The Miss Madison Racing crew later poses at the boat for the traditional Gold Cup championship photo. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
The Miss Madison Racing crew later poses at the boat for the traditional Gold Cup championship photo. (Staff photo by David Campbell)

Jimmy Shane capped off a perfect weekend with a perfect ending by winning the APBA Gold Cup and the Indiana Governor’s Cup at the Madison Regatta on Sunday.

Shane, driving the hometown U-6 Miss HomeStreet/Miss Madison, was the fastest qualifier and won all four preliminary heats. He was just as dominate in the final, taking advantage of a penalty by Andrew Tate to roll to the easy win.

The victory gave the Miss Madison team its fifth APBA Gold Cup title, but first on its home course since the magical 1971 season that inspired a movie.

“I’m honored to get a win here at Madison. It means a lot for me, but I’m more happy for the fans on the shoreline,” Shane said. “This means the world to them and I’m just ecstatic that they’re able to experience this. Forty-eight years later and their grandchildren get to experience what they got to experience in ’71. It’s just an honor to be a part of it.”

Tate, the defending Gold Cup champion, brushed off a rough Saturday that saw him finish third twice in preliminary heats with the kind of Sunday that showed why he is the reigning National High Points Champion.

After two preliminary heat wins on Sunday, Tate grabbed the lead at the start of the final in his U-1 Delta/Realtrac and led throughout the first lap despite having the faster Shane on his inside. But Shane, who set a 2-mile course record in qualifying on Friday, simply had too much speed to contain.

“We really didn’t want to be in lane one but the opportunity presented itself. I knew the boat was getting through that corner really well, better than all the other boats, so I took a chance, I took a risk,” Shane said. “Andrew beat me to turn one and had a head of steam going to the finish line. But (crew chief) Mike (Hanson) gave me some legs and I was able to get it into the first turn.”

Shane caught Tate in the first turn of the second lap and began to pull ahead when the Delta/Realtrac hit a rolling wave and hooked to the left. By the time Tate had righted his ship, Shane was gone.

“That hazard that has been there all week finally got me,” Tate said of Madison’s notorious first turn. “Congrats to the Miss Madison team. A great win and a historic win for the sport of hydroplane racing. We tried our best.”

As it turned out, the incident with Tate proved to be anticlimactic. While he recovered and finished second physically, a pervious one-minute penalty for jumping the gun pushed Tate to fifth place.

Canadian Bert Henderson finished second in the U-7 Spirit of Detroit to cap a strong weekend that saw him win a preliminary heat on Saturday afternoon.

“I love this town. What a great place to hold a Gold Cup,” said the Brockville, Ontario, native. “I can’t think of a better way to end the weekend.”

J. Michael Kelly spent the weekend hoping to play the role of spoiler in his U-12 Graham Trucking and looked the part on Saturday with a win and a second place against Tate in the prelims. But the normally unflappable driver committed the kind of mistake he never makes when he missed his timing marks and started the final heat nearly two roostertails behind the leaders.

Kelly never truly made up the ground but he was able to pass the trailing Tom Thompson and take home third place after Tate was penalized.

“It’s not the way I wanted to finish third. I messed up the start and started a little late. I don’t want to gain spots because of calls,” Kelly said. “I’m just glad to be back in Madison. I’ve missed the last two years. This race course is so challenging; it swallowed me in that first turn earlier in the day and almost cost us from even making the first row in the final. I love this place and everybody here and I hope to be back next year.”

Thompson survived several penalties on the weekend to place fourth in the U-11 J&D’s. Rookie Corey Peabody was unable to start the final in his U-98 Graham Trucking.

Along with his win in the final, Shane also won four of the eight preliminary heats on the weekend and set the Madison course records for both a two-mile average and a 4-mile average on Friday. His speed of 149.653 mph in a single lap eclipsed Dave Villwock’s average of 148.837 set in 2012 driving the Spirit of Qatar.

“Villwock was an amazing legend in our sport and it is truly an honor to whup one of his speed records,” Shane said.

The victory was the 19th of Shane’s career, moving him past his predecessor with Miss Madison Racing, Steve David, into sole possession of sixth place on the career H1 Unlimited wins list. It was also his fourth Gold Cup championship in the last six years.

With only a jumping the gun penalty in a preliminary at Guntersville keeping Shane from a perfect season so far, the Miss HomeStreet pilot has run away with the National High Points lead. He currently holds a 1,071-point lead over Kelly and a 1,556-point over Henderson with just three races left on the season.

After two races east of the Mississippi River, the H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Series turns west for the rest of the season starting with the Columbia Cup in the Tri-Cities, Washington July 26-28.


2019 APBA GOLD CUP

& INDIANA GOVERNOR’S CUP

Ohio River, Madison, Indiana

Course Length: 2 miles

RESULTS

Sunday, July 7

FINAL HEAT

1. Jimmy Shane, U-6 Miss HomeStreet/Miss Madison, 135.046 mph; 2. Bert Henderson, U-7 Spirit of Detroit, 126.760; 3. J. Michael Kelly, U-12 Graham Trucking, 125.165; 4. Tom Thompson, U-11 J&D’s, 111.524; 5. Andrew Tate, U-1 Delta/Realtrac, 109.090*. Corey Peabody, U-98 Graham Trucking, DNS.

Fast Lap: Tate, No. 1, 146.053.

*-penalized one minute for jumping the gun

PRELIMINARY HEATS

Saturday, July 6

HEAT 1A

1. Jimmy Shane, U-6 Miss HomeStreet, 130.699; 2. Bert Henderson, U-7 Spirit of Detroit, 127.136; 3. Andrew Tate, U-1 Delta/Realtrac, 126.595; 4. Corey Peabody, U-98 Graham Trucking, 100.585.

Fast Lap: Shane, No. 1, 137.197.

HEAT 1B

1. J. Michael Kelly, U-12 Graham Trucking, 129.101; 2. Dustin Echols, U-440 Bucket List Racing, 104.555; 3. Tom Thompson, U-11 J&D’s, 95.029.*

Fast Lap: Kelly, No. 1, 134.205.

*-penalized one minute for jumping the gun

HEAT 2A

1. Bert Henderson, U-7 Spirit of Detroit, 128.275*; 2. J. Michael Kelly, U-12 Graham Trucking, 126.491; 3. Dustin Echols, U-440 Bucket List Racing, 100.860; Tom Thompson, U-11 J&D’s, DSQ.**

Fast Lap: Thompson, No. 2, 135.746.

*-fined $200 for not maintaining lane

**-disqualified for lane encroachment

HEAT 2B

1. Jimmy Shane, U-6 Miss HomeStreet, 98.929*; 2. Corey Peabody, U-98 Graham Trucking, 79.121; 3. Andrew Tate, U-1 Delta/Realtrac, 77.490.*

Fast Lap: Shane, No. 1, 136.630.

*penalized one minute for jumping the gun.

Sunday, July 7

HEAT 3A

1. Andrew Tate, U-1 Delta/Realtrac, 128.731; 2. Corey Peabody, U-98 Graham Trucking, 115.680; 3. Dustin Echols, U-440 Bucket List Racing, 105.668; 4. Bert Henderson, U-7 Spirit of Detroit, 100.256.*

Fast Lap: Tate, No. 3, 137.793.

*-penalized one minute for jumping the gun

HEAT 3B

1. Jimmy Shane, U-6 Miss HomeStreet, 131.482; 2. Tom Thompson, U-11 J&D’s, 124.485; J. Michael Kelly, U-12 Graham Trucking, DSQ.*

Fast Lap: Shane, No. 1, 142.492.

*-disqualified for entering the DMZ and fined $350 for dislodiging a buoy

HEAT 4A

1. Andrew Tate, U-1 Delta/Realtrac, 135.605; 2. J. Michael Kelly, U-12 Graham Trucking, 132.854; 3. Bert Henderson, U-7 Spirit of Detroit, 128.249; Dustin Echols, U-440 Bucket List Racing, DNF.

Fast Lap: Tate, No. 2, 140.154.

HEAT 4B

1. Jimmy Shane, U-6 Miss HomeStreet, 126.111; 2. Tom Thompson, U-11 J&D’s, 123.977; 3. Corey Peabody, U-98 Graham Trucking, 110.448.*

Fast Lap: Shane, No. 2, 129.827.

*- fined $250 for not maintaining spacing in the turn

FINAL QUALIFYING RESULTS

(2-lap average)

1. Jimmy Shane, U-6 Miss HomeStreet, 148.885; 2. J. Michael Kelly, U-12 Graham Trucking, 142.735; 3. Andrew Tate, U-1 Delta/Realtrac, 141.660; 4. Tom Thompson, U-11 J&D’s, 138.846; 5. Bert Henderson, U-7 Spirit of Detroit, 137.088; 6. Dustin Echols, U-440 Bucket List Racing, 132.892; 7. Corey Peabody, U-98 Graham Trucking, 126.396.

SEASON POINTS STANDINGS

(After 2 of 5 races)

1. Jimmy Shane, U-6 Miss HomeStreet, 4,025; 2. J. Michael Kelly, U-12 Graham Trucking, 2,954; 3. Bert Henderson, U-7 Spirit of Detroit, 2,469; 4. Dustin Echols, U-440 Bucket List Racing, 2,013; 5. Corey Peabody, U-98 Graham Trucking, 1,949; 6. Tom Thompson, U-11 J&D’s, 1,834; 7. Andrew Tate, U-1 Delta/Realtrac, 1,447.