U-5 & U-7 Graham Trucking
Ted Porter, Team Owner
Ted Porter entered the sport of unlimited hydroplane racing as a sponsor of Chad Sanderson’s U-5 in 2005. In 2006, Ted stepped up to owner in a big way by purchasing all the assets of U-5 Racing as well as two championship hydroplanes and most of the remaining Miss Budweiser equipment from the family of Bernie Little.
Precision Performance Engineering, LLC was formed as the parent company for the race team based in Ted’s hometown of Decatur, Ind.
Ted made the decision to campaign both boats numbering them U-5 and U-7 with both carrying the Formula Boats name. Born in Decatur, Ind. and a lifelong resident, Ted grew up around boats in the family boat manufacturing business, Formula Boats by Thunderbird Products, and boating remains an important part of his life. Ted is active in the family business as part owner and vice president of human resources. His love of water and water sports is what drew him to unlimited hydroplane racing.
Ted lives on the family’s horse farm near Decatur with his wife Emily and their sons Danny, Chris, and Josh. Most family weekends are occupied with horseback riding, lake boating, or boat racing related activities.
J. Michael Kelly, Driver U-5
Michael Kelly signed a multi-year agreement as the primary driver for the Porter Racing team in March 2015, insuring the team of his services for the foreseeable future.
Kelly (also known as JMK) won the first of Team Porter’s five Oryx Cup World Championships in November 2009, claiming the inaugural Doha, Qatar race with the 7 Graham Trucking and backing it up with the 2014 title as well.
Kelly drove for Team Porter as the pilot of the 7 Graham Trucking in 2009-10, when he finished on the podium eight times in 12 races – one first, five seconds, and two thirds. His first career win in the unlimited class was the 2009 Oryx Cup UIM World Championship victory, starting Porter’s dominance at the Oryx Cup. Kelly has been a fixture among the top drivers in the sport since breaking in to the unlimited ranks.
The 2016 season is Kelly’s 29th season of boat racing. During his career, he has set 23 world records in various classes, six of which are still current, and is a three-time American Power Boat Association Hall of Champions inductee (2003, 2004, and 2010). Kelly also has a total of eight national championships, 15 high point’s championships, and 25 APBA divisional titles. In 2009, Kelly won the New Zealand Des Geddes Memorial Grand Prix Hydro event. He also became the first person in APBA history to win four championships in a single Nationals, at the 2010 event.
The 2004 Unlimited class Rookie of the Year, Kelly was also winner of the Babcock Award in 2003 and 2004.
JMK placed second in the 2015 National High Point Championship with four podium finishes and notching his second consecutive Seafair crown, taking the 2015 win from Jimmy Shane after an amazing five lap battle that was easily one of the best in H1 Unlimited history. He also won the 2015 Madison Regatta Exhibition Shootout.
Kelly and his wife Angela have three sons, Brennan, Carson, and newborn Asher. They live in Bonney Lake, Wash.
Jeff Bernard, Driver U-7
Team Porter Racing has signed Jeff Bernard to pilot the U-7 for the 2016 season. The addition of the U-7 and Bernard gives the MainSource Bank Indiana Governor’s Cup presented by Belterra Casino and Resort (July 1-3) an eight boat H1 Unlimited Hydroplane field.
Bernard, born in Allen Park, Mich. and now living in Kent, Wash., is a fourth generation racer who began racing powerboats in 1993 at the age of nine. In 2002 at the age of 17, he advanced to inboard hydroplane racing. He is still actively racing in the inboard category and has won 9 National Championships, 11 Regional Championships, three Summer Nationals, two World Championships, three Western Divisional, one Eastern Divisional, one North American Championship, and set seven World Records.
In 2012 and 2015, Bernard was inducted into the APBA Hall of Champions. He is the nephew of former hydroplane drivers Mark and Mike Weber and is the step son of former driver and APBA Gold Cup Champion Terry Troxell.
Last season, he handled radio race communications for driver, Jimmy Shane and the 2015 Oh Boy! Oberto National High Point Championship hydroplane team.
Bernard drove the U-5 Miss Formulaboats.com hydroplane for Team Porter Racing (2007-11). He earned victories at the 2008 Indiana Governor’s Cup race in Madison, Indiana, the 2008 Bill Muncey Cup in San Diego, Calif. and the 2009 Thunder on the Ohio race in Evansville, Ind. In the 2009 race, Team Porter grabbed the one-two finish with teammate J. Michael Kelly finishing second in Evansville.
Bernard’s first unlimited hydroplane ride was in 2005 in Fred Leland’s U-99 Lakeridge Paving at the Seattle Seafair Race.
Tom Anderson, Crew Chief U-5
Anderson has been involved in unlimited hydroplane racing as a crew member for over 30 years. Tom’s early years in the sport were spent primarily as a turbine engine specialist for several teams including Mr. Pringles, T-Plus and Miss Budweiser. He first became a crew chief for Ron Jones Jr in the mid 90’s and went on to work with owners Jim Harvey and Fred Leland.
Tom joined Ted Porter’s PPE, LLC team in 2007 and moved to Crew Chief of the U5 in 2008 where he and Jeff Bernard scored their first victory in only the second race of the season at the Indiana Governors Cup in Madison Indiana. The team went on to be the only repeat race winners in 2008 by capturing the Bill Muncie Cup in San Diego, California. Since 2008, Tom has twice been awarded Crew Chief of the Year and the U5 team along with drivers, Bernard, Jimmy Shane and J. Michael Kelly have compiled an impressive record of 3 World Championships, 1 National Championship and 18 victories, and 1 Gold Cup, making them one of the most successful teams in recent years.
Professionally, Tom left full time boat racing in the late 1990’s to work in Boeing’s wind tunnels operating the Transonic and Super Sonic tunnels. He has since left Boeing and is a manager for Blue Origin where he enjoys building space vehicles. Tom, wife Kellie and son Brody live in Renton, Wa.
John Walcker, Crew Chief U-7
DECATUR, Ind. – John Walcker of Chelan, Wash., has been named crew chief of the U-7 Graham Trucking for the 2015 H1 Unlimited season, Team Porter Racing Owner Ted Porter announced today (May 15, 2015).
“John knows our program very well, and he’s been a crew chief before,” Porter said. “So when we had a need to fill one of our crew chief positions, we didn’t hesitate to ask John. His experience working with U-7 driver Jesse Robertson and U-5 crew chief Tom Anderson, too, was seen as valuable as we get ready for the 2015 season.”
Walcker has been deeply involved in unlimited hydroplane racing for more than a decade, working on Ed Cooper’s U-3, as co-owner and crew chief of the U-57 Miss Fedco in 2012-13, and with Team Porter Racing on the U-57 2010-11 and with the team working on both boats in 2014.
“I’m really excited about this opportunity to expand my role with the team,” Walcker said, while working in the Decatur shop this week to get the boat ready for the May 29 test session in the Tri-Cities. “Team Porter Racing is one of the premier organizations in the sport and Graham Trucking is an amazing sponsor. I couldn’t be happier to have accepted this assignment as crew chief of the U-7.”
As crew chief on the U-57 Miss Fedco in 2013, Walcker was directly involved with the mentoring of Jesse Robertson, who was qualified as an unlimited driver at Seafair that year. Robertson then went on to drive in a heat and the final at the Diamond Cup in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho, where he finished fourth.
Robertson was named the new driver of the U-7 in February.
“Working with Jesse on the 57 was great,” Walcker said. “He pays attention to his crew chief and shares valuable information after his runs, as well. He is going to be an excellent addition to our team and we are excited about getting him on the water for some test laps in a couple of weeks.”
Walcker replaces Brooke Tyler IV as U-7 crew chief. Tyler recently decided to reduce his involvement on the team – which a year ago included countless hours each month during the offseason coordinating work that was happening in the shop, and making occasional trips to Decatur. Increasing responsibilities with the family business, Tyler Equipment, and spending more time with his family, were big reasons for his decision to step back. He crew with the team at the Tri-Cities test session and will travel to most of the races this season as well.
Brook Tyler IV, Deck
A long-time member of Team Porter, Tyler has a vast experience working on unlimited hydroplane crews, and it runs in his family. His father, Brooke Tyler III, also worked on the Team Porter roster early in the team’s history. Tyler, the fourth, has mainly worked on the deck and the turbine engines, gearboxes and other topside equipment, as one of two crew members who spent the majority of their time on top of the boat in the pits. He has also served as crew chief on the 7 in previous years on Porter’s team. Brooke was the crew chief on the U-7 in 2006 when the team, and driver Mike Allen won the National High Points Championship. As a result, Team Porter Racing currently has two crew chiefs with national championships on their list of accomplishments.
Jim Bakke, Deck
A seasoned veteran of the unlimited ranks, Jim has worked on turbine engines along with other duties for a number of teams including Jim Harvey’s T-Plus operation, Dr. Ken Muscatel’s Superior Racing Team, and the U-5 Racing Team, with whom he’s been since 2006.
One of the original members of the U-5 Racing Team, Bakke served as the acting crew chief for the February 2013 Oryx Cup/UIM World Championship in Doha, Qatar where the team came away victorious under his crew leadership.
Bakke is a construction manager by trade, and is a retired high school and small college basketball official. He lives in Renton, Washington with his wife Corina, and their two lab dogs, Kona and Lucky.
Dave Bell, Deck
Dave Bell has been with Team Porter Racing since the beginning of the race season in 2015. Before that, he was a founding member and part owner of Our Gang Racing U-17. He raced with them from 2007-2014, where he was the Crew Chief from 2011-2014.
He was also Crew Chief of the year in 2011 and Gold Cup 2013, running as the U-95 Spirit of Qatar.
He is a retired Des Moines, Wa. Police Master Sergeant, with over 30 years of service.
Sandy Pearl – Deck
Sandy Pearl is another veteran of unlimited hydroplane racing. Sandy has worked on the deck along with other duties for a number of teams including Bob Fendler’s U-19 Jackpot Food Mart/Ms Pog. He was also a member of Ken Muscatel’s U-25 Superior Racing, Schumacher’s 88 Degree Men/U-37 Beacon Plumbing and the O’Farrell’s U-21.
Sandy joined Team Porter in 2015.
Sandy also races outboards in the 45 SST class. He is an engineer with the Boeing Company and lives in Lake Tapps, Washington with his wife, Cory.
Scott Baker, Propeller Master
Bio Coming Soon!
Randy Doughty, Propellers
Another original member of the U-5 Racing Team, Randy Doughty handles the propeller program for the team. His experience in unlimited racing includes a stint with the Miss Madison Racing Team from 1999-2005, where he worked on the skid fin, wings, and propellers at different times. Randy is truly an original when it comes to U-5 racing, as he worked on Chad Sanderson’s U-5 team in 2005, which was sponsored by Formula Boats.
Brandon Dupleich – Propellers
Brandon joined Team Porter Racing in 2016 and handles the propellers for the U-7. He has worked in several roles in the 1 Litre, 2.5 Modified, 5 Litre, Grand Prix and Unlimited classes since he started working on boats in 2010. Brandon works in electrical construction sales and lives in Redmond, WA.
Kevin Stoltz, Computers
Kevin Stoltz is another experienced crewman. After spending most of the first decade of the 2000s with Dr. Ken Muscatel’s Superior Racing Team, Kevin was invited to join Team Porter in 2011 to work on the U-7 at San Diego and Doha. After the team won the 2011 Oryx Cup UIM World Championship with the U-7, Stoltz returned in 2012 to work on the U-5 Graham Trucking. Kevin leads all of the work on electrical systems, GPS, computers and the team’s RacePak. From Mukilteo, Wash., Kevin works as a network systems engineer for CompuPlus, Inc., which he owns. He has a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Washington. He lives in Mukilteo, Wash., with his wife, Dana.
Jerry Bowers, Electrical
Jerry Bowers is another veteran of unlimited hydroplane racing. He is the team’s electrician, and helps Kevin Stoltz with computers, for both boats. Bowers worked for Team Porter Racing until 2011, and returned to the team this season after a three-year stint with Schumacher Racing Team. He has also worked for Jim Harvey Motorsports and with other unlimited programs, in various positions, over the years. In 2014, Jerry earned a spot on the Tri-City Herald Hydro All-Star Team, in his role as an electrician. Jerry lives in Seattle.
Jeff Kelly, Ground Support
Jeff Kelly has been involved in hydroplane racing nearly as long as he can remember. He first was introduced at age 8 when his father raced outboards in 1965. Jeff himself raced outboards from 1980-2005 and is still very involved in outboards with both son J. Michael Kelly and daughter Kristina running his 45 SST boats.
Jeff’s first unlimited was the 2004-05 Graham Trucking with Jim Harvey, then moved to Dave Bartush’s Graham Trucking team from 2006-08 and then to Team Porter for 2009-10 with the U-7 Graham Trucking. In 2011, when JMK went to the Schumacher Racing Team, Jeff went there as well. Over the years, he has worked just about every position on the unlimited’s except props. He was also involved in building the Schumacher hull in 2011.
Jeff Kelly is currently partners with Harvey and JMK on a 5 Liter hydroplane.
Daryl Szymanski, Safety Systems/Radios/Cockpit
Daryl Szymanski is another of the original crew members from the 2005 inaugural season of Formula Boats in unlimited hydroplane racing. Having served on the crew of the Miss Madison Racing Team in the early 2000’s, Daryl had the opportunity to join the new U-5 team in 2005, then joined Team Porter in 2006 when the new team was formed.Daryl is a high school English teacher in Fenton, Mich., outside of Detroit, and is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University. Ever since joining the team, Daryl has handled the cockpit and safety systems for the team — jobs he had also handled with his previous teams.
Corey Peabody – Safety Systems/Radios/Cockpit
Bio Coming Soon!
Bryan Pyziak, Turbine Specialist
Bio Coming Soon!
Andrew “Goober” Werling, Transportation/Fuel/Shop
Andrew “Goober” Werling is another of the newer members of the team, having joined the Decatur, Ind.-based U-5 Racing as the truck driver and crew member for the U-7 Valken Sports boat in 2011. “Goober” lives in Decatur and spends most of his time working in the U-5 Racing Team shop between races. He also serves as a crew member providing all different kinds of support at race sites throughout the season, and is still the team’s transportation specialist, both packing and driving the truck from event to event. Goob was named to the Tri-City Herald’s Hydro All-Star Team in 2014 for his transportation and logistics skills. Andrew also is the head coach of the rifle team at Decatur High School.
Michael Adams, Ground/Fuel/Shop
Indiana resident Michael Adams is one of two crew members at the hometown boat shop. Michael grew up building street rods, motorcycles and boats. By the age of 13 he was already doing paint work and restorations. He is professionally trained in fiberglass repair and paint as well as certified to spray coatings for five different companies. He is also proficient in engine building and tuning. Michael has raced 1/10 scale electric tunnel boats, .90 nitro catamarans and a 30 cc gas unlimited hydro that was a replica of the Smokin’ Joe. He’s also a musician and plays guitar and bass in a local band. Michael is an artist with paintings displayed in Fort Wayne area galleries. Currently he does fiberglass & composite repair and paint for the team as well as working on the wings and ground support where needed.
Ken Warren, Skid Fin/Wings
Ken Warren crewed with Jim Harvey from 1999 through 2005 and moved over the Fred Leland U99 race team for 2006 and the U100 in 2007. He was part of the U2 2004 build team and assisted with the1982 Atlas restoration for the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum. Ken is well versed in ground support, skid fin, and boat repair. In 2008 Ken stepped away from boat racing to focus on his family. Ken was invited to join Team Porter in 2015 and crewed with the U-7 team on skid fin. Ken grew up in Tri-Cities, received a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Central Washington University, lives in federal way and works at SeaTac Airport as an engineer. Ken works on skid fin and ground support on the u5 as well as all around team porter support for 2016.