Krankel Crowned Dodge Ironman Late Model Mid-Season Champ!
By Steve Birmingham
July 17, 2004; Granite City, IL -Tom Krankel fought his way from the sixth starting spot to win the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers Racing Series Mid-Season Championships Saturday at Tri-City Speedway.
As point leader heading into Saturday's action, Krankel was locked into the sixth starting slot due to the inversion of the top six point leaders. Two-time Dodge Ironman Late Model winner Justin Anderson sprinted from the pole at the start of the 25 lapper but had no breathing room as Krankel blasted to the second spot in just one lap. The two fought each other nose to tail through 18 laps, stretching out to a 10-length lead over Steve Meyer, Jr and Chris Winters.
Weaving through lapped traffic, Krankel took the high road through three and four and he and Anderson finished lap 19 in a dead heat. Krankel was able to pull ahead on the backstretch and raced to a three-length lead at the checkers. Rounding out the top five were Anderson, Meyer, Jr., Winters and Ken Johnson, Sr. The qualifying heats went to Krankel and Michael Kloos.
Steve Maisel won his qualifier and the 20-lap Mountain Dew Sportsman slugfest but couldn't wrest the Mid-Season crown from point leader Bert Jacoby. The pair started alongside each other in the third row but by lap three Maisel was positioning himself behind race leader Bubb Mitchell while Jaocby was taking a sideways slide down the backstretch and into ninth spot. Mitchell fought off challenges from Terry Chester and Maisel for the next 16 laps but as Mitchell sailed out of turn two on the last lap he slid up into Maisel, spun and crashed into the backstretch wall. A green/white restart was all Maisel, with Jacoby, Bob WIlliams, Don Grimm and Chester trailing. The qualifiers were won by Chester, Mitchell and Maisel.
Jay Hughes won his first Budweiser Modified feature over Bobby Martintoni, who maintained his Mid-Season points lead. John Stanton, Jerry DeGrendele and Jim Lafferty rounded out the top five. Ricky Huebner, and Hughes won the qualifying heats.
David Parker won his first Domino's Street Stock main of the season, topping Ricky Huebner, Josh Jackson, Andy Beavers and Creg Cannon. Keith Jackson, Randy Belair and Brad Gilleland took the heats.
Aaron Wood nabbed his fourth Auto Trader Factory Stock main of the season over Todd Erickson, David Pulkley, Jr., Lloyd Donelson and Todd Oplt.Donelson and Wood won the heats.