Ken Rumbles to First Career Ironman Late Model Win!
By Steve Birmingham
April 17, 2004; Granite City, IL – Ken Rumble made his his appearance at Tri-City Speedway a memorable one, sweeping the card to win his first career Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers Racing Series Ironman Late Model main event.
Rumble grabbed the lead from Jusin Anderson as the pair completed lap five of their qualifying heat and cruised to an easy win. Starting in the front row alongside first heat winner Shane Allen in the Ironman Dash For Cash, Rumble needed just one lap around the tight quarter-mile to take the lead and five laps later, the win.
Rumble then had a choice –either start the 25-lap main event heads-up or take the Ironman Dash For Cash $100 bill and start sixth. With the crowd's encouragement, he left the $100 on the table, took the pole position and outraced Allen and Tommy Krankel for the lead in turn one.
Rumble stretched out to a comfortable lead several times but three cautions in the first 11 laps erased the margins. Once a lap 11 four-car tangle was cleaned up, Rumble, like Popeye on a spinach high, flexed his muscles and ran off from the rest of the field. Breezing under the checkers with a 10-length lead, Rumble was followed by Allen, Terry James, Wade Glover and Ken Johnson.
Marty Kopp notched his first career Mountain Dew Sportsman feature win, with Tony Walker, Rick Squires, Steve Maisel and Paul Belken trailing. Rick Rhoades, Maisel, Belken and Bob Williams nabbed the qualifiers with David Bardin and Pat Chalmers taking the Semi-Mains.
The Budweiser Modifed feature was a stunner, with former Street Stock champion Ricky Huebner holding off the hard-charging Bobby Martintoni for the win. Shadowing Martintoni at the line were Jim Lafferty, Tony Walker and Stu Springer. The qualifiers fell to Steve Meyer, Jr., Ed Lenhardt and Huebner.
Brad Gilleland won his first ever Dominos Street Stock feature, besting Ken Johnson, Shaun Teske, Dave Parker and Steve Carter. Brad Yotter and Johnson won the qualifiers.
Pat Harper won his second Factory Stock man event of the season, topping Josh Porch, Gary Price, Ken Bell and Mike Davidson. The qualifying heats were won by Porch and Price.