GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. — Jimmy Shane drove the defending national champion Miss HomeStreet to two victories in the first two preliminary heats at today’s APBA Gold Cup race in Guntersville. Dave Villwock and Jeff Bernard also claimed heat victories. The racing will continue tomorrow with two more sets of preliminary heats and a winner-take-all final that will determine the 2022 Gold Cup champion.
The APBA Gold Cup, the oldest trophy in American motorsports, is the first stop for the 2022 H1 Unlimited Racing Series, which features the fastest race boats in the world.
In today’s first set of preliminary heats, Villwock, 68, of Monroe, Washington, set a course record of 159.810 mph in the second lap of Heat 1A. He took the lead in the first turn of that contest and extended his lead to the finish line, where he finished with an average speed of 155.434 mph. Shane, 36, of San Antonio, Texas, won Heat 1B after being challenged throughout the contest by Jimmy King in the Griggs presents Miss Ace Hardware, a boat powered by a V-12 Allison engine.
Bernard, 37, of Kent, Washington, won a controversial Heat 2A where Villwock was penalized one extra lap for a lane-encroachment violation. Bernard, driving Goodman Real Estate, led the field into the first turn but was passed by Villwock’s Miss Beacon Plumbing. Villwock’s penalty gave Bernard the victory. Shane, the winner of last year’s Gold Cup, earned his second heat victory of the day in Heat 2B.
The Gold Cup will continue tomorrow with the day’s first heat scheduled to begin at 9:45 a.m. CDT. The final heat is scheduled for 5 p.m. CDT.
Tickets to the “Greatest Show on H-2-O” are still available for those who want to watch the race action in person. For those who can’t attend, the race also will be streamed live on the H1 Unlimited YouTube Channel. You can find the link at H1Unlimited.com.
APBA Gold Cup
at Guntersville, Ala.
HEAT 1A — 1, Dave Villwock, Miss Beacon Plumbing, 400 points, 155.434 avg. speed; 2, J. Michael Kelly, Miss Tri-Cities, 300, 142.368; 3, Jeff Bernard, Goodman Real Estate, 225, 139.005; 4, Corey Peabody, Lynx Healthcare, 169, 114.256.
HEAT 1B — 1, Jimmy Shane, Miss HomeStreet, 400, 149.100; 2, Jimmy King, Griggs presents Miss Ace Hardware, 300, 148.030; 3, Jamie Nilsen, Miss Colleen, 225, 139.973.
HEAT 2A — 1, Jeff Bernard, Goodman Real Estate, 400, 146.204; 2, Jimmy King, Griggs presents Miss Ace Hardware, 300, 143.846; 3, J. Michael Kelly, Miss Tri-Cities, 225, 127.411; 4, Dave Villwock, Miss Beacon Plumbing, 169, 110.092.
HEAT 2B — 1, Jimmy Shane, Miss HomeStreet, 400, 156.079; 2, Corey Peabody, Lynx Healthcare, 300, 153.750; 3, Jamie Nilsen, Miss Colleen, 225, 74.040.
ACCUMULATED POINTS — Jimmy Shane, Miss HomeStreet, 800; Jeff Bernard, Goodman Real Estate, 625; Jimmy King, Griggs presents Miss Ace Hardware, 600; Dave Villwock, Miss Beacon Plumbing, 569; J. Michael Kelly, Miss Tri-Cities, 525; Corey Peabody, Lynx Healthcare, 469; Jamie Nilsen, Miss Colleen, 450.