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Hayek Sweeps Up At Home
(Wauwatosa, WI) -- The "de-slot" format of the Quarryfest Deslotmania can be a wild card when it comes to predicting results, but one thing that seemed likely coming into round eleven of the 2019-20 IndySlotCar season was that Matt Hayek would probably have a good night at his home track, Quarry Heights Raceway. The hometown hero did not disappoint the paying crowd as the Alter Ego driver started out the night in impressive fashion in qualifying with a new track record lap, a full .13 of a second faster than second place qualifier Mike Kristof. Hayek came into the race knowing he would be missing the following race, so he needed to maximize points to maintain his Husarsbilt Cup championship points lead when he returned, he did that in spades.
After sitting on pole position, Hayek easily cruised to the opening heat win, as second fastest qualifier Kristof stumbled just past half way and was out with just 80 laps, the Michael Shank-It #60 crew would settle for eighth on the night, while Ev Kamikawa never challenged for the win, he did keep Hayek honest and racked up an impressive lap total that would stand up as the "transfer" spot for the night into the final.
The second heat featured third in points Mike Lack against Black-Atom Racing's Bill Black, along with Steve Rist making his debut in the ABC Supply car of RJ Foyt Racing, as well as sophomore sensation Joe Heitz. Unfortunately, it quickly became a heads-up race as the "de-slot" format quickly claimed two more victims as Heitz and then Rist both went out early, finishing seventh and ninth respectively. Black ran a solid pace and took a lead that Lack's #1 SealMaster Angry Squirrel Speedsport Dallara-Honda could not overcome and missed the transfer spot and was left on the outside looking in at the final for the third straight race, an event so rare we had to dig deep into the IndySlotCar record book to discover when the last time was that there were three straight races without Mike Lack, it goes back to his part-time season of 2012-13, rounds 10-13.
The final heat race saw the slow end of the qualifying grid on track together with a surprisingly short night for John Wiedemann, the #19 Angry Squirrel Speedsport Dallara-Honda hit his third de-slot with just 61 laps, leaving the second-in-points driver, tenth for the night. Tom Spehert went out even sooner to finish last and Pete Dorn had no power to challenge Dan Margetta's Hardly Steinbrenner-Margetta Racing's #88, as he barely noticed he was in a final as he watched the action from Eastbay Speedway on his phone.
With his two closest championship rivals nowhere in sight, Hayek's plan to maximize points was working perfectly. While the other three finalists had proven skilled at staying on track to make the final, it seemed no one had the speed that #15 car did. Near halfway both Ev Kamikawa and Dan Margetta would max-out on deslots and finish fourth and third respectively, while Black tried to pressure Hayek into a mistake, it never came, but it would be the best finish of the season for the #77 car. Hayek scored his career-record extending fifth win of the season, sweeping both races this season at Quarry Heights and opening a sizable 77 point lead over John Wiedemann, meaning even with missing the next round at Rapids, if Wiedemann wins all points available, the lead would be at least 25 points with four rounds left after Rapids.