Kelly Stocklin is a local legend when it comes to boat racing. Stocklin’s racing resume dates back to 1974 and includes decades of competition in the major flat bottom classes, super stock, pro stock and pro comp. He was a long-time record holder in the pro stock category, part of the team that has set multiple runabout records in all classes. Kelly has been instrumental in the evolution and implementation of driver safety capsules in these classes.
In 1980, Kelly joined Squire Shop’s U2 unlimited team as crew member for four years. Shortly thereafter, he joined Ron Brown as an outside vendor on Budweiser’s first turbine attempt (T-1) while working in the nuclear energy field.
In 1997, Dave Villwock took over the Budweiser team and asked Kelly to join in starting a long-term, in-house propeller manufacturing project which ultimately produced the world’s fastest and most durable propellers. Today, Kelly and Dave continue to make the world’s fastest propellers.
In the early 1990’s, Stocklin’s first experience in the cockpit of a hydroplane came in the 7 liter class. He was an early participant in the Unlimited Light Class and long-time driver of Thunder Valley Racing’s supercharged UL.
Kelly and Sharon Stocklin teamed together to promote a more economical alternative to current forms of unlimited racing that is more suited to entry level and start-up teams. Together with Snuskitush Enterprises, they are helping promote the idea that new owners in unlimited racing can be successful competitors. In 2012, the Stocklins acquired one of the boats built for the G Class automotive series and is approved by H1 to run the boat as an unlimited using a Lycoming T-53 turbine power plant.
At age 61, when most have retired, Kelly Stocklin started his driving career in the Unlimited class and was named the 2012 H1 Unlimited Rookie of the Year. Having accomplished that bucket list item, he was happy to hand over driving responsibilities to Dustin Echols. Kelly manufactures the team’s gear boxes and drive shafts, and continues to supply propellers for Bucket List Racing and other H1 race teams.
In 2020, the Stocklins purchased a Lycoming T-55 powered hydroplane from Go Fast Turn Left Racing have campaigned it since racing began again after the COVID-affected 2020 season. The Bucket List team garnered a best finish of 3rd place in National Championship points in 2021. The team finished 2022 in 5th place.
Long-term Bucket List driver Dustin Echols takes the wheel of the U-40 in 2023, hoping to score his first Unlimited win in what is now a very competitive hull.