Jimmy Shane powers the U-1 Miss HomeStreet (above) to a top qualifying speed of 163.431 mph during Friday’s HAPO Columbia Cup on the Columbia River. (H1 photos by Chris Denslow, above)
Jimmy Shane powers the U-1 Miss HomeStreet (above) to a top qualifying speed of 163.431 mph during Friday’s HAPO Columbia Cup on the Columbia River. (H1 photos by Chris Denslow, above)
By DAVID CAMPBELL

Special to the Courier

sports@madisoncourier.com

The newest Miss Madison didn’t get a chance to get on the water Friday but the current Miss Madison more than held its own.

Jimmy Shane steered the 2007 version of the U-1 Miss HomeStreet/Miss Madison to a fast lap of 163.431 mph to claim the top qualifying spot for this year’s HAPO Columbia Cup on the Columbia River in the Tri-Cities, Washington, by almost 3 mph.

The Miss Madison Team had hoped to debut its new hull during Friday’s two test sessions but that plan never materialized. The team instead settled for its first qualifying award of the season with a mark that missed Dave Villwock’s 2010 course record by just over one-tenth of a second.

“The conditions were just perfect. This is as good of conditions as I have ever seen here,” Shane said. “We were just trying to go out and go as fast as we could. We had a great setup and put on a new propeller and it paid off.

“We’re disappointed we didn’t break Dave Villwock’s course record but happy we were top qualifier,” Shane added

Points leader Andrew Tate, who was the fastest qualifier at the first two races of the season, was second at 160.525 in the U-9 Les Schwab Tires. Tate’s top speed came in the first qualifying session of the day and he was never able to get any closer.

“Of course we’re disappointed but we have a great set-up for race conditions when we have four other boats out on the course with us,” Tate said.

Shane earned 100 points for his qualifying speed and, as a result, was able to slice 20 points off of Tate’s lead in the National High Points chase. Tate enters racing today with a 420-point lead.

Defending race champion J. Michael Kelly was third-fastest at 156.260 mph in the U-12 Graham Trucking while Cal Phipps drove the U-1918 Oberto Beef Jerky to the fourth-fastest speed at 154.876 and Tom Thompson rounded out the top five with a 153.680 aboard the U-11 J&Ds.

Brian Perkins was sixth-fastest at 153.599 in the U-21 PayneWest Insurance and Dustin Echols was seventh at 139.556 in the U-440 Bucket List Racing.

Two other boats made it onto the 2.5-mile Columbia River course but neither collected any qualifying points. Jimmy King’s fastest speed in the U-3 Grigg’s Ace Hardware was just 116.714 after the boat experienced vibration issues. In a later test session, the team appeared to damage one of its turbocharged Allison engines but the team is hopeful of being ready to go racing today.

Rookie Aaron Salmon was unable to take his U-99.9 Miss Rock out onto the water during the qualifying sessions but did get to test later in the day, recording a fastest lap of 144 mph.

The first day of action wrapped up later when Shane won Tri-Cities’ annual Dash for Cash Friday evening to close out the day. Shane beat Tate to the line in a close race with Thompson and the J&D’s finishing third and Perkins and the PayneWest taking fourth.

Another test session is scheduled for this morning with the first set of preliminary heats set to begin at 1:20 p.m. EDT today. The final heat will be at 7:20 p.m. EDT on Sunday.