Date: April 27, 2009
About: Keith Pratt - Class of 1997
Late-Model Driver Flips Luck after Thursday Crash
Keith Pratt landed on his lid Thursday night.
On Sunday, he landed in Victory Lane.
Pratt, who wears the moniker "Cool Cat" on his No. 33 late model, led flag-to-flag Sunday night to win the 30-lap feature at Quincy Raceways.
The victory came three days after he rolled his primary car, a 2006 Rayburn, during a Deery Brothers Summer Series tour heat race. Pratt went over the cushion coming out of turn one and wound up upside down. He was fine, but the car was trashed.
That meant he had to bring his 2003 GRT out of storage. Pratt said he worked on the GRT all day and night Friday and up until about five minutes before it was time to leave Saturday afternoon to race in West Burlington, Iowa, where he finished 12th in the feature.
The extra labor proved beneficial by Sunday when he was never challenged for the lead after starting on the outside of the front row and taking command of the 16-car field on the opening lap.
"Staying out front isn't necessarily as easy as it looks," he said. "Youknow there are fast cars behind you ... and they're comin'."
But it sure beats what happened a few days earlier.
"I remember when I was up in the air it was real quiet before I landed," Pratt said. "I knew I wasn't hurt, even though I was upside down. My first thought was actually, 'Is the car OK?' These things are expensive."
Pratt's feature victory was the sixth of his career in Quincy and 22nd overall in a late model at the track, which moved him into a tie for 10th for total late models victories since 1999.
Matt Bailey, defending track champ Jason Frankel, Justin Reed and Jerry Weisenberger followed Pratt across the start-finish line on the first night of late model points racing. Pratt (40), Weisenberger (39), Reed (39), Bailey (39) and Frankel (38) are all buched atop the standings.
Mark Burgtorf, seeking a 15th track title, experienced early engine problems and was unable to compete in either the heats or feature.
Michael Long completed a weekend trifecta with a victory in the modified feature. The two-time defending champ at Quincy also won main events at Iowa tracks in Donnellson and West Burlington.
Long, who started 10th in Sunday's 25-lap feature, finally secured the lead from Steven DeLonjay when the two were working their way through lapped traffic late in the race. Long led the final four circuits after DeLonjay had controlled the race for 17 laps, but had to settle for second place.
Justin Reed, Robbie Reed and Donovan Lodge filled out the top five in the 16-car field.
Long has won 33 of the last 48
modified features in Quincy and has 75 overall victories since the start of the 2007 season.
Long also has an early stronghold on the series points lead, showing 150-120 advantage over runners-up DeLonjay, Robbie Reed and Justin Reed after two rounds of points races.
Kevin Tomlinson is the new stock car points leader after working his way through the field from a seventh starting position. Tomlinson led just one lap -- the last -- to finish ahead of Levi Long, Doug Huls, Abe Huls and Chris Wibbell.
Tomlinson (78), Wibbell (75), Abe Huls (73) and Jeff Mueller (73) are thepoints pacesetters.
Jim Powell won his first hobby stock feature of the season and fourth in two years to move near the top of the series points standings. Powell led the closing six laps ahead of Travis Booher, Wes Mayfield, Steve Carlin and Jake Powers.
Mayfield (76), Powell (74), Powers (74), Leffew (73) and Carlin (72), who led for 13 of the 20 feature laps, are off to good starts in the points pursuit.