Jimmy Shane, driving the Miss HomeStreet, had his second straight perfect day on the unlimited hydroplane circuit Sunday, as the top qualifier and winner of every heat in Madison, Indiana,.
Even though he had perfect results, Shane still had to rely on the luck of a racer twice during the weekend. In one of his preliminary heats on Saturday, Shane jumped the gun and was penalized one minute. His main competitor in the heat — Andrew Tate in the Delta RealTrac — also jumped the gun and Cory Peabody in the Graham Trucking II had engine issues, and Shane was able to make up the minute on him.
His other bit of luck came in the final heat where Tate, the defending champion, had the lead and was holding the Miss HomeStreet off for the first lap until Tate ran into a group of waves, which spun his boat out and allowed Shane past.
Tate was able to keep running and attempted to close the gap for the remaining three-and one-half laps, but just couldn’t make up for the spin. Officials then ruled that Tate had jumped the gun and added a one-minute penalty to his time, dropping him to fifth. Second place went to Bert Henderson in the Spirit of Detroit and third went to J. Michael Kelly, who somehow got his timing off before the start and was well behind in his Graham Trucking hydroplane.
Tom Thompson, driving Edmonds-based J&D’s, presented by Reliable Diamond Tools, started the weekend off poorly when he jumped the gun in his first heat and ended up third. He thought things were improving in his second heat, in which he led all the boats to the finish line. Unfortunately, he was ruled to have infringed on the lane of Kelly and was disqualified.
Our local boat’s fortunes improved on Sunday with second-place finishes in both preliminary heats. However, the poor results on Saturday let to Thompson having to start 15 seconds behind the other boats in the final. It was a disadvantage he had no hope of overcoming as he finished fourth.
Dustin Echols in Edmonds-owned Bucket List Racing also suffered at the hands of the hydroplane gods. He was all set to make the final heat before an engine failure caused him not to finish his last heat, robbing him of the points necessary to make the final.
This ends the Eastern U.S. portion of the hydroplane circuit. The teams all pack up for Washington to race at the Columbia Cup at the end of the month.
— By Harry Gatjens