MADISON, Ind. — Bonney Lake’s J. Michael Kelly in the U-1 Graham Trucking won the season opening H1 Unlimited event on Sunday after hometown favorite Jimmy Shane in the U-6 Oberto/Miss Madison was penalized for starting too early.
After topping the qualifying and winning all three of his preliminary heats, Shane won the battle for the inside at the start of the winner-take-all final heat with Kelly and Jon Zimmerman in the Red Dot/Spirit of Qatar in lanes two and three.
Shane had a slight lead at the start and that proved to be his undoing. The video replay showed the start line in the center of the boat as the clock hit 00:00. Shane led all five laps of the final but the infraction dropped him back to fourth place behind Kelly, Zimmerman and Cal Phipps in the 7 Graham Trucking.
The Ohio River took a toll on the boats and drivers.
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“The first turn was the roughest turn I have ever raced through,” Kelly said. “At one point it knocked the boat out of shape and knocked the wind out of me. I had to get recovered physically, as well as getting the boat straightened out.”
Kelly said he was informed of the infraction on Shane about half way through the five-lap heat but didn’t want to slow down too much.
Compiled from sports-information reports.