Graham Trucking driver seeking more hydroplane hardware
Driver Jimmy Shane, still basking in the glow of his first unlimited-hydroplane victory last weekend, had the third-fastest qualifying time on Lake Washington Friday.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Seafair hydrosSaturday schedule: Unlimited heats 1A (3:10 p.m.), 1B (3:30 p.m.) and 1C (4:05 p.m.).
Sunday schedule: Unlimited heats 2A (10:25 a.m.), 2B (10:40 a.m.) and 2C (10:55 a.m.); Heats 3A (12:10 p.m.) and 3B (12:30 p.m.); Provisional heat (2:55 p.m.); Albert Lee Cup H1 Unlimited Final (4:45 p.m.).
Tickets: Saturday and Sunday — reserved grandstand $40; general admission $25 advance and $30 at the gate for adults, $10 for age 65-over and youth age 6-12. Pass for both Saturday-Sunday, $30.
Temporary blindness likely occurred if you took a peek inside the Graham Trucking pit Friday on Lake Washington during qualifying for Sunday's Albert Lee Cup at Seafair.
The sun's reflection bounced off Jimmy Shane's shiny first-place trophy from last week's Columbia Cup in the Tri-Cities.
And that was just the driver's trophy — for Shane's first career victory.
The team's championship hardware is on display at the hospitality center.
"It's a punch bowl," team owner Ted Porter said. "You can tell the difference. It's amazing."
While his crew flashed the spoils of last weekend's victory, Shane, 26, zipped in with the third-best qualifying speed on Friday, 148.981 mph. Dave Villwock's Spirit of Qatar had the top time, 151.626, followed by Steve David's Oh Boy! Oberto at 149.756.
Winning on Lake Washington won't be an easy task for Shane, in his first full year on the unlimited-hydroplane circuit.
It's arguably the toughest course because it's on a lake. Pleasure boats and log booms make for a lumpy track. The short, two-mile distance and wide turns don't help, either. It took time for Shane to adjust.
"We're still trying to figure out the combination, right gear package and right propeller," Shane said. "We're close. We're right there next to those guys. I think it's going to come down to me finding the best way around this track."
Shane's chances might have been limited if Porter still had three boats on the circuit. But Porter changed his game plan this year, pouring all his resources and muscle into his best boat.
The Graham Trucking owner had pestered Shane for years, asking if he wanted to become a full-time driver. Shane declined each request until this year.
Now, Shane said the team is racing faster than ever in the best equipment he's used.
"It definitely makes me more confident as a driver, knowing that the crew is that much more focused," he said. "They're putting all the good stuff in the boat."
During last weekend's race on the Columbia River, Shane edged J. Michael Kelly in the Miss Beacon Plumbing by nearly a foot. Shane capitalized on a one-lap penalty assessed to David, who led at the time. It set up a photo finish.
"It got kind of quiet, nobody was talking," said Shane, who did not know the result after the race. "They keyed up the radio. All I heard was cheering. At that point, I knew we pretty much won the race."
This weekend, he's not pretentious about the possibility of winning consecutive races. Shane is instead focusing on just qualifying for Sunday's final.
"We're going to throw everything we've got at it," he said.