Kennedy Claims Kouba Memorial
ST. CROIX FALLS, Wis. – Lou Kennedy, Jr. made the long trek south from Winnipeg in search of the $2,000 top prize in the 20th Annual Earl Kouba Memorial pay off.
Kennedy took home the top spot in the Upper Midwest Sprintcar Series feature Friday in front of the largest crowd in the history of St. Croix Valley Raceway.
The veteran Canadian driver took the lead from Cody Hahn on lap two of the 20-lap main event and kept Aussie racer Brooke Tatnell at bay en route to the victory. Kennedy became the 19th different winner of this prestigious event, as Jimmy Kouba remains the only two-time champion in its 20 year history.
Pole sitter Cody Hahn led the opening lap before fellow front row starter Kennedy powered by on the high side exiting turn four to grab the lead on lap two.
The race was under caution for a spin on the next lap. Tatnell, who started third in the 20 car grid, was up to second by lap six and was right behind Kennedy for what ended up being the final restart with seven laps scored when Jared Goerges and Tom Nicholl got together.
With the track curfew approaching, the race was reduced to 20 laps from the scheduled 25 at this time.
As Kennedy hammered a heavy cushion up top, Tatnell stayed closed for several laps but was not able to get overtake him. With the leaders working lapped traffic on the quarter-mile bullring during the last several laps, Kennedy masterfully maneuvered through the lapped cars and went on to record the win.
Finishing behind Kennedy and Tatnell in the top five was Scott Winters, Lou’s son Thomas Kennedy, and 2010 UMSS Champion Cody Hahn.