Kron, ranked 73rd, sped down the 406-meter track against sixth-ranked Jim DePaoli of Switzerland and 47th-ranked Evgeny Altukhov of Russia in the elimination round.
Kron qualified for the elimination round after .
Kron stayed close behind the International athletes through the top half of the course coming around "Pete's Corner" in second when he lost his balance over the double bump and came up inches short of clearing the final bridge on the way to the Dutch Mountains.
Altukhov dug deep and found the energy to cross the finish line in second, advancing to the finals on Saturday night.
The fearless riding on the course filled with bumps, jumps and frighteningly sharp turns by the upstart Americans caught a number of top-seeded athletes from Europe by surprise.
The international athletes in general have more experience than the 64 Americans in the race, most of whom were competing in Ice Cross Downhill for the first time. But propelled on by the big crowd (about 10,000 people) on a frosty night, the Americans saw their courage rewarded and 19 finished in the top two in their four-man heats to advance.
The top-seeded American Adam Green won his heat with a classy and confident run, beating Czech veteran Lukas Fiala while Cameron Naasz came in a close second to Canadian Sebastien Morissette to advance.
Americans John Vadnais and Andrew Bergeson came in 1-2 in another heat. American Ryan Hoehn (ranked 64) upset Czech Michal Prochazka (13) for second in their heat.
The St. Paul finals will be broadcast live on Red Bull TV starting at 7 p.m. Saturday night. That competition will also air nationally on NBC on Saturday, Jan. 21, from 1 to 3 p.m.