Dean Chenoweth

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Not to be confused with Dean Chynoweth.
Dean Chenoweth
Dean Chenoweth.jpg
Dean Chenoweth
Born 1938
Xenia, Ohio, USA
Died July 31, 1982(1982-07-31)
Kennewick, Washington, USA
Cause of death Hydroplane racing accident
Monuments Fountain in Lake Leon
Residence Tallahassee, Florida, USA
Nationality American
Known for Hydroplane racing

Dean Chenoweth (1938 – 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 in a racing accident on the Columbia River.


Born in Xenia, Ohio, USA and a long-time resident of Tallahassee, Florida,[1] Chenoweth began his career in motorboat racing at the age of twelve. At 15, he won three national championships, in Class A and Class B hydroplanes and Class A stock boats.[1]

Chenoweth moved to Unlimited-class hydroplane racing in 1968.[1] Between 1968 and 1982 he won four American Power Boat Association Gold Cups, in 1970, 1973, 1980, and 1981,[2] and won the National High Point Championships four times.[3] Chenoweth also set a record of 20 heat race wins in the first five events of the 1980 season.[2]

Best known as the driver of Bernie Little's famed Miss Budweiser,[2] and owner of a Budweiser distributor in Tallahassee, where he moved in 1973,[4] Chenoweth survived a number of spectacular accidents, including a massive blowover on Lake Washington during a speed record attempt in 1979.[5] He was killed on July 31, 1982 when the boat blew over during qualifying for the Columbia Cup on the Columbia River.[6] Chenoweth was crushed when the boat landed inverted; his death led to Little developing a closed cockpit for the next Miss Budweiser boat, and the enclosure became standard for Unlimited hydroplane racers.[3]

Chenoweth is memorialised 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.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Phinizy, Coles (August 24, 1981). "Crash and Carry On". Sports Illustrated. 55 (9). Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  2. ^ a b c "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. 
  3. ^ a b "25 years ago: Hydroplane driver Dean Chenoweth died on the Columbia River". KNDU. July 31, 2007. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  4. ^ a b 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. 
  5. ^ Klinkenberg, Marty (May 14, 1981). "Dean Chenoweth returns to the lake". The Miami News. Miami, F:. p. 5B. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  6. ^ "Going Over the Edge". Sports Illustrated. 57 (6). August 9, 1982. Retrieved 2012-09-10.