U-13 Spirit of Detroit Unlimited Hydroplane team reveals plans for the newly acquired U-2 hull - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

U-13 Spirit of Detroit Unlimited Hydroplane team reveals plans for the newly acquired U-2 hull

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PHOTO:  James Crisp PHOTO: James Crisp
PHOTO:  Kirk Duncan PHOTO: Kirk Duncan
PHOTO:  Kirk Duncan PHOTO: Kirk Duncan
PHOTO:  Kirk Duncan PHOTO: Kirk Duncan

From Kirk Duncan:

The off season work for the U-13 Spirit of Detroit team started a few weeks later than expected. According to Jeff Kelly, U-13 crew member and father of driver J. Michael Kelly, the team had an electrical fire in the team hauler on the way home from the season ending race at San Diego in September. That delayed getting the boat back to Washington state to begin the winter maintenance. 
   
J. Michael Kelly drives the U-13 on the edge each week.  After a hard season of racing, the hull has been stripped of all hardware and electrical.

Detroit was extremely hard on the boat in 2007. The right side and rear portion of the deck have been removed to strengthen and repair the structure of the hull.  The decks have been replaced, the boat primed and turned over to inspect the bottom. Cosmetic repairs to the underside will been made soon. 

The salt water in San Diego is especially hard on these internal components of an unlimited hydroplane. It is crucial they are cleaned to avoid corrosion. 

Last fall, Spirit of Detroit owner Dave Bartush purchased the former U-2 Trendwest hull that J. Michael Kelly drove for former owner Jim Harvey in 2004-05. That hull is in the process of being prepared as the backup to the U-13 for the '08 season. 
  
Jeff Kelly also reports that potential sponsorship for the U-13 team is in the works and is looking good for the 2008 racing season. The American Boat Racing Season begins at Thunder on the Ohio in Evansville, Indiana June 27-29. 
  
Driver J. Michael Kelly will begin his 21st season as a driver this year. He'll be in his third year driving for the Spirit of Detroit team, having finished 5th in National High points, making 5 of 6 final heat starts and 3 podium finishes.

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