2008-09 Round 16

HO Indy 500 - South Shore Superspeedway

Round 16 of 16

April 18, 2009

Weather: 74 - Mostly cloudy

Spehert Captures Second HO Indy 500 Title

(St. Francis, WI) -- In the most bizarre finish in the history of the 16 runnings of the HO Indy 500, Spehert-Foyt Racing's Chris Spehert survived the carnage to stand as the only driving running to win the crown jewel of the IndySlotCar Series schedule. The final started competitvely with Mike Fitzlaff leading Ev Kamikawa, Mark Walczak and Spehert. Even before the first round of pit stops, Walczak (who was hoping to tie the record for most wins in a season) found the floor, followed following the first stop Ev Kamikawa was out. From there it looked like pole sitter and fellow Spehert-Foyt driver Mike Fitzlaff was going to cruise to a victory and the $71,000 "Pole-to-Win" prize fund, but instead his commanding lead meant nothing as he also crashed out on turn four just past half way. From there Chris Spehert merely had to run one more lap than Fitzlaff to capture his second HO Indy 500 and drink the traditional milk in victory lane.


The HO Indy 500

WHAT: The HO Indy 500

WHERE: St. Francis, Wisconsin, South Shore Superspeedway

WHEN: Saturday, April 18, 2008 Noon

U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE: YouTube.com, http://www.indyslotcarseries.com

2007 CHAMPION: Mark Walczak

2007 POLESITTER: Mark Walczak

TRACK LAYOUT: Super Speedway Oval

RACE LENGTH: 1,000 laps

TRACK RECORDS: Qualifying –2009, Mark Walczak, 8.352 Fast Lap-2008, Mike Fitzlaff, 1.969 Time of Race- 2008, Mark Walczak, 40:51.711

RACE ROUND: 16 of 16 in the 2008-2009 IndySlotCar Series


Mark Walczak pulled out all the stops Saturday to win the Husarsbilt Cup and the HO Champ Car World Series championship but despite scoring all the points possible and winning the prestigious HO Indy 500, he fell merely five points short as while Walczak drank the milk, Jim Iverson hoisted the championship hardware for the second consecutive year. With many in the field driving his lightening quick prepared cars, Walczak wheeled his club car to the pole position and a heat win before easily defeating Dan Margetta in the season-ending event. Margetta drove one of the Walczak-prepped cars to second place, a whopping 53 laps behind the winner while Ev Kamikawa, in yet another Walczak machine, finished third after

crashing out at the 336 lap mark. Mike Fitzlaff streaked to the early lead and was clearly the driver to beat before sailing over the fence while leading on lap 175, relegating him to a disappointing fourth place finish.

Jim Iverson drove a typical calm and consistent race, piloting his ride to a solid fifth place result to wrap up the championship crown while former 500 winner Chris Spehert took the checkered flag in sixth. Dean Strom experienced mechanical and set-up issues in his heat race that drew whispers of team orders before finishing seventh, ahead of Larry Rotter who ended Butler/Rotter Racing's tenure with a spectacular crash in his heat race to come home in eighth place, the final car in the field.

Mike Kristof was the odd man out on bump day and he wound up in ninth place when all was said and done ahead of Amy Butler and Tom Spehert. Rookie of the Year Matt Hayek was listed in twelfth place in the run-down despite scoring his first career checkered flag in the consi race while Andy Spehert brought his ride home in thirteenth before heading for the food line with a glass of wine.

THE HO INDY 500 HISTORY (15 events, 1994 - Present)

Year Race Winner

1994 Phil Cianciola

1995 John Shea

1996 Dave Austin

1997 Ev Kamikawa

1998 Jim Kaehny

1999 Phil Marich

2000 Phil Cianciola

2001 Jim Kaehny

2002 Ev Kamikawa

2003 Larry Rotter

2004 Chris Spehert

2005 Dan Margetta

2006 Ev Kamikawa

2007 Jim Iverson

2008 Mark Walczak

2009 Chris Spehert

Top Stories

With Mark Walczak wrapping up the Husarsbilt Cup three races ago, attentions turn to who will round out the podium for the year. Larry Rotter has struggled the second half of the season and surrendered his second place points position to Mike Fitzlaff at LCM three weeks ago, despite the fact he tied the season record for DNFs in a year during his run in the finals. Fitzlaff now leads Rotter by 4 points. By virtue of his second win of the year the 2008-09 Rookie of the Year Mike Lack has jumped into fourth place in the standings, passing Dan Margetta. Mike Fitzlaff, Larry Rotter, Mike Lack, Dan Margetta, and Ev Kamikawa are battling for 2nd-6th place. All five drivers have a shot to finish in 2nd place. Mark Walczak will be trying to become the first driver to win the HO Indy 500 in consecutive years.

Stats Watch

Mike Lack’s 2nd career win moved him into a tie for 14th all time

Ev Kamikawa’s heat win was the 54th of his career, placing him in 5th place all time

-Mike Lack collected his 7th career heat win, good for 17th all time

Mike Fitzlaff made the finals for the 30th time in his career, good for 11th place all time

-Mike Lack’s final appearance was the 8th of his career, tying him for 18th with Amy Butler

Dean Strom moved into 19th all time on the laps completed list with 6,081

-Mike Lack moved into 24th all time with 2,889 laps completed in his career

Ev Kamikawa will be making his 170th career start in the HO Indy 500

-Amy Butler moved into a tie for 18th all time on the starts list with 86 career starts

-Mike Fitzlaff will be making career start 60

-Dean Strom moved into a tie for21st all time with 35 career starts

-Matt Hayek moved into 25th place all time with 21 career starts

-John Wiedemann’s 16th career start moved him into 27th place all time

-Mike Lack moved into a tie for 28th all time with 15 career starts

Larry Rotter moved into a tie for 7th place all time on his DNF with 24th career DNF

-Mike Fitzlaff moved into 12th all time on the DNF list with his 15th career DNF

-Matt Hayek moved into 25th place all time with his 2nd career DNF at LCM

Who’s Hot

Mark Walczak has made the finals in 12 of 15 events this year

Mike Lack has made the finals in the last 5 races

Dan Margetta has won the pole for the last three events

Ev Kamikawa has made the finals in 6 of the last 7 events