Jimmy Shane, clinched his 6th H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Racing Series national championship after his qualifying performance and winning the preliminary heat gave him enough points for the title on Mission Bay.
Shane has won the championship six of the past seven years, five with his team current team, Miss Madison Racing owned by the citizens of Madison, Indiana. Shane won the championship in 2013-17, and now in 2019.
After Saturday’s racing, Shane said:
It feels great to win my sixth championship, we are going to stay clean during tomorrow’s two sets of heats and go into the final and lay it all on the line.
We are going to race smart leading up to the final of the HomeStreet Bank Cup and through everything we got at it.
Shane explained that he has to stay away from the saltwater tossed in the air from the other race boats,keeping the engine from digesting the salt that could lead to damage and,
Stay out of trouble.
Shane biggest challenge of the day came from his teammate, Jeff Bernard, driver of the U-1918 “Oberto Super Salami” who nearly caught him at the finish of the four-lap heat.
Bernard finished a boat length behind Shane.
Third place went to Jamie Nilsen, driving the U-11 “J&D’s presented by Reliable Diamond Tool.”
Fourth place went to Canadian driver Bert Henderson in the “Spirit of Detroit.”
In the second heat of the day, J. Michael Kelly in the U-12 “Graham Trucking” made a parade out of the preliminary heat easily beating Bernard in the “Oberto Super Salami” and U-11 “J&D’s presented by Reliable Diamond Tool.” Corey Peabody driving the U-98 “Graham Trucking American Dream” failed to finish.
Kelley told me:
We need to keep getting this boat going faster and faster.
Kelly said they are going to try different things Sunday because he was unable to get good timing marks Saturday after his boat suffered steering issues during qualifying.
The guys worked hard to find the issue which is nice, you want your steering to work when you are going 200 mph on the water,.
He didn’t know exactly what went wrong with his steering other than it wasn’t right:
I’m just the driver, I just turn the wheel and I knew something wasn’t right.
I explained it to my crew and they thankfully figured it out.
Racing continues Sunday at the HomeStreet Bank San Diego Bayfair on Mission Bay with two additional preliminary heat races and with the winner-take-all final scheduled for 4 pm (PDT).