2014 San Diego Bayfair
J. Michael Kelly Wins San Diego Bayfair
Sunday dawned on Mission Bay with the pit area buzzing about two news items from the previous evening. First came the news that H1 Chairman Sam Cole would be retiring from that position after ten years to be replaced by Florida businessman Steve David, former hall of fame driver of the Oh Boy! Oberto.
Then H1 officials announced that Schumacher Racing's 21 Miss Beacon Plumbing had incurred a technical violation on Saturday leading to a disqualification from the event. The team filed an appeal and were told they could continue competing while the appeal was resolved. The team chose instead to leave the pit area and did not compete on Sunday.
At the end of a long hot day of racing, the six boat final field took to the Bill Muncey Race Course at 3:45 pm PDT. Three of the top four qualifiers were in the field. The missing boat from the top four was Jones Racing's 9 Team RedDOT/Les Schwab Tires – on the trailer with damage suffered in a violent spin on Saturday.
Top qualifier Jimmy Shane in the 6 Oberto had won two prelims, losing one to J. Michael Kelly in the 1 Graham Trucking. Kip Brown was also a Saturday winner in the 96 Spirit of Qatar and Cal Phipps won a Saturday preliminary heat in the 7 Graham Trucking II. Those four were joined in the final by Tom Thompson in the gbr11 Peters and May and Mike Webster in the 22 Big 5 Sporting Goods. The Spirit of Qatar failed to start for Brown.
Kelly grabbed the inside lane and the early lead and raced deck to deck with Shane throughout the five lap final. After five laps, Shane crossed the finish line first but was told to run an extra lap while the officials reviewed the heat. Drivers and fans finally got the word more than a half hour later that Shane would be penalized a lap for bearing out on Kelly entering turn one at the start of lap four.
The penalty dropped Shane to fourth place and made Kelly the Bayfair Champion. Kelly's teammate Phipps was second. Webster finished third and earned a spot on the podium. Thompson was fifth. Kelly Stocklin replaced Brown and finished sixth in his 18 Bucket List Racing. David Warren did not finish in the 100 Tony Roma's.
Earlier, Shane and Kelly were drawn into Heat 2A to begin the racing Sunday and, as expected, the inside lane proved to be the deciding factor. Kelly came out of the infield onto the backstretch before the start and secured lane one ahead of Shane. Shane could not get around him and Kelly took the win with Thompson third. Kelly Stocklin ran fourth in his 18 Bucket List Racing.
Brown was drawn into Heat 2B where he would not have to deal with Kelly and Shane. But Brown got into a roostertail as the field approached the start line and the 96 was washed down and lost power.
Cal Phipps took the win from lane one followed closely by Mike Webster in the 22 Big 5 Sporting Goods with David Warren third in the 100 Tony Roma's. But officials reviewing the video from the helicopter above the start ruled that Phipps had moved out of his lane and encroached on Brown. Phipps received a one minute penalty dropping him from first to third. The win went to Webster with Warren second. Brown did not finish.
The draw for 3A and 3B put Kelly and Shane together again, joining Brown and Webster in 3B. Phipps led start to finish for the win in 3A followed by Thompson and Stocklin. Warren did not finish.
The matchup in 3B produced great racing as advertised. Kelly won the battle for the inside again but Shane had a slight lead at the start in lane two and was able to hold off Shane for another Bayfair win. Brown was third and Webster fourth.
The H1 Unlimited fleet will set sail for the Middle East and the Oryx Cup UIM World Championship in Doha, Qatar November 20 – 22, final event on the 2014 racing calendar.
September 14th, 2014