Jimmy Shane and the U6 Oberto/Madison team got that long-awaited Gold Cup victory Sunday in Detroit.
It was the first Gold Cup victory for the City of Madison, Ind., which owns the Oberto boat, since Jim McCormick’s win in 1971.
“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,” said Shane. “They waited for this since 1971, and we finally get them another one in 2014.”
Last weekend in Madison, Shane was penalized before the final started when he jumped the gun at the start, leaving the door open for J. Micheal Kelly in the U1 Graham Trucking in the victory.
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On Sunday, things were reversed.
The final field was set with Shane, Kelly, Brian Perkins in the U21 Miss Al Deeby Dodge, Cal Phipps in the U7 Graham Trucking II, and Mike Webster in the U22 Webster Racing.
Maneuvering for the preferred lanes began immediately with Kelly putting the Graham Trucking in lane 1.
But Kelly and Webster both picked up penalties for score-up violations before the start, meaning Shane only had to stay ahead of Perkins and Phipps to win the Gold Cup.
That’s what he did.
Shane ran the final lap with a broken rear wing, but he got the boat to the checkered flag for the biggest win of his young career and the first Gold Cup for the team in a long time.
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.”
Sponsor Larry Oberto called the win a relief.
“It’s a big relief and really, really neat,” he said. “My dad 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.”
Oberto said he talked to his father, Art Oberto.
“He said he would do somersaults, but that would be dangerous at 86 years of age,” said Larry Oberto.
Shane beat a field that was hammered through attrition.
The gbr11 Peters & May and the U12 ServPro Miss DiJulio had to withdraw on Saturday with mechanical issues.
The U9 Red Dot/Spirit of Qatar flipped on Saturday, and while driver Jon Zimmerman was unhurt, the boat was unraceable.
That left just five boats for Sunday’s four remaining heat races — and some easy points if they could finish those heats.
Rather than combine the boats into the same heat and cutting those preliminary heats down, race officials left the schedule the same.
That left two three-boat heats, and two two-boat heats. Both Shane and Kelly won two heats to pick up 800 points each.
The fleet limps to the Tri-Cities for the Hapo Columbia Cup on July 25–27.
But there should be four additional boats added to the field by then, including Erick Ellstrom’s new U96 Spirit of Qatar. And if the Jones team can fix the U9 in time, that would give Tri-Cities 12 boats.
Either way, Shane and Oberto will come into the Columbia Cup with 3,569 points in the national high points standings.
Kelly and the Graham are in second at 3,019, while the combination of Perkins and Jamie Nilsen and the U21 team are third at 2,625 points.