2012-13 Round 9
Raven 250 - Raven Raceway
January 3, 2013
Round 9 of 16
Walczak Wins Again
Mark Walczak took command of the Raven 250 prior to the half-way mark and cruised to his fourth win of the 2012-13 Indy SlotCar Series season, Thursday night at Raven Raceway. The win was Walczak’s 39th career triumph. In a bizarre twist of numerology, earlier in the evening, Walczak captured his 39th career fast qualifier award. In scoring the sweep, the four-time and defending series champion pocketed $39,000 in Indy SlotCar Series “Pole to Win” cash.
“I used to really hate Raven,” said the jubilant winner. “A couple of years ago, I figured this place out and now I just love it.”
The technical Raven course did, however, get the best of Walczak’s teammate Dean Strom. Strom, who earlier won the third heat, was running third when he daydreamed his way up the ultra fast hill, missed the turn and sailed off the table. Strom’s departure at the one-quarter distance mark left KV Racing Technology teammates Mike Fitzlaff and Mike Lack to battle Walczak. Lack, however, fought an ill handling machine all night and soldiered on for a third place finish. Fitzlaff faired only slightly better, claiming runner-up honors, but was scored 10 laps behind at the checkers.
John Wiedemann entered the Raven 250 second in the Husarsbilt Cup championship standings but could muster only a fifth place finish. After qualifying fourth, the worst-to-first heat selection chip relegated Wiedemann to the same heat as Walczak and Strom. The Target Mark Walczak Racing teammates steamrolled over him. His fifth place showing in the final run down cost Wiedemann 22 points in the championship standings as he attempts to capture his first series title.
Hometown favorite Larry Rotter made his first Indy SlotCar Series start of the season, and 199th all-time. The Hall of Famer drove to a sixth place finish.
Matt Hayek placed seventh in the final rundown. Amy Butler, making just her second start of the campaign, finished eighth with Mike Kristof ninth. Dan Margetta, after qualifying third, DNF’ed 80 laps into his heat and ended the evening tenth.
Heat wins went to Fitzlaff, Lack and Strom with Walczak claiming the transfer spot.
The series returns to action, January 17 with the running of the Too Clean Laundry Gran Prix at Rapids International