Butler Owns Slots-A-Fun

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Vegas - Amy Butler hit the jackpot Thursday night at the Slots-A-Fun 400 with a dominating win at the short D-shaped Stardust Speedway oval in the Nevada desert.  Butler's win continues the streak of wins by her Angry Squirrel Speedsport team that began with Mike Lack taking the Trokan Cup 500 and West Bend Grand Prix, while John Wiedemann won at the Deckertring.  In just her second start of the season Butler's car rolled off the hauler fast, qualified it on the front row, ahead of her championship-leading teammates, dominated her heat race and the 400 lap final enroute to her fourth career win and the second at the Slots-A-Fun 400 in three years.

The repaved Stardust track showed signs of being fast in practice as several drivers had difficulty keeps the cars on the track. By qualifying, it was just a matter of who could complete their four lap run without losing control. Mike Fitzlaff figured it out, as he set the pace early on with a record setting qualifying run of 7.941 seconds, slipping past the previous record of 7.943 set by Matt Hayek last year. Butler would come closest to taking the point with an 8.021 second run. Those times would stand up as driver after driver would come up short or spin out, including championship leader Mike Lack who set a new track record for a single lap at 1.749 seconds, eclipsing a record that had stood since the track opened in 2012, but a spinout left him back in ninth on the starting grid.

The heats were grouped by speed, forcing the fastest three cars into the first heat, pitting Fitzlaff, Butler and Bill Black against each other. The Chick-Fil-A P1 Award winner would last just 15 laps before a major crash took him out, meanwhile Butler and Black would battle back-and-forth until the second half, when Amy took a commanding lead and never looked back, but Bill's lap total would wind up being more than enough to hold on to the transfer spot and advance to the Slots-A-Fun 400. In the second heat Fitzlaff's teammate Mike Kristof would join him in the paddock early crashing out with just 43 laps in the books, while hometown hero Chris Spehert held off John Wiedemann who was tracking the transfer lap total that Black had set, but ultimately JW would come up 4 laps short and finish fifth on the night while Tom Spehert had handling trouble and would finish the night in seventh, but sitting fourth in the points.

The third heat was a bit of a mess with Dan Margetta making an early exit 47 laps in, Mike Lack had an unspectacular win, while Pete Dorn kept out of trouble and finished a solid sixth, to back up his fourth place at the West Bend Grand Prix and landing tied for fifth in the championship and Matt Hayek said he couldn't get anything going to run to eighth, the last car still running. 

The 400 lap final did not break any records, but Amy Butler took an early lead over her teammate, Lack, and never had to look back as she would stretch out the gap to 10 laps, the battle appeared to be for second place between Lack and Chris Spehert, but a spin off of turn two ended that fight as Spehert crashed out on the 267th lap, promoting Bill Black to third. Lack's second place finish along with JW's fifth pushed the four-time defending Husarsbilt Cup champion to a 36-point lead with one quarter of the season complete. 

The second of the Founder's Five races is next at Quarry Heights Raceway for the Halloween Havoc in two weeks.


The Founder's Five Announced

IndySlotCar Series Founder Phil Cianciola

Wauwatosa, WI -- As IndySlotCar nears the beginning of the 25th season, it seemed only appropriate to highlight the long history of the series by naming a trophy for the man who is responsible for the whole thing even being in existence, Phil Cianciola. With the blessing of the retired five-time series champion, the Founder's Five for the Cianciola Trophy will be a championship within the championship this season based on the points collected at the oldest events on the calendar. As Cianciola himself agreed, these events present a classic mix of the fun and competition that has been the hallmark of series he founded as the PPPG HO IndyCar Series. Starting with the season opener, The Trokan Cup 500 (a trophy named for Phil's maternal grandfather, Joe Trokan) a race that has been held on the Mini Milwaukee Mile for 22 seasons, followed by the holiday races: which were the impetus for the series' original schedule 25 seasons ago, Halloween Havoc (23 previous Halloween races have been held), the Turkey Trot and the Christmas Classic (22 yuletide races run) and finally the grand-daddy of them all the HO Indy 500! Only the 500 and the Turkey Trot have survived to be run in all 25 IndySlotCar seasons. With the teams and drivers free to run any car that has entered an IndySlotCar race from the previous 24 years, it should be exciting and memorable season, starting in just 14 days!


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Matt Hayek

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