Ready to Race
H1 Unlimited presents
its annual awards at banquet
Miss Madison driver Shane honored as
Driver of the Year
SEATTLE (March 2016) – A crowd of more than 225 hydroplane fans packed the Pacific Science Center on Feb. 20 for the annual H1 Unlimited Awards Banquet to honor the best in the sport of unlimited hydroplane racing for the 2015 season.
The annual awards banquet is where H1 recognizes not only the achievements of the drivers that fly these magnificent boats at more than 200 mph but also the outstanding sponsors, race sites, media outlets, crew members and volunteers that make this sport the fastest on the water.
“Tonight we are honoring those individuals who do so much for our sport,” said H1 Chairman Steve David. “The racing was magnificent, maybe the most competitive racing we have seen in our history, but to put on a great show, we need to honor and thank all those who made this possible.”
The new paint scheme for the HomeStreet Bank-Miss Madison unlimited hydroplane is shown above. The Seattle-based bank has stepped up to sponsor the community owned hydro for the 2016 season, taking over for Oh Boy! Oberto, which did not renew its contract after a 15-year run.
Jimmy Shane and the U-1 Oberto-Miss Madison team took home top honors. Shane and the Oberto team were recognized for winning their second consecutive High Point Championship, while Oberto’s Larry Hanson was named Crew Chief of the Year.
The 2016 season gets under way on the Ohio River, July 1-3 with the Madison (Ind.) Regatta.
“This is a big night for the Miss Madison Racing Team,” said David. “Not only are we honoring this team for their outstanding 2015 season, it is a great way to honor Art Oberto, ending a 40-plus year run of sponsoring an unlimited hydroplane on the H1 national circuit, and then have this team use this banquet to announce HomeStreet Bank officially as their national sponsor for 2016.”
The Seattle-based HomeStreet Bank takes over after Art Oberto ended a 15-year run, during which the Madison-based race boat collected six national championships, two APBA Gold Cups and 19 race victories. HomeStreet Bank is not new to the sport, having previously sponsored the Evansville, Ind.-based G-3 Go3Racing team last year. Terms of the full sponsorship deal with the Miss Madison team were not disclosed, however, Miss Madison Inc. President Charlie Grooms announced it was a one-year deal with HomeStreet, with the option of extending the deal for years two and three.
“We’re extremely happy to get this party started,” Grooms said. He added that the deal with HomeStreet came together pretty quickly through connections on both sides.
The paint scheme, minus the well-known Shark design, was unveiled at the H1 Banquet. The Miss Madison will also have a HomeStreet display hull touring this summer, and driver Shane will be signed to a personal services contract with HomeStreet and will be heavily involved with the marketing, Grooms said.
“Now it’s time to take the next chapter” in the rich tradition of Miss Madison Racing, Grooms announced in an interview on Madison’s WORX radio.
Founded in 1921, HomeStreet Bank operates 113 bank branches in the western United States and Hawaii.
At the banquet, the top three national high point drivers and teams were also honored. J. Michael Kelly and the Graham Trucking team were second place honorees with Cal Phipps and the Dalton Industries team taking the third spot.
The U-27 Dalton Industries (Wiggins Racing) team also took home the honor for Crew of the Year and Milt and Charlie Wiggins were named as Team Owner of the Year.
Also receiving honors for their performance on the national circuit in 2015 was the U-100 Leland Racing team with the Chairman’s Award and its driver Kevin Eacret named H1 Unlimited Rookie of the Year.
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