Back to Back USF1 Titles for Tim Seebold
When Tim Seebold decided to step into the cockpit for one final season, he had one goal in mind: winning the 2016 USF1 Powerboat Tour Championship. Following the series’ final race in Pittsburgh in August, Seebold finished the season one point ahead of fellow drivers Terry Rinker and Greg Foster, earning him back-to- back titles in 2015 and 2016.
“Our primary goal was to win the Formula One championship, not only in light of the NGK [Spark Plugs’] 50 th Anniversary, but also because of my last year driving before retirement,” said Tim.
After 44 years of driving professionally, Seebold heads into the final three races of the season with another championship under his belt, further establishing his legacy as the winningest powerboat driver in the USF1 Powerboat Tour. This is his seventh Formula 1 Championship title. Seebold also secured the APBA SST200 North American Championship in Rising Sun, Ind. over the weekend.
Earning the championship wasn’t without setbacks, although, as Seebold, Rinker and Foster headed into the final race in Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Regatta with the title up for grabs.
“One point separated the top three and it wasn’t decided until the final race, that’s the first time in history we’ve seen it come down to that,” said Tim. “So just when you think you’ve seen everything in boat racing after 44 years, all of a sudden, something new happens.”
“I’ve always said with racing that you have to have luck, and luck beats good every single time. Sometimes you just gotta be lucky. And we were this year,” said Tim.
But winning isn’t a new feeling for the Seebold’s. This year marks the 77 th year of racing for the family, as Tim’s grandfather, Bill Seebold, Sr. began the legacy in his home-built speedboat in 1939 that raced up and down the Mississippi River, a track that would become all too familiar to the Seebold family over the course of time.
“His legacy still lives on through us and with that kind of legacy, I didn’t want to let anybody down,” said Tim, reflecting on his final championship season. “For me, it’s about my grandpa, my dad, my mom, my brother, my wife, my sister and those who mean something to me. This is our legacy, it’s what we’ve always done as a family.”
Tim’s father, Hall of Fame driver Bill Seebold, Jr., has managed the team over the years, working closely with Tim and fostering his love of the sport. Bill and his wife, Lynn, raised two championship powerboat drivers, as Tim’s brother Mike is a national and world champion in multiple classes.
“It’s been a bittersweet season for us, because for 77 years, a Seebold has been in a boat,” said Bill. “Other than my wife, Lynn, boat racing was the love of my life and Tim and Mike were the same way; they’re both really passionate about it when they drove, and worked on their equipment.”
NGK Spark Plugs (U.S.A.), Inc. signed on with Seebold Sports again as the title sponsor in 2016, a special year for the company.
“2016 marks NGK Spark Plugs’ 50th year of doing business in the United States,” said Michael Schwab, senior vice president of aftermarket sales and marketing. “The legacy of Seebold Racing is much like the NGK brand, a story that has evolved over time into a passion dedicated to quality, service and outstanding performance. We are proud to partner with Tim in his final season and congratulate him on his back-to- back championship, and beyond.”
After securing his 18th career championship last weekend, Tim heads into the last leg of the season reflecting on his decorated career with gratitude.
“The first title won is always the most allusive,” said Tim. “But it never gets old, and the longer you go, the more you cherish it, as that could be the last time. This brings closure to my career; I’m proud of the season we’ve had, and the work my team put in to get here for a final time.”
Seebold Racing will head to Detroit, Mich. for the Detroit Hydrofest August 26-28, to Shreveport, La. September 2-4 and finish out the season in Orange, Texas September 16-18.
Along with NGK Spark plugs as this final tour’s primary sponsorship, Tim has several secondary sponsors that he has work with throughout his long career including the following: MarineEngine.com, CDI Electronics, Seaway Marine, SHORAI Batteries, Weldon Fuel Pumps, Pro DeZigns Graphics, C & M Concrete and MOTO Marketing Group – MOTO-MG.com.