J. Michael Kelly
J. Michael KellyDriver

J. Michael Kelly and the U-12 Graham Trucking team only competed in two races last year and the popular driver and team are back on the entire circuit in 2019. Kelly is known as one of the most consistent starters on the circuit, an advantage for the team. Many have compared his starts to the late-great driver, Bill Muncey.

He has partnered with long-time crew chief, Tom Anderson for each of his eight career victories. Although with a different owner, all but one of his victories had been in the cockpit of this hydroplane.

Kelly scored his first H1 Unlimited hydroplane win at the 2009 inaugural U.I.M. World Championship Oryx Cup in Doha, Qatar. Kelly said his goal this year is winning the H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Racing Series national championship, something he has never been able to accomplish. His 16-year career makes him the most seasoned driver among active drivers on the circuit.

Kelly’s hydroplane is a former Miss Budweiser that was purchased by long-time hydroplane sponsor, Rob Graham in 2017. Graham who owns a transportation company in the Pacific Northwest has been sponsoring H1 Unlimited hydroplanes since 1994. His company’s first primary hydroplane sponsorship came in 1996. During the past offseason he purchase a second hydroplane, the former U-99.9 and will field two boats at selected races. Graham Trucking is the longest standing consecutive sponsor in H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Racing Series.

Rob Graham
Rob GrahamOwner

Since 1995, Rob Graham has been one of the most visible sponsors in boat racing. This year, he becomes a team owner for the first time.

And he is excited about it.

Thirty years ago, Graham and his company – Graham Trucking, Inc. – first became involved with racing, sponsoring one of his employees 2.5 liters then moving into the Grand nationals and finally into the newly formed Unlimited Lights class. As title sponsor of Jerry and Greg Hopp’s ULHRA team, Graham Trucking enjoyed sponsorship success right out of the gates. Graham played a vital role in the UL class until 2008 when the class was broken up.

Graham’s history in the sport is deep and famous – particularly in Seattle, where Graham Trucking has, for many years, hosted VIPs and employees in their hospitality area just inside the pits at Seafair. He’s been a long-time sponsor of various unlimited hydroplanes and has been the title sponsor of the Graham Trucking Cup at Seafair, which has featured everything from Unlimited Lights hydroplanes to Grand Prix West hydroplanes, as well as the Formula 1 boats that have raced as a part of the Seafair race card for the last several years. Graham Trucking has also been the title sponsor of the Grand Prix Thunder Cup in Tri-Cities as well as title sponsor of many other local races.

Rob Graham started Graham trucking in 1983 and was a driver, mechanic, billing clerk and dispatcher until he had purchased enough trucks and hired enough drivers to support an office staff. Based at the time at terminal 115 in south Seattle Graham was primarily focused on the Alaska barge trade. Graham Trucking was one of the early pioneers of heavy containerized cargo and built many of their own super chassis to accommodate these heavy ocean containers. Graham now has one of the largest super chassis fleets for its port and barge division. They also have refrigerated and flatbed divisions dedicated to “local” short haul for perishables, Seafood and construction.

Today it is common to see Graham Trucking rigs running up and down Interstate 5 between Portland and Seattle, the I-90 corridor, and across the Pacific Northwest

Tom Anderson
Tom AndersonCrew Chief

Tom Anderson:

Anderson has been involved in unlimited hydroplane racing as a crew member for over 30 years. Tom’s early years in the sport were spent primarily as a turbine engine specialist for several teams including Mr. Pringles, T-Plus and Miss Budweiser. He first became a crew chief for Ron Jones Jr in the mid 90’s and went on to work with owners Jim Harvey and Fred Leland.

Tom joined Ted Porter’s PPE, LLC team in 2007 and moved to Crew Chief of the U-5 in 2008 where he and Jeff Bernard scored their first victory in only the second race of the season at the Indiana Governors Cup in Madison Indiana. The team went on to be the only repeat race winners in 2008 by capturing the Bill Muncie Cup in San Diego, California. Since 2008, Tom has twice been awarded Crew Chief of the Year and the U-5 team along with drivers Bernard, Jimmy Shane and J. Michael Kelly have compiled an impressive record of 3 World Championships, 1 National Championship and 18 victories, and 1 Gold Cup, making them one of the most successful teams in recent years.

Professionally, Tom left full time boat racing in the late 1990s to work in Boeing’s wind tunnels operating the Transonic and Super Sonic tunnels. He has since left Boeing and is a manager for Blue Origin where he enjoys building space vehicles. Tom, wife Kellie and son Brody live in Renton, Wa.

U-5 Racing Team
U-5 Racing TeamCrew

Scott Baker, Enumclaw, Wash.
Pat Berryman, Orting, Wash.
Jerry Bowers, Fife, Wash.
Justin Ellis, Kent Wash.
Brian Hajny, Orting, Wash.
Jeff Kelly, Auburn, Wash.
Quinton Miller, Mercer Island, Wash.
Craig Norton, Detroit Mich.
Sandy Pearl, Lake Tapps, Wash.
Kevin Stoltz, Mukilteo, Wash.
Andy Stowell, Hooper, Neb.
Bryan Pyziak, Selkirk, Manitoba, Canada
John Walcker, Chelan, Wash.

Graham Trucking
Graham TruckingMain Sponsor

Graham Trucking:

Robert Graham purchased his first semi tractor in 1983 and shortly after formed the company Graham Trucking, Inc.

He purchased a second truck, then a third, until we had grown to about a dozen trucks. Based at that time at Port of Seattle Terminal 115 South, our main business was barge lines doing business between Washington and Alaska.

The company is now based just south of the Seatac airport on 188th. We operate 100 power units and own one of the largest super chassis fleets in the state. While Graham Trucking continues to service the Alaska barge trade, we have expanded our service to include international freight, construction trade, retail supply, distribution, and others. Our customers are construction companies, retail chains, freight forwarders, steamship lines, seafood companies, consolidators, Intermodal companies, produce suppliers, and many others.

GTI President

  • Team Website: www.grahamtruckingracing.com
  • Team Founded: 2017
  • Home Port: Milton, WA
  • Driver: J. Michael Kelly
  • Driver Rookie Year: 2004
  • Boat Colors: Red/Black
  • Primary Sponsor: Graham Trucking
  • Builder: Hydroplanes, Inc.
  • Designer: Hydroplanes, Inc.
  • Hull Built: 2000
  • Hull Rebuilt: 2016 by U-12 Racing LLC
  • Length: 28’6″
  • Width: 14′
  • Weight: 6750 lbs
  • Engine: T-55/L-7 Turbine
  • Team Victories [prior to the start of the season]: 1
  • 2018 Boat Points: 1724
  • 2018 Driver Points: 1724
  • 2018 Season Finish: 8th