In this four-part series, Deck2Deck introduces you to the 2017 H1 Fleet and looks ahead at the upcoming fantasy season.
The three boats D2D considers 2017’s "top guns" are those with top-notch equipment and drivers that are expected to run full circuit. We anticipate these boats will be in the hunt for the National Championship when the season winds down.
U-12 – Graham Trucking
Driver: J. Michael Kelly – Puyallup, WA
Home Port: Fife, WA
During the off-season a major-league shakeup occurred when the ex-Bud Beer Wagon T-6 hull (0001) was acquired from Ted Porter by long-time boat sponsor Rob Graham. The legendary hull has been refreshed during the offseason but has not hit the water as of yet. J. Michael Kelly fulfilled a lifelong dream in 2016 when he captured the prestigious Gold Cup trophy, the oldest in motorsports and the pinnacle for a boat racer. The Graham Trucking entry and hot shoe J. Michael Kelly will be plenty capable of podium finishes and heat victories this season as they look to make Mr. Graham’s first as an owner a memorable one.
U-9 – Les Schwab Tire / Jones Racing
Driver: Andrew Tate – Detroit, MI
Home Port: Kent, WA
During Andrew Tate’s rookie campaign, he did something that his legendary father, Mark Tate, could never do: He took checkers for the Seafair Trophy in Seattle. He followed that up with a solid second-place finish at San Diego. Young Tate, who appears to love to fly the boat like his pop, looks to be the next great shoe the sport will boast. Behind the reins of Mike and Lori Jones’ well-prepared race boat (92102.5), look for Tate to race hard against the likes of Shane and Kelly, the best drivers available. The Les Schwab tested at Tri Cities, WA and also edged the HomeStreet Bank in the non-point exhibition race in Madison, IN.
U-1 – Miss HomeStreet Bank
Driver: Jimmy Shane – Sammamish, WA
Home Port: Madison, IN
Back in the cockpit of the 2016 National Champion Miss HomeStreet Bank (0706) is four-time defending driver champion Jimmy Shane. Shane, after having flirted with leaving the team prior to last season, now seems to be on very solid footing with the Madison Camp. The Indiana team announced the building of a new sled for Miss Madison Racing in 2018. Looking back to last season, the HomeStreet won in Madison and San Diego and captured two second-place finishes at Detroit and Seattle. The Madison has tested twice preseason, and also looked brilliant at the non-point Governor’s Cup exhibition on her Ohio River home waters. Shane’s fifth championship in a row is a real possibility in 2017 as the HomeStreet is still the cream of the H1 crop.
Posted on: Jul 26 2017 09:08 PM UTC