2008-09 Round 6
Turkey Trot - Infield Road Course at South Shore Superspeedway
Round 6 of 16
November 20, 2008
The Model Empire Turkey Trot
WHAT: The Model Empire Turkey Trot (de-slot rules race)
WHERE: St. Francis, WI
WHEN: Thursday, November 20, 2008 7pm
U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE: Time Warner Cable Channel 1111, Check Listings, Google Video
2007 CHAMPION: Mike Fitzlaff
2007 POLESITTER: Mark Walczak
TRACK LAYOUT: Road course
RACE LENGTH: 20 minutes
TRACK RECORDS: Qualifying – 2007-Mark Walczak 39.289
Race – 2006-Jim Iverson 299 Laps
Fast Lap – 2007-Mark Walczak 2.969
RACE ROUND: 6 of 16 in the 2008-2009 HO Champ Car World Series
The streak continued at the Model Empire Turkey Trot, as RJ Foyt Racing's Mike Fitzlaff took the turkey in becoming the sixth different driver to win in as many events on the HO Champ Car World Series 2007-08 season. Fitzlaff's night did not start well, the team owner reportedly in a Texas jail and as his RJ Foyt Racing hauler arrived at the track, the car was damaged and a back up was not on the truck, so a little wheeling and dealing found a car from Conquest Racing. But once the formerly #34 car hit the track it was obvious Fitzlaff wasn't missing much, putting the car on the front row, then easily cruising through his heat race to make the final, where he took an early lead and except for a couple of late de-slots that forced him to drive more conservatively, he never had to look in his mirrors cruising to a 15 lap victory.
With the victory all but assured for Fitzlaff, the capacity south shore crowd focused on the late race battle between Mark Walczak and Amy Butler. Walczak's PKVHO car #22 was lightning fast but handling again was a problem, but more than quick enough to take the pole, and when Butler had two late spins in the final it allowed Walczak to get by for second. Butler's #14 Butler/Rotter Racing car qualified fifth, held off the traffic of a busy second heat race ahead of Dean Strom and beat him in the final as well. Strom's primary car proved no match for the back-up he loaned to Fitzlaff, but his own car would at least run to fourth.
Tom Spehert shook off the rust after missing two races to finish a solid fifth ahead of Jim Iverson whose car stalled several times late in his heat race, while Larry Rotter's struggles continue finishing a lap back in seventh, just one more lap back was Hindsight's Mike Kristof.
Chris Spehert never had the power needed to compete and was the last car running at the finish in ninth. Andy Spehert was out early in his "Barbie" car, but at least RJ Foyt Racing took good care of it. Finally, Dan Margetta's night was a forgettable one, while racing at his home track, the Hindsight Championship Racing team never found any balance for the points leader coming into the night, the #7 qualified last and had three quick de-slots before half-way in his heat race to finish last.
THE MODEL EMPIRE TURKEY TROT HISTORY (15 events, 1993 - Present)
Year Race Winner
1993 Phil Cianciola
1994 Dave Austin
1995 John Shea
1996 Ev Kamikawa
1997 Ev Kamikawa
1998 Jim Kaehny
1999 Ev Kamikawa
2000 Ev Kamikawa
2001 Larry Rotter
2002 Jim Iverson
2003 Jim Iverson
2004 Phil Cianciola
2005 Mark Walczak –Road Course at South Shore Superspeedway
2006 Jim Iverson
2007 Mike Fitzlaff
Mark Walczak ties a series record by winning his third consecutive race. The only other drivers to accomplish that feat are Ev Kamikawa, and Phil Cianciola. This is the only race this year that will be held under the de-slot rules. Drivers are allowed three de-slots in their heat races, while you are allotted four de-slots in the finals. De-slots are when the pin of your car leaves the slot of the lane your driving in and remains out of it.
Mark Walczak has won the last three races and four of the last six.
Mike Fitzlaff has made the finals in the last 4 events, only missing the opening event finals
Larry Rotter has made the finals in 3 of the five events this year.
Rookie Mike Lack has made the finals of the last two events.
The pole by Ev Kamikawa was the 29th of his career tying him for second all time
Mike Lack’s heat win was the 2nd of his career tying him for 20th all time
Lack’s finals appearance was the 2nd of his career tying him for 23rd all time
John Wiedemann moved into 31st all time on the starts list with 6
Mike Lack moved into 32nd all time with 5 career starts