Jacoby Pounds Way to Second Sportsman Win;
Kloos the Class of the Field in Ironman Late Models!
By Steve Birmingham
July 24, 2004; Granite City, IL -Birthday boy Bert Jacoby gave a surprise present to his family Satuday by winning his second Mountain Dew Sportsman main of the season in Tri-City Speedway's Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers Racing Series.
Jacoby led a snarling pack of Sportsmen into the first corner but four-time winner Steve Maisel immediately passed on the backstretch to lead the first lap with Jacoby just alongside his passenger door. Jacoby dogged Maisel for two laps before Marty Kopp flexed his muscles and swept past both front runners to lead lap four. A caution slowed the pace one lap later but when the green flew so did the lead trio with Kopp setting the pace for two more laps. The yellow flew again, but when the race resumed the gloves came off and the title bout was on.
Kopp led the next two laps with Jacoby taking the high line in attempt to pass. The two raced door to door, with first Jacoby pulling ahead by a length, then Kopp wresting the lead back. Jacoby finally eatablished the lead for two more laps before Kopp took the point. Jacoby challenged through the turns high, then low, for six laps. But, as the two raced through three and four on the final lap Jacoby took his car up high, landed the haymaker and powered across the finish line a half-length ahead of the stunned Kopp.
Scores of family members and friends rushed into Victory Lane to sing "Happy Birthday" to Birthday Bert in celebration of his 40 years. Rounding out the top five were Kopp, Maisel, Scott Drew and Terry Chester. The heats were won by Chester and Drew.
Michael Kloos swept the Dodge Ironman Late Models, winning his heat and the 25-lap main event. Kloos raced his way to the front in just six laps and was never challenged, stretching out to a 20-length lead at the checkers over Tom Krankel, Shannon Kuhn, early race leader Randy Rawlings and Tim Brown. The qualifying heats went to Jason Pritz and Kloos.
Ed "Smokey" Lenhardt won his first Budweiser Modified main event of the season, topping Ray Walsh, who raced to the front from deep in the field, Jim Lafferty, Tommie Seets, Jr., and Leon Rakers. The heats fell to Seets, Jr., Rakers and John Stanton.
Ken "The Ice Cube" Johnson, Jr., won his third Domino's Street Stock feature of the year, besting Mark Pflueger, Ricky Huebner, David Parker sand Brandon Hogenson. The heats were won by Creg Cannon and Pflueger.
David Pulley, Jr., won his first career Auto Trader Factory Stock main event. Ken Bell and Aaron Wood took the heats.