2012-13 Round 10
Too Clean Landry Grand Prix - Rapids International
January 17, 2013
Round 10 of 16
Too Clean Laundry GP Is Win Number Two For Wiedemann
Rapids – John Wiedemann captured his second win of the season in the Too Clean Laundry Grand Prix at Rapids International, round 10 of the 2012-2013 IndySlotCar Series season. Running a conservative second half of the race Wiedemann was able to hold off a hard-charging effort by Dean Strom to grab the victory and take a chunk out of Mark Walczak's championship point lead.
Seemingly a nice quiet city street circuit, Rapids International hides a dangerous and taxing challenge for drivers hidden behind its shiny polished exterior. Several corners look to be easy to speed through but leave the driver that pushed the limits with his ride on the floor and race ended. Tonight's Too Clean Laundry Grand Prix was no different than past events as four divers succumbed to the dangers of Rapids International.
Wiedemann stole the pole position away from Strom in the qualifying session on the second to last lap of his run with a 4.896 second pass, just 28 thousandths of a second quicker than Strom.
Heat races featured the destruction of driver's hopes with at least one racecar flying off the track in each of the three heats. Strom won the first heat by four laps over Mike Fitzlaff while Matt Hayek crashed out early in the first half of the race and Chris Spehert crashed out in the second half. Heat two featured a fierce battle for the win between Walczak and Mike Kristof only to end in disappointment and despair again for Kristof when he flew off the track ending his night. The third heat ended quickly for Dan Margetta when, on his fourth lap, he became the fourth driver to DNF, crashing out of the race in the same back section of the circuit that the other three drivers ended their night. Kamikawa held on to win the heat and Wiedemann finished in the feature race transfer position by just two laps over his teammate, Fitzlaff. German driver Johannes Schlict ended his shortened rookie season with his best overall finish of 7th in his third series race.
Wiedemann took command of the feature race early but could never pull too far away from Strom. While Kamikawa and Walczak struggled with handling issues, the top two paced the track and built up a cushion, determined to settle the race between themselves. At the end of the first half, Wiedemann held a three lap advantage over Strom. All drivers pitted quickly and without incident at the start of the second half and Wiedemann pulled ahead another two laps to increase the distance to 5 laps over second place Strom. As the race time wound down, Wiedemann dropped into conservation mode, not wanting to be another DNF statistic, and gave back the two gained laps to Strom. At the checkers, Wiedemann crossed the line with a three lap lead over Strom. Kamikawa ran third and Walczak finished fourth.
"I was real nervous towards the end of the race," said Wiedemann. "There was one point where I thought my car was going off the track as it spun behind the buildings. At that point I just backed off a touch, tried to pace myself behind Strom and hold on for the win. I had an awesome car tonight and I really needed the win to keep pace with that number one car in the point standings."
The victory was the fourth of Wiedemann's IndySlotCar Series career and tightens up the Husarsbuilt Cup Chase from thirty-four points to fifteen between leader Walczak and second place Wiedemann.
Up next on the IndySlotCar Series schedule is Round 11, the Quarryfest De-slotmania presented by Hayek's Shorewood Pharmacy on Thursday, January 28th at Quarry Heights Raceway in Wauwatosa.