KENNEWICK, Wash.--The 2016 HAPO Columbia Cup is ready to start. Qualifying and testing begin tomorrow (Friday, July 29) at 8:15 am PDT. More qualifying and testing plus the first set of preliminary heats will be run on Saturday with the remaining heats and the winner-take-all championship final on Sunday.
KONA 610 AM will broadcast all the action live from 9 am PDT Friday until the checkered flag falls on Sunday while KNDU-TV will telecast the action on local TV and streamed live on the web from 1 pm to 5 p m PDT Sunday.
HERE IS THE 2016 HAPO COLUMBIA CUP FLEET (All information was compiled by Gary Dougherty)
U-1 Miss HomeStreet Bank (Jimmy Shane) Owner: City of Madison, IN Jimmy Shane has won three Columbia Cup regattas 2012, 2014, 2015, 2nd in 2013. First appeared in 2007 and ended up 12th. Fourth in 2008. Columbia River record 6/3-1-0. The Madison, Ind.-owned boat finishes at the Columbia Cup 2015-2000: 1-1-1–x-2-1-1-1-2-3-2-2-x-3-x-3. (6 wins, 4 seconds & 3 thirds in the past 16 races). The Madison, Ind.-owned boat has won at least 1 heat every year beginning in 2006 – a streak of 10 years, 23 heat wins during the span. Most Owner National Championships – Bernie Little 22, Ole Bardahl 6, City of Madison, IN 6.
U-3 Griggs presents Miss Ace Hardware
(Jimmy King) Owner: Go3 Racing (Ed Cooper) The Cooper’s Express stunned the 30,000 onlookers in winning the 1989 Columbia Cup final with Mitch Evans driving. Tom D’Eath in the heavy favorite Miss Budweiser washed down the Holset Miss Mazda on the west turn during the fourth lap of the five-lap final and was given a 1-lap penalty. The U-3 finished 4th in 1A avg 102.2 mph, 3rd in 2B at 100.1 mph. Won the final avg 113.531 mph. “I never let the pressure off,” said Evans. “This is the fastest this boat has ever gone. I was going to let it go or let it blow.” It was just the second appearance by the U-3 as the hull was built in 1988. The U-3 was the second-fastest qualifier in 2008, Jimmy King went 162.074 mph, Miss E-Lam Plus was top qualifier at 162.722 mph. That speed by King is the fastest qualifying speed by the U-3 and fastest every by a piston-powered boat. Jimmy King finished third in 2005 final driving for Ed Cooper in the U-3 Cooper Motorsports. In 2004 - The Vacationville.com (Mitch Evans) scored 400 points in each of their three prelim races after qualifying second behind the Bud at 161.146 mph. Got an encroachment penalty in the final and finished 5th . The U-3 was the top qualifier in 2003 with Mitch Evans at the wheel, qualified at 160.915 mph, Miss Bud (Dave Villwock) was next at 158.864 mph. The Vacationville.com boat won their first two prelims; edged out for secondplace in the final by Nate Brown in the Miss E-Lam Plus. Jimmy King first appearance at TC was in 1996 in Bill Wurster’s U-8 Lynnwood Honda – Placed 4th in the final. King finished third in 1998 final driving the Miss E-Lam Plus
U-5 Graham Trucking (J. Michael Kelly) Owner: Ted Porter Graham Trucking sponsorship won the 2012 Columbia Cup in a photo-finish over the Miss Beacon Plumbing. Graham Trucking also has four second-place finishes (2009, 2010, 2013 and 2015). Driver J. Michael Kelly has finished second three times 2010, 2012 and 2015. Also a third in 2004 driving the Miss APBA for owner Jim Harvey, it was Kelly’s very first unlimited start!
U-7 Graham Trucking II (Jeff Bernard) Owner: Ted Porter Porter won the 2012 Lamb Weston Columbia Cup – maybe the closest finish ever on the river. U5 Graham Trucking (Jimmy Shane) averaged 144.694 mph, Miss Beacon Plumbing (J. Michael Kelly) 144.462 mph. In qualifying the Graham Trucking was 4th on the ladder, Beacon Plumbing 6th . Porter also has four seconds and a third on the Columbia River. This is the 10-year anniversary of Porter race boats racing on the Columbia River. Jeff Bernard’s top 3 finishes in TC: 3rd 2008 (Formulaboats.com); 2nd 2009 (Formulaboats.com); 3rd 2010 (Formulaboats.com). Bernard’s first race on the Columbia River was in 2006 driving the U-99 Miss Lakeridge Paving – finished 8th . In 2007 he competed in the U-5 Formulaboats.com winning two prelim heats and checked in 5th in the final.
U-9 Les Schwab / Sound Propeller (Andrew Tate) Owner: Mike and Lori Jones U-9 finished second in 2014 as the Les Schwab Tires-Team RedDOT Jones first race as owner in Tri-Cities was in 1994 – the U-7 International News boat finished 9th . Andrew’s father Mark Tate won the 1991 final in the Winston Eagle for owner Steve Woomer beating Scott Pierce in the Miss Budweiser; Mark also won 1995 final in the Smokin’ Joe’s. The Tater would also finish second in 1994, 1996, 1997 and 2002.
U-11 Peters & May (Tom Thompson) Owner: Unlimited Racing Group (Scott & Shannon Raney) They began racing in 2011 and qualified in the Tri-Cities fourth fastest at 153.149 mph with J.W. Myers as the pilot. Finished second in 2A. Did not qualify for the final. In 2013 - Finished 2nd in 2B (Tom Thompson driving). Tom Thompson first raced in Tri-Cities in 2013. Finished 5th in final (tied for best finish on Columbia River).
U-16 Oh Boy! Oberto (Jean Theoret) Owner: Ellstrom Family The Ellstrom family has won six Columbia Cups (2000, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2011); finished second only once (2003). The Ellstrom’s 2000 Tri-City win was their very first on the circuit, ending Miss Budweiser’s streak of 10 consecutive regatta wins over two years. An Oberto sponsored boat has won the Columbia Cup six times – 2008-2010, 2013-2015; No sponsor/or owner has EVER won this race four consecutive years. The Oberto sponsorship debuted in 1975 at the Gold Cup on the Columbia River. Chuck Hickling qualified the U-4 at 99.123 mph; finished 2nd in 2B to the Miss Vernors and was 7th in the regatta that was decided by overall points. Dave Heerensperger’s Pay ’n Pak was the winner. Driver Jean Theoret’s best finish at TC is a 4th in 2006 (five appearances). He dominated last year winning 1A, just missed in 2A to Graham Trucking, won 3B, in heat 4B was accessed a 1-lap penalty for not maintaining speed before start, and had a DMZ DQ in final after blitzing the rest of the field on the water.
U-18 Snuskitush Enterprises (Dustin Echols) Owner: Bucket List Racing Competed in the past two TC races. Did not start in 2015. Finished all three heats in 2014 – 6 th , 4th and 4th with Kelly Stocklin driving.
U-21 PayneWest Insurance (Brian Perkins) Owner: Go Fast Turn Left Racing (Greg and Brian O’Farrell) As owners – their first race on the Columbia River was in 2007, Dave Williams driving the U-48 Miss Lakeridge Paving. Finished third in two prelims and was 2nd in the last chance heat. Brian Perkins finished second (to the Oh Boy! Oberto) in the 2008 final driving the U-50 Miss Albert Lee for owners Greg and Brian O’Farrell; Perkins qualified here for the first time in 2007 driving the U-21 Meyers’ Auto Tech.
U-99.9 CARSTAR/Miss Rock (Kevin Eacret) Owner: Leland Unlimited As sponsor, the KISW/Miss Rock best finish was third in 1995, driven by Mark Evans. That was the last year they were a prominent sponsor. The Miss Rock first appeared in the Tri-Cities in 1981 – qualified at …N/A… DNF heat 1A, finished 4th in 2B, driver Bob Miller, avg speed in 2B - 77 mph. Leland’s team won this race in 1996 (PICO American Dream, Villwock), 1997 (PICO, Mark Evans) and 2001 (Znetix II, late Terry Troxell)
DRIVER HEAT WINS AT TRI-CITIES (driving this weekend):
Jimmy Shane 10, Jean Theoret 7, J. Michael Kelly 6, Jimmy King 4, Jeff Bernard 3, Brian Perkins