The Miss GEICO Racing Team

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James Sheppard
Position: Driver

James Sheppard began his offshore racing career in 1980 and started accumulating his first of many Honda Offshore Championships in 2001. He set his first world speed record in Cowes in 2005 and from 2006-2008 James recorded World Championships while piloting the P1 Evolution race boat. When James came over to the US he earned the World Title in the Super Vee Extreme Class. In August of 2017 James won the world famous Cowes Torquay Cowes offshore race while racing against the best racers in the world including Steve. Together with Miss GEICO James and Steve won the national title and reclaimed the World Title for Miss GEICO. James is hoping to do it all again in 2018. The entire Miss GEICO Race Team is thrilled to have these true professionals at the controls of Miss GEICO. 

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Steve Curtis
Position: Throttles

Miss GEICO is honored to have world renowned Steve Curtis as our throttleman. Steve begin accumulating World UIM Championships in 1985 and has notched victories all over the world. Steve headed the Spirit of Norway offshore race team from 1996-2007 and from 2008-2105 Steve ran the Spirit of Qatar race team. Steve has accumulated over 20 World Championships, European Championships, and Middle East Championships in his storied career racing against the greatest offshore drivers and race teams during this span. Last year Steve has guided Miss GEICO to the OPA National points title and put Miss GEICO back on the winner’s podium at the World Championships. With Steve at the throttles Miss GEICO is favored again to win another world title.

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Gary Stray
Position: Partner / Crew Chief

World renowned master rigger, Gary Stray, joined the Miss GEICO team in 2009 and made an immediate impact in helping guide the team to another convincing World Championship victory. Gary began his career in the racing business in Southampton, England in 1988 with Cougar Marine. In 1994 he signed on with the Victory Team of Dubai rising to the head of Research & Development and ten world titles later, he set up his own rigging company in the United States. Gary established Supercat Rigging, Inc. in 2001 and his boats have won multiple championships and set numerous speed records. He has also created some of the most prestigious pleasure craft in the world today such as Speed Racer, Batman, Mercedes, Ferrari and Corvette. Miss GEICO was in the right place and time to land Gary Stray. “Each year we have to continue to improve because our competitors are introducing newer lighter boats with greater horsepower in an effort to take away our World crown and we simply will not allow it to happen.”

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Scott Colton
Position: Partner / Managing Member

Scott Colton is the Managing Member of the Miss GEICO Race Team. Scott is a Floridian and former All American swimmer. With his law and MBA degrees from the University of Florida, Scott brings almost thirty years of legal and business experience to the Miss GEICO Racing Team. Scott Colton has been involved with all the team’s affairs since the inception of Miss GEICO Racing and focuses his attention on the technical, legal, and financial side of the business making sure that all of the trucks, trailers, and fleet of boats are in compliance with federal, state, and local laws; scheduling and coordinating the movement of the equipment and people to the Boat Shows, Boat Races, Air Shows, and charitable events while handling the finances so that the employees, independent contractors, and sponsors remain pleased with Miss GEICO Racing. “We are very fortunate to have such a wonderful sponsor in GEICO and we spend our time focusing on safety, professionalism, winning titles, and promoting our sponsor to the best of our abilities.”

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Gary Goodell
Position: Partner / Marketing

Gary Goodell has been involved at various levels in the entertainment and marketing business for the majority of his career. From 1974 to 1984, Mr. Goodell was in the music recording industry doing national promotions with CBS, Warner Bros., Capital and many other major studios. During this period, Mr. Goodell also founded Star Cars, a luxury limousine service.  From 1985 to 1995 Mr. Goodell owned and operated KKMG, a radio station in Colorado Springs, Colorado. After taking the station to the number one ranking in the area, he sold the radio station to Citadel Broadcasting. Mr. Goodell was involved with specialty promotions and television programming with the Public Broadcasting Network from 1996 to 2004.  From 2005 to the present, Goodell has worked directly with GEICO on marketing, branding, and promoting Miss GEICO. With nine (9) World Championships to its credit Miss GEICO has become the biggest offshore racing organization in the United States and is the most recognizable boat in the world. “We will continue our efforts to make Miss GEICO the global ambassador of offshore racing.”

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Marc Granet
Position: Partner / Driver

Marc Granet is an eight time World Champion. Like most offshore powerboat racers, he started in a v-bottom performance boat until a friend took him for a ride in a catamaran boat. "We hit about 90 mph and that was it for me and v-bottoms," Granet recalled. Marc spent several years in the American Power Boat Association/Super Boat International racing circuit before Miss GEICO came calling in 2004. Soon, Granet found himself settled into the cockpit of Miss GEICO whose turbine engines cranked out 3700 horsepower and the boat reached speeds unheard of in the sport of offshore racing. With Miss GEICO, Granet and Throttleman, Scott Begovich, set numerous speed records and world titles.

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Scott Begovich
Position: Partner / Throttles

As a ten year old powerboat racing fan, Scott Begovich, and his brother would run their flat-bottomed boat with its tiny outboard motor up and down New Jersey's Metedeconk River. "We looked ridiculous in those big helmets," Begovich said, "but we loved it." After graduating from Florida Atlantic University, Begovich had one goal in mind which was to make enough money to buy a racing boat. In 1995, Begovich purchased a Jersey Skiff and began working his way up through the racing ranks starting with skiffs before eventually purchasing his first offshore boat in 1999. He directed his small and underfunded team to a World Championship in 2004 before joining the AMF/ Miss GEICO Race team. "The first time I sat in the Miss GEICO in 2005, I thought, what did I get myself into?’ "I had never driven a catamaran before, let alone throttle one. It was kind of scary but also exhilarating." Begovich now serves on the Board of Trustees of OPA and is quite involved in the administration of offshore racing.

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Micah Paul
Position: Miss GEICO Crew

Micah provides the Miss GEICO race team with valuable experience from the automotive electronics arena where Micah worked for many years before transitioning to the marine environment with Miss GEICO. In his sixth year at Miss GEICO Micah has become a huge contributor with the rigging of the Miss GEICO race boats and other competitive race boats that come to Gary Stray searching for answers. Micah is an incredibly fierce competitor who hates to lose and he can’t wait to help the Miss GEICO win its’ coveted tenth World Title.

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David DiPetrillo
Position: Miss GEICO Crew / Safety

David DiPetrillo has headed up the Safety Program of Miss GEICO team since its inception. Miss GEICO is looked upon in the racing community as the most advanced and safety oriented offshore race team in the world. We owe much of our success and longevity in this highly dangerous sport to the hard work and tireless efforts of David D. David spent most of his career overseeing the entire Fort Lauderdale Fire and Rescue Program for the city of Ft. Lauderdale and has earned the highest and most prestigious safety honors available throughout his illustrious career. We at Miss GEICO are honored to have David oversee and lend his expertise to our safety program. Our motto has always been “safety first” and with David at the helm our team continues to set the highest safety standards in the sport.

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Patrick Cleaveland
Position: Miss GEICO Crew / Technician

Patrick Cleaveland has over twelve (12) years of experience in the marine industry. Patrick started his career at Marine Technology Inc. (MTI) in MO and was with Competition Marine Center before moving from St. Paul, Missouri to Riviera Beach, FL and joining Miss GEICO in 2011. For the past seven years Patrick has been instrumental in rigging the Miss GEICO race boat and assisting with the transition from turbine powered race engines to piston powered race engines. In addition Patrick has helped Gary Stray rig several other competition race boats in our shop. Patrick is invaluable and a tremendous asset to the Miss GEICO Team and is heavily leaned upon as we seek our 10th World Title.

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Ed “Fishead”Demmer
Position: Miss GEICO Crew / Carbon Fiber Technician

Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Ed Demmer, a former professional fisherman, who brings over twenty (20) years’ experience working with carbon fiber at Mosler Autosports to the marine environment. Miss GEICO was lucky to snap Ed up when Mosler closed its doors and Ed has spent the past seven years upgrading the cockpits of the Miss GEICO race boats to make them safer and stronger. Ed is also instrumental throughout the race year in making sure that all the dings, cracks, and scratches incurred during the long racing season are repaired immediately and correctly.

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Louise Stray
Position: Administrator

Boat racing has always been in Louise’s blood. With her grandfather, father, and brother all boat racing champions, fitting into the Miss GEICO race team wasn’t too hard. Add being married to Gary Stray makes it virtually impossible to escape the water! Louise has over 21 years of experience in the marine industry, handling all international sales for Fountain Powerboats through her company Fountain Worldwide (with her brother and crew member Craig).  For the past seven years, Louise has been running the Miss GEICO office and taking care of the race crew at the races. Louise has also managed the ordering, shipping, accounts receivable and accounts payable for all of our rigging jobs. The Miss GEICO team is so fortunate to have Lou!

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Keith Lewis has been a valuable new addition to the Miss GEICO transportation and the safety crew. Keith not only pilots the Miss GEICO Safety boat at all the races with the safety crew but he also drives one of the big Kenworth trucks. Keith has many years of experience with his family run business of operating and driving heavy machinery throughout the world.

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During the Boat Show season, Keith joined by his lovely wife, Sheryl, handle the Florida Boat Show venues and they do a terrific job of promoting GEICO and answering all the boat related questions. We are really lucky to have Keith and Sheryl on our team.

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Cliff Moore has been Operations Manager / Engine Builder at Jon Kaase Racing Engine for the last 25 years and Crew Chief in Professional Drag racing team for 20 years, earning the title of Crew Chief of the year in 2000.
Cliff is invaluable at races with his knowledge and assistance. The entire Miss Geico team looks forward to having Cliff join us for the 2017 race season

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Jon Kaase, 64, started competing in drag racing while still at high school. He moved to Atlanta, Georgia at the beginning of 1977 to work for Dyno Don Nicholson and by year end celebrated the move by claiming the NHRA Pro Stock title.
In November 1979 in Norcross, Georgia, the degreed engineer formed his own company, Jon Kaase Racing Engines. Later in 1998 he designed a purpose-built shop and moved his business to Winder, Georgia, from where the company operates today.
Around 2007, the firm expanded its operations into the hot rod market when they introduced the Kaase Boss Nine—a high performance engine series developed from Ford’s big-block 385-series and equipped with hemi heads. Kaase's shop is recognized as the world leader in big block Ford engines and components.
Jon Kaase has created race engines that won 16 Drag Racing Pro Stock championships, succeeded in winning the Engine Masters Challenge six times, and has presided over the company that bears his name for  36 years. Miss Geico is very proud to have Jon and his team on board.

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Ian Hawkins

Worked at Cosworth Engineering Ltd in building Formula One engines in the 1970-80
Worked in the research and development dept building LeMans car engine special marine engines, formed an Marine engine company Hawkeyes tuning building V6 two cycle racing engines derived from the Mercury Marine V6 150 and OMC V8 outboard engines.
1984 moved to USA to build Indy car engines for Mario Andretti, Bobby Rahal and AJ Foyt at VDS Racing, Moved to Michigan to work at Ilmor Engineering LLC as trackside engineer, was project manager for the new Ilmor workshops in Plymouth Mi. Went on to form and manage a new marine engine and drive facility utilizing the Chrysler V10 engine. “Uncle” Ian is a great asset to our team.

  • Miss GEICO Racing
    7555 Garden Rd. Bldg. A
    Riviera Beach, FL. 33404
    Office: (561) 963-3438
    Fax: (561) 963-3538