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Renton's Shane captures coveted APBA Gold Cup for Oberto, Madison | Hydros
For the Reporter
The one prize that eluded Steve David in one of the greatest careers of any driver in the history of unlimited hydroplane racing was the APBA Gold Cup.
David won many races and multiple championships for the community-owned U-6 Oberto/Miss Madison before retiring at the end of the last season. David turned the seat over to Renton's Jimmy Shane, defending national high-point champion, but was never able to put it all together in Detroit.
On Sunday, Shane and the Oberto/Madison team headed by crew chief Larry Hanson gave the city of Madison, Ind., their first Gold Cup win since Jim McCormick's storied win in 1971.
In doing so, Shane put his name on the historic Gold Cup trophy and gave indications it won't be the last.
"It feels amazing, and I am so happy to be able to win a Gold Cup for everyone at Oberto and the city of Madison," Shane said. "They waited for this since 1971 and we finally get them another one in 2014."
In the final heat, Bonney Lake's Michael J. Kelly maneuvered the U-1 Graham Trucking into Lane 1, but Kelly and Mike Webster and the U-22 Auto Value/Webster picked up penalties for score-up violations before the start, meaning Shane only had to stay ahead of Maple Valley's Brian Perkins (U-21 Miss Al Deeby Dodge) and Cal Phipps (U-7 Graham Trucking II) to win the Gold Cup.
Kelly led all five laps, completing the final lap around the 2.7-mile race course with a broken rear wing. Perkins and Phipps joined Shane on the podium, finishing second and third, respectively.
Asked when he knew about the penalty on Kelly, Shane said: "I heard the call at the start but I wanted to make sure it was real, so I didn't want him to get too far ahead. He was really fast all weekend."
Could he had caught Kelly?
Shane answered, "No one will ever know. We could have run harder but the important thing was to keep the boat together and win the Gold Cup. And we did. We won the Gold Cup."
Sponsor Larry Oberto called the win a relief. The Oh Boy! Oberto company, a longtime hydro supporter, is based in Kent.
"It's a big relief and really, really neat," Oberto said. "My dad (Art) started sponsoring boats 40 years ago. It's been 43 years since Madison had a Gold Cup win and 14 years that we have been partners. Those are all big numbers."
Asked if he had talked to his dad, Oberto added, "Yes. He said he would so somersaults but that would be dangerous at 86 years of age."
The H1 fleet moves to the Columbia Cup on the Columbia River in the Tri-Cities on July 25-27. The series comes to Lake Washington for Seafair on Aug. 1-3.