Jimmy Shane continues to roll in the Graham Trucking boat after earning the top spot on the podium at last weekend’s H1 Unlimited Diamond Cup in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The 28-year-old new father from Havre de Grace, Md., made it two wins in a row, following up his victory at the Albert Lee Cup at Seattle Seafair in early August with a dramatic victory on Sunday as the Unlimited hydroplanes returned to Coeur d’Alene for the first time in 45 years.
Shane used the inside advantage—secured before the start—to hold off a challenge from J. Michael Kelly in the Miss Beacon Plumbing boat. After a review of the start, Kelly was ruled to have jumped the start clock. That set the driver back from second place to fifth and moved Steve David up to second in Oh Boy! Oberto.
Always a pre-race favorite, David found himself in an outside lane at the start and back a bit from Shane and Kelly, and was only able to move up to third on the water before the call on Kelly moved him up the final ladder.
For Shane, who in the words of David has become the “guy to beat in the Unlimited ranks,” it was a perfect weekend. First place in qualifying and four heat wins added 1,700 points for the weekend and pretty much erased David’s lead in season high points.
“I just want to thank Ted Porter for letting me be a part of this great team,” Shane said from the awards stage. “Rob Graham, our sponsor, was here and when we win for him it’s always special. I also have to thank the crew that gave me such a great race boat. We knew it would be rough on the big lake and the winner would be the last man standing. I go out and drive as hard as I can and sometimes it works out.”
In a Sunday prelim, the Oh Boy! Oberto lost a prop leaving the pit area and failed to score points giving Shane an opportunity to make up most of the points advantage David had before the Diamond Cup. David’s current 43-point lead means the two are in a virtual tie heading into the final race—San Diego Bayfair.
“I think we are going to the final race of the season with the closest points race in history,” said David, who was excited about the return to Coeur d’Alene. “Coeur d’Alene is such a great place for us to race. The city and the people have been great and you could not ask for a more beautiful setting.”
A strong weekend in the Spirit of Qatar boat for Kip Brown put him third as he also benefited from the call on Kelly. Tom Thompson was fourth in the Peters & May boat but recorded a fuel flow violation, moving rookie Jessie Robertson up to fourth in the FEDCO boat.
The next stop for the H1 Unlimited series will be on San Diego’s Mission Bay (Sept. 13-15).