; when pulled from the water, he was unconscious and did not have a pulse. Chenoweth was taken to Kennewick General Hospital, and was pronounced dead 45 minutes after the accident.
Chenoweth's death led Little to develop a closed cockpit for the next Miss Budweiser boat, and the enclosure became standard for unlimited racers. He is memorialized by a fountain in Lake Leon in Tallahassee's Tom Brown Park; he had been named the city's Man of the Year for 1981.
- Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. Social Security Administration.
- "Boat crash kills Chenoweth". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. August 1, 1982. p. C1.
- "Tragic race day". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. August 1, 1982. p. 6D.
- "Hydroplane racer killed". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). wire services. August 1, 1982. p. 3E.
- Phinizy, Coles (August 24, 1981). "Crash and Carry On". Sports Illustrated. 55 (9): 73.
- "Dean Chenoweth". Motorsports Hall of Fame of America via The Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum. Archived from the original on 2013-01-12. Retrieved 2012-09-10.
- "25 years ago: Hydroplane driver Dean Chenoweth died on the Columbia River". KNDU. July 31, 2007. Retrieved 2012-09-10.
- Leviton, Joyce (August 16, 1982). "For U.S. Thunderboat Champ Dean Chenoweth, His Fourth Smashup Becomes His Last". People. 18 (7). Retrieved 2012-09-10.
- "Miss Bud driver hurt in crackup". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). October 24, 1979. p. C1.
- "He lived to tell about it". The Bulletin. (Bend, Oregon). (UPI photo). October 24, 1979. p. 14.
- "The Bud destroyed". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). (AP photo). October 24, 1979. p. 25.
- Klinkenberg, Marty (May 14, 1981). "Dean Chenoweth returns to the lake". The Miami News. Miami, F. p. 5B. Retrieved 2012-09-10.
- Dean Chenoweth at the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America
- "Going Over the Edge". Sports Illustrated. 57 (6): 22. August 9, 1982.
- "Hydro pilot Bill Muncey killed in racing mishap". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. October 19, 1981. p. 6D.