Crew members congratulate J. Michael Kelly. Photo by Chris Denslow – H1
Shane had a slight lead at the start and that proved to be his undoing. The video replay showed the start line in the center of the boat as the clock hit 00:00. Shane led all five laps of the final but the infraction at the start dropped him back to fourth place behind Kelly, Zimmerman and Cal Phipps in the 7 Graham Trucking, who finished in that order.
Jamie Nilsen in the 21 GoFastTurnLeftRacing had earned a spot in the front row of the final but failed to make a start.
Throughout the day, the Ohio River took a toll on the boats and drivers, with Kelly explaining, “The first turn was the roughest turn I have ever raced through. At one point it knocked the boat out of shape and knocked the wind out of me. I had to get recovered physically as well as getting the boat straightened out.”
Speaking of the start, Kelly said, “I was on my marks and Jimmy was ahead of me, so I knew he would have to back down a little. He did but I guess it wasn’t quite enough.”
Kelly said he was informed of the infraction on Shane about half way through the five lap heat but didn’t want to slow down too much, knowing that Zimmerman and Phipps were right behind him.