Cal Phipps in Team Porter’s 7 Graham Trucking II and J. Michael Kelly in the 1 Graham Trucking.
Photo by Chris Denslow – H1
By Nelson Holmberg – Team Porter Racing
If the show “Mythbusters” followed unlimited hydroplane racing, they’d find that the most dominant team in the sport in recent years is actually red and BLACK.
That team is Ted Porter’s, sponsored by Graham Trucking.
As the team prepares to defend its 2013 Oryx Cup UIM World Championship November 20-22 on Doha Bay in downtown Doha, Qatar, the red and black of Team Porter Racing has seen more success than any other team in unlimited hydroplane racing since 2011.
For the last nearly four full seasons Team Porter Racing, while flying the colors of Graham Trucking, has won more races than any other team on the H1 Unlimited circuit.
“We are, of course, really proud of the results we’ve recorded as a team,” Porter said. “But obviously we have to continue to work really hard to stay at the top of the sport. All year, our goal has been to ‘keep the 1’ and with two races left, we have the right sponsor, equipment, drivers and crew and we will continue to push toward that goal.”
“Last year may have been the closest high points race ever in the sport, but the team never gave up and it worked out for us,” Porter added. “We made up a little bit of ground in San Diego, but while it is still a big hill to overcome, anything can happen so we believe there is still no reason to believe that we can’t achieve our goal.”
Since 2011, Team Porter has won 10 races including six of the last eight. That’s more than Miss Madison Racing Team (eight) and Ellstrom Racing (five). Included in those 10 wins over the last four years is three wins at the Oryx Cup UIM World Championship in Doha, Qatar. In fact, in the first five Oryx Cups, Team Porter Racing has won four times (2009, 2011, 2012, and 2013).
Porter’s Decatur, Ind.-based team also had a four-race winning streak alive that started at Seattle and carried through Coeur d’Alene, San Diego in 2013, and resumed in Madison, Ind., to start the 2014 season.
“These guys are top-notch, and I have never been so confident in a team,” said Rob Graham, president of Graham Trucking. “I have thoroughly enjoyed being associated with Team Porter Racing since 2009, and I’m thrilled with the results the team is producing.”
Of the four 2014 races that the team has finished – Team Porter withdrew the red boat from Tri-Cities due to significant damage – Team Porter has won three times, in Madison, Seattle and San Diego, with J. Michael Kelly at the wheel. This year’s win at Seafair was the second straight on Lake Washington for Team Porter. The black boat, driven by Cal Phipps, has podium finishes in three of its five races, including a second at San Diego, and thirds at Madison and at the Gold Cup.
Speaking of podiums, both Graham Trucking boats finished on the podium in the season-opener at Madison, Ind., and at San Diego, where the team took first and second places.
The team also has won a national championship (2013) and has four top-four finishes in high points (third and fourth during a two-boat season in 2011) since 2011. Additionally, both Graham Trucking boats are in the top three in points this season.
Over the years, Team Porter Racing has produced success in the driving ranks, as well. Kelly, Jeff Bernard, Scott Liddycoat, Mike Allen and Jimmy Shane have all won for Porter, combining for a total of 15 race victories since the team’s inaugural year in 2006.
H1 Unlimited Race Wins (team) in the last four years
Year Porter Madison Ellstrom Our Gang Total
2014 3 2 0 0 5
2013 4 2 0 1 7
2012 2 2 2 0 6
2011 1 2 3 0 6
Total 19 8 5 1 24