2012-13 Round 13
The Shrine Cup - The Shrine Desert Road Course
February 28, 2013
Round 13 of 16
Walczak Wins The Shrine Cup
Wauwatosa, WI – Mark Walczak wasted no time in returning to the top of the standings with a convincing win at The Shrine Desert Road Course, the thirteenth race on the 2013 IndySlotCar Series schedule. After missing the last event, Walczak scored the maximum amount of points possible at The Shrine Cup race and left as the series point leader with three races to go in the season.
Walczak started off the night by capturing the pole position, sweeping the pole in both races this season at the Shrine. His 4.421 second lap was the quickest turned at The Shrine since the series has gone to single lap qualifying times.
Heat one quickly disposed of Ev Kamikawa as a spin and crash off the track left him with a DNF just twelve laps into the race. Mike Fitzlaff sped away to the victory as Dan Margetta and Mike Kristof battled for the transfer position. A hard push at the end of the race was not enough for Kristof as Margetta held him off for the position.
Controversy reigned in the second heat race with John Wiedemann, teammate Mike Lack and Walczak battled for the lead side by side with time running out. Only two would go to the feature and the point battle between Walczak and Wiedemann was on the line. A bobble by Wiedemann allowed Lack and Waczak to pull away and move on to the feature. Suddenly, Lack lost power and slowed on the racecourse. Wiedemann was able to slip by with only seconds to go and grab the transfer position while Walczak took the heat win. Walczak complained that Lack stopped on purpose with team orders to let Wiedemann advance to the feature. While Walczak continued protesting that he was the best at dealing with team orders, Lack just mentioned that he subtle is not his middle name.
The fans in the infield saw the line up for the feature after all the madness, which would contain the top three drivers in the points, Walczack, Wiedemann and Fitzlaff, along with Margetta who has two wins this season.
Wiedemann took the early lead in the twenty minute event, but his time out front was short lived as Walczak buzzed by to take the point. Wiedemann continued to fall back having handling issues in his lane while teammate Fitzlaff charged into second to try to run down Walczak with Margetta following in third. Walczak continued his lead through the second half pitstops with Fitzlaff following close behind. Two incidents doomed Fitzlaff early in the race as Walczak ran a perfect race and took the victory with just a two lap cushion. Wiedemann was able to move past Margetta, who experienced handling issues of his own in the second half, and recover with a third place finish.
Walczak's win, his league leading sixth of the year, moved him back into the points lead by seven markers over Wiedemann. Fitzlaff maintained third in the points and Kamikawa, despite a disappointing evening, moved into fourth ahead of Dean Strom who was unable to attend the race.
Round 14 is next on the IndySlotCar Series schedule as the drivers return to the oval at Little Las Vegas, NV for the Stardust 400 at the Stardust Speedway on March 14th. Current points leader Walczak captured the win at this track earlier in the season with Wiedemann coming in fourth and Kristof winning qualifying.