Champs

Photo by Chris Denslow – H1

Congratulations to Jimmy Shane, Larry Hanson, Charlie Grooms, Bob Hughes and the entire Miss Madison organization on winning the 2014 H1 Series High Points championship!

From the Madison Courier –

J. Michael Kelly won the battle but it was Jimmy Shane who won the war, clinching his second – and the Oberto/Miss Madison’s fifth – National High Points Championship Saturday in Doha, Qatar.

Shane, who steered the Graham Trucking to the title last year, made it two in a row when he posted a second and first place finish in preliminary head action. His wire-to-wire victory in Heat 4A of the Oryx Cup UIM World Championship clinched the team’s fifth championship, third-most all-time behind the Miss Budweiser (24) and Miss Bardahl (6).

Shane was unable to cap a storybook day when he finished second to Kelly in the final heat. But a runner-up finish in the race could not wipe the smile from the 29-year-old Covington, Wash., resident’s face.

“Our main goals coming in here was to keep the equipment together and win the national high point championship,” Shane said. “If we would have won the world championship it would have been icing on the cake, but we are bringing the boat home in one piece and we have the national high point championship.”

Shane appeared to be in a good position to win his third-straight World Championship. He steered the Oberto to lane one and was on the verge of controlling the race course when Kelly cut the corner in turn one and blitzed ahead of Shane to secure lane one.

It was a bold move and one that could have backfired on the Graham Trucking driver. But it was the only play he felt he could make.

“The move worked out,” said Kelly. “The Oberto had a little bit more speed than we had and that move allowed us to come away with a huge win.”

Shane, now in lane two, still led the field through the first turn and was out in front after one lap but he couldn’t hold his position. Kelly used the shorter track and increasingly rough water to pull away for the win.

“I thought I had him. We went into the first turn, and I was about four lengths ahead,” Shane said. “I was able to hold him off for about two laps. Once he got next to me on the inside; the water got so rough I couldn’t hold him off and I just settled back.”

“We were running pretty close,” said Kelly. “There were times when we were only a few feet apart down the straightaway, but that is boat racing, and you can never give the other too much room. That’s how you have to race.”

The victory was the fourth of the season for Kelly and his fifth all-time. It was also the fifth win in as many races at Doha for owner Ted Porter, whose boats have dominated the Doha Bay track starting with Kelly’s victory in 2009.

Jon Zimmerman, who was paired with either Kelly or Shane in every preliminary heat, finished third aboard the Team Red Dot while Cal Phipps in the Graham Trucking II was fourth. Tom Thompson placed fifth aboard the Peters & May, Mike Webster was sixth in the Performance Tool and Jean Theoret failed to finish the final aboard the Spirit of Qatar.

Kelly won all four of his preliminary heats and came within a runner-up spot in qualifying away from sweeping the weekend. Theoret, who was making his first Unlimited appearance since 2009, scored a preliminary heat win and was pulling away for a second victory when the steering shaft broke on his craft and he pulled the boat into the infield to avoid any further damage.

Phipps also scored a heat victory in Heat 3B.