Michael Kelly made a perfect start in his Graham Trucking hydroplane and pulled away to victory over the two favorites in the Tri-Cities’ Columbia Cup Sunday.
Kelly has driven the boat with success the past several years, but had never before won in the Tri-Cities.
The two favorites in the race — Jimmy Shane in the Home Street Bank and Andrew Tate in the Les Schwab — had neither the strategy nor the speed to catch Kelly. In fact, they could only garner third and fourth as Jimmy King drove the only piston- powered boat, the Grigg’s Hardware, to second. Fifth went to Greg Hopp in the CarStar Miss Rock.
Our Edmonds hydroplane, the Miss DiJulio, lost power on the fourth lap and failed to finish. This was disappointing to driver Tom Thompson and Edmonds fans as Scott and Shannon Raney’s hydro was having its best day ever. Thompson was nailing his starts and the boat was showing greatly improved speed and power over previous years. In face, it finished second in all of its preliminary heats.
Graham Trucking is the same boat that Rob Graham has been sponsoring the past several years. The difference this year is that he has purchased the boat and equipment and is now an unlimited owner. His first race as an owner and a victory — a great way to start.
The other boat with Edmonds ties, the Bucket List Racing, had a weekend of ups and downs. Rookie Dustin Echols had the boat running faster that it ever has, but it had a tendency to spin out in the corners. Owner Kelly Stocklin was pleased with the progress and plans on making adjustments before next weekend’s race at Seattle Seafair.
Follow the action throughout the season here on My Edmonds News.
— By Harry Gatjens