Kamikawa Is Back!

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(Milwaukee, WI) -- Six drivers have been to victory lane in the 2017-18 IndySlotCar season and the most glaring absence from the list of winners is two-time champion Ev Kamikawa, but last night, the home town hero of Rapids International came through and added his name to that list, taking the checkered flag at the Too Clean Laundry Grand Prix.

As the veteran driver noted after the race, the car was hooked up all night, qualifying on the front row, in fact, scoring the exact same lap time as pole winner Mike Fitzlaff, but by a quirk in the rules as to how tied qualifying times are broken, the driver that sets the time first, gets the higher position, meant Kamikawa would grid second. Mike Lack and Mike Kristof started on the second row, with Dan Margetta and Lack's Angry Squirrel Speedsport driver slotted on the third row and Black-Atom Racing's Bill Black and Pete Dorn on the final row.

Heats were filled by random selection and Kamikawa led from the start of the first heat, while Mike Fitzlaff tried to stay close, running fast on the straights but not holding the track the way Kamikawa did. John Wiedemann ran solidly in third in with the possibility that he could still qualify for the final in the two heat format, meant every lap could make the difference, ultimately it would, as he would score 82 circuits and come up one lap shy of Dan Margetta's lap total from the second heat, finishing fifth for the third straight race. Fitzlaff would advance to the final with a quality run two laps down to Kamikawa's Ferrari. Mike Kristof made the biggest backward move on the night, squandering a solid fourth place in qualifying, he was never a threat and backed up to eighth on the night.

Mike Lack started the second heat cleanly and kept the field behind him while Dan Margetta overcame numerous spins early on to bump Wiedemann and make his sixth straight final-four appearance. The Black-Atom Racing teammates would battle each other throughout, with Bill Black holding off Pete Dorn and finish sixth and seventh respectively.

The 20-minute final looked like the pole sitter would be able to reassert his lead position, after Fitzlaff finished second to Kamikawa in the heat, he took a solid lead in the opening half of the race, but pit-stops would see the Ferrari team work swiftly to get the hometown driver out in just eight seconds, it would take 20 seconds for Fitz-Matador Racing to complete the service on Fitzlaff's #34 Wellbox car and once the positions were swapped in the pits, Kamikawa never looked back, while third and fourth place would swap between Dan Margetta and Mike Lack, as the #41 ABC Supply car would lose power and eventually Lack would have to jump out of the cockpit as the car overheated and had a "hotseat" for the points leader.

Kamikawa's victory was the 41st of his distinguished career, just one behind the second place total, it was also his first since a win at the Black track in January of 2017. The win also catapulted the Ferrari driver from sixth in the Husarsbilt Cup standings to fourth and just two points behind third-place Mike Fitzlaff. Meanwhile, Mike Lack continues to hold a dominant 77 point strangle-hold on the championship over his Angry Squirrel Speedsport teammate John Wiedemann with just five races left on the schedule. The series takes a three week break before returning to the challenging "de-slot" format of the Quarryfest Deslotmania at Quarry Heights Raceway.


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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