Just two weeks after finishing as runner-up to Andrew Tate in Guntersville's HydroFest boat race, Jimmy Shane won last weekend's event in Madison, Indiana.
The roles were reversed. Tate finished first and Shane second in Guntersville. Shane was first and Tate second in Madison.
H1 Unlimited had said the drivers were likely to battle for supremacy all year and that's how it has played out so far.
With Shane winning the Indiana Governor’s Cup, Cindy Shirley became the first woman crew chief to go to victory lane for H1 Unlimited.
In Madison, H1 fans packed the shore of the Ohio River to watch history on Sunday, July 8. Cindy Shirley (Everett, Wash.) became the first woman crew chief to win a H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Racing Series championship final after her driver, Jimmy Shane (Maple Valley, Wash.) was victorious driving the U-1 Miss HomeStreet/Miss Madison in the 68th annual Indiana Governor’s Cup.
Shane, behind in national points prior to the weekend’s event, fought hard to achieve the win. He won one of his two preliminary heats against Andrew Tate in the U-9 Auxier Marketing presents Delta/Realtrac.
In the championship final, Tate and Shane continued their season-long duel as expected. Shane took the inside lane and made a picture-perfect start over Tate. Shane pulled the early lead, but Tate charged back on the second lap, gaining within two mph of Shane. Shane held Tate off for the remaining three laps. On the last lap Tate again gained ground on Shane and went two mph faster than Shane on the fifth and final lap.
In the end, there just were not enough laps for Tate to gain enough ground and he had to settle for second place. Shane averaged 140.089 mph on the five lap Indiana Governors Cup and Tate averaged 135.716 mph.
“We are ecstatic to come home and win in front of our fans,” Shane said after climbing out of the cockpit. “What a great win for the citizens of Madison, Indiana.”
His boat, Miss HomeStreet, is based in Madison.
Shane said, “We threw everything we could at it and I am really thankful for Cindy for the great set-up.”
Shirley, a long-time crew member of the Miss Madison race team, was promoted to crew chief in the off-season. The victory Sunday marks the first time a woman has won as a crew chief.
“I am ecstatic” Shirley said. “We fine-tuned all day and came up with a set-up we were happy about. Jimmy made the most amazing start I think I have ever seen. So many were just dragging back, and he nailed it full speed.”
Third place went to Tom Thompson (Cambridge, MD) in the U-11 Reliable Diamond Tool presents J&D’s and Dustin Echols (Sultan, Wash.) came in fourth driving the U-440 Bucket List Racing hydroplane.
Preliminary Heat 2A saw three boats make the starting line. Shane, Tate and rookie driver Aaron Salmon (Bonney Lake, Wash.) in the U-99.9 CARSTARS powers Miss Rock. Salmon completed his required rookie laps and saw his first completion as a driver. In the end Shane won averaging 136.154 mph, followed by Tate at 127.431 mph, and Salmon in third averaging 116.848 mph.
The results of the events are backwards from the race in Guntersville. Shane finished in the position Tate did while Tate won the race. The competition between the drivers will be fierce and is expected to be close.
Preliminary Heat 2B
Thompson in the U-11 easily beat Echols in the smaller U-440. Thompson won with an average almost 10 mph faster than Echols. Echols’ smaller boat seemed to struggle in the notorious rough turn one.
Preliminary Heat 3A
Tate shellacked Shane after Shane drove through the roostertail of Tate and momentarily went dead-in-the-water. After restarting, Shane was able to fend-off Thompson for second. In the end, Tate averaged 140.576 mph over three laps, Shane averaged 114.240 mph and Thompson jumped the start and was penalized one minute.
Preliminary Heat 3B
2017 rookie-of-the-year, Dustin Echols won his first heat after Salmon in the U-99.9 failed to make the heat with electrical problems.
In the season long points race, Tate still leads
Shane. Alabama's team, Wiggins Racing, is 5th in the points.