KENNEWICK, Wash. — Corey Peabody drove Pinnacle Peak Consulting from behind during the last lap of the final heat and won the 2021 HAPO Columbia Cup in the Tri-Cities, Washington. It was the third stop of the H1 Unlimited Racing Series, which features the fastest race boats in the world.
The event was dominated by Jimmy Shane, 35, of Covington, Washington, during most of the day, winning each of his preliminary heats driving Miss HomeStreet and being the fastest qualifier. But, in the winner-take-all final, he found himself caught behind the others at the start and could never catch up.
The start instead belonged to Peabody, 42, of Kent, Wash., and J. Michael Kelly in Miss Tri-Cities, his teammate on the Strong Racing Team and a friend since they were in grade school together. Kelly, 42, of Bonney Lake, Wash., held the lead through most of the heat but his boat received damage to its rear wing and Peabody was able to get past him during the final lap.
The victory was the first in Peabody’s career driving in the H1 Unlimited Racing Series. The victory also gave his team its second one-two finish of the season. Kelly was the winner in Guntersville, Alabama, while Peabody placed second. The Strong Racing Team is new to the H1 Unlimited circuit this season.
Kelly finished the final in second place, followed by Shane in third, and in fourth was Jamie Nilsen of Gig Harbor, Wash., driving J&D’s. Nilsen won one of the preliminary heats earlier in the day, his first heat victory of the season. Dave Villwock, 67, the sport’s greatest champion, finished in fifth place driving Miss Beacon Plumbing.
The H1 Unlimited Racing Series would typically continue with an event in Seattle, but that race was canceled earlier in the year because the Covid-19 pandemic prevented the planning necessary to hold the event. The next race on the schedule will be held in San Diego on September 17 to 19.