Tom Thompson took the Edmonds-based unlimited hydroplane — Reliable Diamond Tools presents J&D’s — to third place in Friday’s qualifying trials for this weekend’s Albert Lee Cup at Seafair.
Tip qualifier was Jimmy Shane with a brand new Miss HomeStreet, which qualified at 153 mph followed by Andrew Tate in the Les Schwab hydro at 150. Next came our local boat at 148.
This is a tremendous improvement for Scott and Shannon Raney’s hydroplane, as in previous years it was about 10 mph behind the leaders. Speaking directly to My Edmonds News, Scott attributed the improvement to a number of factors: engine improvements, resolving previous drive lines issues, driver Tom Thompson gaining an ability to “fly” the boat, and better gear combinations, to name a few.
“We are pleased, our fastest Seattle laps since we started the team,” Raney said with a giant grin on his face.
Five others boats qualified for Saturday’s racing. J. Michael Kelly was fourth in the Graham Trucking and Brian Perkins was next, driving his Payne West Insurance to a speed of 143 mph.
Next was Cal Phipps in the Oberto at 141 followed by Aaron Salmon in the Miss Rock at 137. The other boat with an Edmonds connection was 8th as Dustin Echols drove Kelly Stocklin’s Bucket List Racing to a 130 average.
As we head into the second half of the 2018 season, Edmonds boats are in second (J&D’s ) and 4th (Bucket List) in the season standings.
Racing tomorrow begins at 5:15 p.m. Saturday. On Sunday, preliminary heats starting at 11 a.m., culminating in the final at 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
— By Harry Gatjens