2012-13 Round 15
March Madness - Turtle Creek Park Raceway
March 28, 2013
Round 15 of 16
Rotter Schools The Field At March Madness
Brookfield, WI – Hall of Fame driver Larry Rotter is semi-retired and the rest of the IndySlotCar Series drivers are happy about his status. Rotter took advantage of his home track and the rest of the field by putting on a racing clinic while dominating the March Madness race at the ultra-fast Turtle Creek Park road course, round fifteen of the sixteen race 2012-13 IndySlotCar Series season.
"Larry [Rotter] was racing a rocketship tonight," said John Wiedemann. "Each time he passed me, I dang near lost control in his wake. I love the challenge of racing with him but he whooped our butts tonight."
A precursor to the rest of the night, Rotter was blisteringly fast in practice and continued his pace into the qualifying session with the quickest time in qualifying. Rotter captured the pole with a lap of 3.285 seconds in his open-class speedster.
The opening heat race was no challenge for Rotter. First, race leader Mike Lack lost control of his KVHO ride and flew off the track. Then, seventeen laps later, Ev Kamikawa crashed his Panther HO IndySlotCar while trying to chase down leader Rotter. The only driver left in the field, Rotter cruised to the finish line to rest his motor and wait for the feature race.
Continuing on the theme, the second heat race started with a DNF in between the first and second turns. Mike Kristof, who was fired from the RJ Foyt team along with teammate and defending fifth place race champion Matt Hayek at the last event, hammered the throttle into turn one and flew off the track ending his night with zero laps. Butler-Margetta team driver Amy Butler, making her fifth start of the season, battled TMWR racer Mark Walcak the rest of the race and finished just four laps back and grabbed the provisional transfer spot.
Heat Race three started out as a three way battle between defending fifth place race champion Matt Hayek, Dan Margetta and KVHO driver John Wiedemann. All throughout the first half of the race, the three drivers exchanged the lead and many laps ran "side by each". Starting the second half, Margetta struggled with the lane change and ended his night by slamming into the bridge and careening off the track. As defending fifth place race champion Matt Hayek struggled with an increasingly loose handling racecar, Wiedemann took control of the race and grabbed the checkers to transfer to the feature race. Defending fifth place race champion Matt Hayek continued to battle his ill-handling car to try and steal the transfer spot away from Butler but came up four laps short as time ran out, leaving him to an overall finish of... fifth place.
The feature race immediately hit a fast and furious pace after the green flag flew with Rotter and Walczak proving to be the class of the field. Exchanging the lead numerous times throughout the opening ten minutes session, the top two quickly distanced themselves of third place Wiedemann and fourth place Butler. Rotter led early with tenth of a second quicker laps than Walczak, but Walczak found his pace and powered past to lead by two laps over Rotter at the halfway break. Pitstops slowed Walczak as his crew kept him in the box for 20 seconds. Rotter's crew was ten seconds quicker and after the pitstop he grabbed the lead away from Walczak. Struggling with handling after the pitstop, Walczak spun numerous times to open the door for championship contender Wiedemann, but Wiedemann had his own struggles and couldn't capitalize. Rotter never looked back, pulling away from the field by ten laps to take the win. Walczak in second, Wiedemann in third and Butler in fourth completed the field.
In the championship picture Walczak continued to add to the points gap between himself and Wiedemann, now at eighteen, as he continues his quest for a fifth Husarsbilt Cup. KVHO driver Mike Fitzlaff missed this event, dropping out of the chase for the cup but maintained third place. Other point standings moves saw Kamikawa moving into fourth ahead of Dean Strom who also missed the race. Kamikawa, the defending champion of the HO Indy 500, announced that he will miss this year's event and also noted that he will be moving from the Panther HO team to Penske HO for the 2013-14 season. With only one race to go in the 2012-13 season Matt Hayek is twenty-eight points out of fifth place in the point standings.
The 20th season of the IndySlotCar Series culminates with the HO Indy 500. Carburation night gives the teams a chance to try out this year's new chassis on the track on April 11th. A series champion and HO Indy 500 champion will be crowned on April 13th.
The entire season now boils down to one race. Will there be a new series champion or a fifth-time champ? Will a multi-time HO Indy 500 winner return to drink the milk or will there be a new driver in victory lane? Stay tuned.