Krankel Reels Off Second Ironman Late Model Win!
By Steve Birmingham
May 22, 2004; Granite City, IL – Tom Krankel parlyed a front row starting spot into his second straight Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers Racing Series Ironman Late Model victory at Tri-City Speedway Saturday.
Justin Anderson, winner of the first qualifier, also won the Dash for Cash and opted for a $100 bonus and sixth starting spot instead of the pole, in effect handing Krankel, winner of the second qualifier, the pole for the main event. That's all the advantage Krankel needed as he bolted to a three-length lead at the drop of the green. Shannon Kuhn and Anderson duked it out two laps before Anderson disposed of Kuhn and set off after the leader.
Several early cautions erased Krankel's lead but once the race settled down all that was left for Krankel as he wove through lapped traffic was decide how to spend the winners check. Chasing him across the line were Anderson, Ed Purcell, Terry James and Dan Dondero.
"The car was perfect on the bottom," Krankel said in Victory Lane. "When we ran that fast six race it was all over the place but the bottom came in so that's where we stayed. We had a close calsl with some lapped traffic but everything worked out, so I'm happy."
The Mountain Dew Sportsman main was a crash-strewn affair with several caution flags slowing the pace. Despite the mayhem Steve Maisel and Bert Jacoby put on a toe-to-toe slugfest for 20 laps before Maisel took his first career win on Tri-City's quarter-mile bullring. Just one-length behind the winner were Jacoby, Marty Kopp, Terry Chester and Rick Squires. Squires, Bubb Mitchell, Maisel and Randy Hanks grabbed the qualifiers with Ron Heaton winning the Semi.
Bobby Martintoni raced to his second Budweiser Modified win of the season, topping Steve Gaertner and Stu Springer. The qualifying heats fell to Gaertner, "Dazzling" Dean Vickers and Springer.
Shawn Teeske won his first career Dominos Street Stock feature, topping Andy Beavers and Mark Pflueger. Brad Gilleland, Dave Parker and Pflueger won the heats.
Pat Harper reigned supreme for the fourth consecutive time, winning the Auto Trader Pure Stock feature over Todd Erickson and Ken Bell. Bell, Erickson and Paul Johnson won the heats.