Shane eager to get
new Unlimited race season started
Maryland native has proven himself
since his first win in 2012
With the retirement of Steve David as driver of the Miss Madison at the end of last season, the big question heading into 2014 was who would replace the popular David in the cockpit of the world’s only community owned Unlimited hydroplane?
Accompanying the Shanes to the races is their 1-year-old son, Colton James Shane. (His parents took the newborn Colton to his first boat race when he was literally just a few days old!)
David’s successor is Jimmy Shane, a two-time winner of the UIM World Championship and the defending National High Point Driver in the H1 Unlimited Class. Shane will see his first competitive action with the Oberto-sponsored Miss Madison at the Madison Regatta over the Fourth of July weekend.
Shane’s credentials as a race boat driver are impressive indeed: a champion Limited inboard driver; a four-time inductee into the prestigious American Power Boat Association Hall of Champions; a qualified Unlimited driver since 2007; and six victories in the Unlimited Class during 2012 and 2013 with Ted Porter’s Graham Trucking team.
Shane comes from a boat racing family. His father, Stuart, his mother, Robin, and his sister, Kelly, have all competed in Limited hydros. Jimmy’s wife, Bianca, likewise races boats. Stu Shane was one of the top Limited drivers of the 1970s with seven consecutive National Championships in the 145-cubic-inch Inboard Class between 1976 and 1982.
Jimmy first saw Unlimited action as a back-up driver for the Porter team. In this capacity, he posted his first top-five finish with a fourth-place in the 2008 Tri-Cities (Wash.) Columbia Cup on the Columbia River.
It was at the 2012 Columbia Cup where Shane scored his first Unlimited victory. Shane in Graham Trucking and J. Michael Kelly in Miss Beacon Plumbing fought for the lead all five laps of the Final Heat. Shane had Lane 2; Kelly occupied Lane 1. Kelly gained the advantage in the turns, while Shane used superior boat speed in the straightaways. Shane did not take the lead until the last few yards before the finish line and beat Kelly by less than a boat length – approximately eight feet!
The 2012 Columbia Cup was actually Shane’s second boat racing triumph of 2012.
Earlier in the year, he had won the Havasu World Cup in the Grand Prix Class, while driving Dean Rojas’s Charger (GP-10) at Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
Shane and the Graham Trucking (U-5) would not be denied in 2013, claiming the National High Point Team Championship. This was on the strength of four victories in seven races, including the Oryx Cup-UIM World Championship at Doha, the Albert Lee Cup at Seattle, the Diamond Cup at Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and the Bill Muncey Cup at San Diego.
Graham Trucking also finished second at the Big Wake Weekend Regatta in Sacramento and at the Columbia Cup in the Tri-Cities.
Doha, Qatar, occupies a special place in Shane’s heart. It was there in 2012 and 2013 that he scored back-to-back victories in the UIM World Championship with Graham Trucking. The races were actually scheduled just a month apart during the winter of 2012-2013.
Shane entered 30 heats of competition in 2013, was first 19 times and second seven times.
Between 1961 and 2013, 19 drivers occupied the cockpit of the Miss Madison at one time or another. The list includes the likes of Marion Cooper, Buddy Byers, Jim McCormick, Milner Irvin, Ron Snyder and Mike Hanson. On Oct. 24, 2013, the Miss Madison Inc. Board of Directors voted unanimously to designate Shane as Miss Madison Driver No. 20.
“Being named the new Miss Madison driver is quite an honor,” says Shane. “And having the backing of such a great sponsor as Oberto makes the opportunity that much better. The history of the Miss Madison team speaks for itself. There is also a uniqueness to the team being owned by the 13,000 citizens of the city of Madison.
“My goal as the new Miss Madison driver includes defending my driver’s title from 2013 and to bring the National Championship back to the city of Madison for the 2014 season. I know that Steve David left very big shoes to fill in all aspects of hydroplane racing, and I will continue to do my best and leave my own mark on this wonderful sport.”
Formerly of Havre de Grace, Md., Shane’s 9-to-5 job is as an integration engineer at Blue Origin LLC, an aerospace company in Kent, Wash., near Seattle.
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