HomeStreet Miss Madison Team Preview

Madison team to compete
with 2007 hull this season

Shane, Bernard to split diving duties
in 'Goodman' race boat

After a year without racing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Madison Regatta race fans returning to the Ohio River this year for the 2021 Gold Cup weekend may be surprised to find that the hometown race team will not be fielding its No. 1 boat, the Miss HomeStreet-Miss Madison. Instead, the team has decided to bring its older 2007 hull to compete at the H1 Unlimited season-opening Guntersville Lake Hydrofest, June 26-27 at Guntersville, Ala., and the Madison Regatta Presented by Nucor, to be held two weeks later July 2-4.
Charlie Grooms, the team’s president and owner representative, said the decision was made due to the uncertainty of any races on the West Coast being held this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. The Madison team had originally planned to field two boats, with Jimmy Shane piloting the U-1 Miss HomeStreet-Miss Madison, and Jeff Bernard driving the U-91 Miss Goodwin Real Estate boat, which is the 2007 Madison hull. The latter is an eight-time national championship hull, and the team signed Goodman Real Estate last year to sponsor the boat, But COVID-19 ended that campaign before it got started. Founded in 1991 by John Goodman, the Seattle-based company is a leading privately held real estate investment firm specializing in multifamily and commercial real estate.

Photo courtesy of Trey Holt

The newly painted Miss Goodman Real Estate is set to leave the Seattle area bound for Guntersville, Ala., and then Madison, Ind. for the eastern swing of the H1 Unlimited season.

With only one of the team’s boat heading east, now both drivers will make the trip and share driving duties. Initially, Bernard was scheduled to drive the boat in Guntersville with Shane taking over driving duties in Madison. But Grooms said he is not yet clear in how the driving duties will be shared. The boat will sport both the HomeStreet Bank and the Goodman Real Estate colors but run under the U-1 Miss HomeStreet name.
In a press releases issued in mid-June, Grooms cited the cost to field two boats in a year that is still affected by pandemic restrictions. So the team plans to use the East Coast swing to iron out the bugs in the older boat to try and bring it up to the same competitive standards as the newer 2018 hull in time for the 2022 season, in hopes that by then, all race sites will be back to operating normally.
Two race sites at Tri-Cities, Wash., and San Diego have announced they plan to hold their races this year, but so far neither site has completed plans with H1 Unlimited. The other West Coast site, the HomeStreet Bank Cup in Seattle, has already canceled its event this year. So with the remaining two races doubtful at best, that leaves only Guntersville and Madison on the 2021 shortened schedule.
“Miss Madison is beyond fortunate to have two excited, dedicated and competitive sponsors who want to win, and we are committed to each sponsor reaching their respective goals and objectives,” the press release said. “2021 marks a major milestone for the team as Miss Madison Racing celebrates an unprecedented 60 years in motorsports. Our commitment to our citizen owners, fans, sponsors, volunteers team members (past and present) driver (past and present) are a key element in these plans as we are committed to adding to our national championship resume.”
Meantime, Grooms appeared before the Madison Redevelopment Commission back in early February to discuss the team’s desire to move the Miss Madison Racing from Seattle area back to Madison. He asked the commission for support in acquiring land at Shun Pike and Hutchinson Lane for a new boat shop.
“I am sure you have heard the talk among people of us living and doing our work in Seattle,” Grooms said. “That’s true, but that will come to an end. We are now up to three boats, a multitude of engines and a significant investment in equipment, and we need a place to put it.”
Grooms said the team needs about five acres to build a couple of structures to house the operation, including a dyno, or test cell that runs the turbine engines at 100 percent full power.
Grooms said the team has three full-time employees and 36 part-time or volunteer staffers. He said such a move to Madison would likely not occur for at least two years because the team has two years left on its current contract with HomeStreet Bank in Seattle.

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