Krankel Dominates Ironman Late Models at Tri-City!
By Steve Birmingham
May 8, 2004; Granite City, IL -Tom Krankel made a $100 roll of the dice that he could parley a front start into his first career Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers Racing Series feature win and it paid off.
Krankel, by winning the Dash for Cash for the top six Ironman Late Model qualifiers, opted to turn down the $100 bill and a third row starting spot and instead take the pole position for the 25-lap main event. And it turned out just right as he led wire to wire with previous winner Ken Rumble chasing him across the stripe. Rounding out the top five were Michael Kloos, Justin Anderson and Shannon Kuhn. The qualifying heats were won by Wade Glover, Rumble, and Krankel.
The crazed and crash-strewn Mountain Dew Sportsman feature was won by Marty Kopp, his second of the year. Original leader Rick Rhoades was involved in an on-track altercation about midway through the race and a dispute with track officials during the caution period led to his disqualification and the checkered flag handed to Kopp. Parked behind eventual winner Kopp to finish second through fifth were Bert Jacoby, Randy Hanks, Bob Williams and Terry Chester. Kopp, Dennis Wernel, Chester and Jacoby actually raced to qualifying heat wins with "Sponge" Bubb Mitchell nabbing the semi.
No stranger to Victory Lane, 2003 Tri-City Late Model champion Tom Seets returned to show the crowd he could still pedal a race car pretty quick by taking the Budweiser Modified nightcap over son Tommie Seets, Jr., and Stu Springer. John Hobson, Ricky Huebner, Seets, Sr., and Jim Lafferty notched qualifying wins with Andy Anderson grabbing the semi.
Ken "The Ice Cube" Johnson, Jr., froze the Dominos' Street Stock ranks by chillin' in his qualifier and the Main Event. Johnson and Brad Yotter waged a side by side battle for the lead for well over half the race before Yotter faded. Following in Johnson's wintery wake were Mark Pflueger and Andy Beavers. Shawn Teeske, Steve Carter and Pflueger won the remaining heats with Jason Stanton winning the semi.
Pat Harper won his third straight Auto trader Factory Stock Main Event, besting Paul Johnson and Josh Porch. The qualifiers fell to Johnson, Keith Rose and Harper.