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We had a great weekend in Sheboygan for 450R Factory Stock class, as all three teams on the podium were MTI’s on the second day of racing.  Congratulations to Throttleman Shaun Torrente and 16-year-old rookie driver Caleb Mead of Mead Family Racing for a first-place finish. The two also finished in 2nd place on the first day of racing. The iconic dynamic duo Taylor Scism and John Tomlinson came in second for T/S Motorsports, while Willy Cabeza and Gary Ballough of GC Racing secured in 3rd place, their first podium finish of the year.  We look forward to enjoying the next week off and preparing to get back to the action at the St. Petersburg Grand Prix, September 1-3!

During a conversation with Taylor Scism following race weekend, she commented: 

“This was a fantastic weekend for MTI. To lock out the podium on Sunday with MTIs in a factory stock class is gratifying and especially so with Caleb Mead winning his first race. It was a rough race but our equipment held up, which is a testament to everyone working on our boats. We’re also encouraged to see XINSURANCE Racing putting on such strong performances in Class 1 with their MTI and look forward to seeing their continued momentum.”

More Information & Quotes from the weekend captured on Midwest Challenge Day No. 2—’Good For The Sport’ And Beyond

“I’m very happy that it turned out like it did today; we got a good start and it helped us,” said Mead, who hadn’t even driven a boat within feet of another one until the week before in Michigan City, Ind., where it was incredibly rough. “Yesterday we got a good chance to practice that with the smoother water and being close to the other boats.”

The boat does have cameras that let the crew see what’s going on outside, but the camera on Mead’s side was out. Fortunately he had a pretty good spotter from shore helping him.

“I was talking to (MTI president) Randy Scism and I was asking him, where are the boats,” Mead said, adding that he figured out the straightaways pretty quickly and on turns, he and Torrente talked their way through. “Shaun would help me and toward the end I had the turns on my own.”

Torrente, who was celebrating a birthday in Sheboygan, was thrilled that Mead already got his first checkered flag in the sport.

Scism said that she and Tomlinson didn’t find out until after finishing Saturday’s race that one of their 450-hp Mercury Racing outboard engines was down on power. They appeared to have the issue solved when they charged out to the lead with MF Racing.

After the mess at the end of turn one, Scism said she held her lane, which left the mayhem among the Doug Wrights behind her and Tomlinson.

“You have four boats going into turn one—something has to give,” she said.

The TS Motorsports/MTI crew had some inside knowledge of what they were up against because Torrente and Mead were racing the boat that Tomlinson and Scism had run in 2022.

“That was my boat from last year and this winter we put one setup on one and the other so the boats are identical,” Scism said. “I knew going out there we had the same setup and the exact same boat. They had clean water and they did a great job and it was a good race.”

She added that when the checkered flag waved, she laughed when she was talking with her spotter, crew chief Milton Calafel, because she knew her father was the spotter for Mead and Torrente.

“I guarantee my dad was on the radio with Caleb and I was laughing about my dad telling him how to beat me,” she said.

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