It’s been a long time since somebody not named Dave or David has won the Albert Lee Cup at Seafair.
But Jimmy Shane, in the Graham Trucking hydroplane, had a dominating run in the final Sunday to claim his first win in Seattle.
The outcome also stopped Steve David in the Oh Boy! Oberto hydro from claiming a piece of Unlimited hydroplane history.
David won the previous three Seafair races and a fourth win in a row would have tied a record set by the legendary Bill Muncey.
“There’s a reason Billy Muncey’s the only one to win four of these in a row,” sponsor representative Larry Oberto said.
Said David: “I guess that record is meant to stand for awhile.”
It was the first Seafair not won by David or Dave Villwock, the sport’s winningest driver, who retired in May, since Jean Theoret won in back to back in 2005-06. Theoret, who retired in 2009, was around the pits this weekend.
“Those guys are always going to be names and idols in this sport,” Shane said. “I’m hoping to establish my name as an up and comer here. A win at Seafair is definitely a good landmark to do that.”
He achieved the landmark with a perfect run in the pre-race jockeying, which is almost as important as the actual race.
When Shane established himself in the advantageous inside lane, which offers the shortest path around the track, he was halfway to the win.
When Kip Brown, in the 95 Spirit of Qatar, grabbed lane two and J. Michael Kelly, of Bonney Lake in the 37 Miss Beacon Plumbing hydro, took lane three, Shane had it all but won.
David was pushed into lane four, which was just too far wide.
“Lane three was doable,” Oberto said.
David flew past the Beacon and Qatar and moved inside, but Shane had too much boat speed to overcome.
It was Shane’s fourth win in less than two years on the H1 Unlimited circuit. It was the first Seattle victory for team owner Ted Porter and for sponsor Graham Trucking, which is based in Seattle.
“I think it’s the first time I’ve ever screamed on the radio because I was so excited and so happy,” Shane said. “I hope I didn’t blow out the ear drums of my radio guys.”
While Shane won the battle, David increased his lead in the war.
David, who was the top qualifier and won all three preliminary heats, started the weekend with a 233-point lead in the national high points race.
Shane had engine problems before his first heat Saturday and picked up no points in that heat.