So it was not surprising that Miss Budweiser and Miss Circus Circus had swept the 10 earlier races in the series, each winning five times. But with points based on heat performances as well as on race wins, it looked like the combination of Miss Budweiser and D'Eath had the individual and team championships sewn up after a victory in Tri-Cities, Wash., on July 29, which put them 1,000 points ahead of Miss Circus Circus and Hanauer. "We had a meeting that night and decided it was the time to go after a championship, meet the challenge," said Villwock.
Miss Circus Circus got the break it needed in a race in San Diego a week before the Silver Cup when D'Eath was unable to fire up Miss Budweiser and missed the finals. Hanauer had piloted Miss Circus Circus to victory in the San Diego event and pulled within 173 points of D'Eath and Miss Budweiser in the series. With as many as 1,600 points awaiting the winner in Sunday's Silver Cup showdown, Hanauer and his team had come back to be within striking distance.
And, by virtue of D'Eath's being D'qued in the third heat on Lake Mead, Hanauer took command. Nevertheless, few of the 70,000 fans on shore decided to head back to the casinos early before the day's final on the two-mile, oval-shaped course. All Hanauer needed to do was finish third or better to take the overall crown, but with accusations hanging heavy in the air, each driver would be racing for pride, not just points.
The final wound up causing still more hard feelings. D'Eath jumped the starting gun, meaning he would be penalized a lap. The championship was decided. Miss Circus Circus won the final, and with it both the Silver Cup and the unlimited series team championship. Hanauer had himself a fifth national driving title. Miss Budweiser and D'Eath finished fifth in the Silver Cup and were runners-up for the team and individual titles.
After Miss Budweiser's streak of four straight unlimited championships was snapped, D'Eath said he thought he had made a clean start in the finals, and added, "It was the wrong town to be in this weekend to win. It's hard to win against Circus Circus when you're in its town."