2013-14 Round 10
Too Clean Laundry Grand Prix - Rapids International, Rapids, USA
January 16, 2014
Round 10 of 16
Wiedemann Spoils Kamikawa Hometown Payday
Rapids – John Wiedemann came from behind to spoil Ev Kamikawa's chance to win the 49 thousand IndySlotCar bucks Pole-to-Win prize and take the Too Clean Laundry Grand Prix victory at Rapids International. Wiedemann's win, his second checkered flag of the IndySlotCar Series season, cut down Mike Lack's Walczakian sized championship lead by 15 points down to 66, with Lack finishing third on the night ahead of Dan Margetta.
Home town racer Kamikawa kicked off the night by grabbing the pole position away from defending race winner and last season's top qualifier Wiedemann in the last session of qualifying. Kamikawa's lap of 4.781 seconds bested Wiedemann by just 63 thousandths of a second and just missed the track record by four thousandths. The track was quick tonight, a little slick, and even called dangerous and scary by a number of drivers.
The opening heat race featured the top two in qualifying facing off along with the inaugural race for rookie Corey Galbraith facing off against series commissioner Mike Kristof. Penske HO driver Kamikawa set the pace throughout the race to the checkers to take the win and advance to his 119th final race, moving him into second place all-time in the series. JMM Racing's Wiedemann paced himself behind the race leader and held off the hard charging rookie to transfer to the feature. Galbraith, driving for Penske HO, finished third followed by D&D Racing's Kristof.
While it probably wasn't a very exciting heat race from Cha-Ching Motorsports Dan Margetta's perspective, heat number two produced a good amount of drama. Margetta ran off and left the field in his rear view mirror in winning the race. Behind Margetta was a great battle for the final transfer spot to the feature. D&D Racing's Matt Hayek held down the second spot for most of the race while series point leader Lack and Dean Strom struggled to keep up. A late caution changed all that. Holding a two lap lead over Lack, everything went downhill quickly for Hayek. As Hayek struggled to get his car back to race speed, Lack quickly made up those two laps and moved ahead in the running order. JMM Racing's Lack held on to the transfer spot with Hayek and Strom finishing just a lap behind.
The Too Clean Laundry Grand Prix featured track owner Kamikawa against the top three drivers in the point standings. As the early laps of the race sorted out, Kamikawa took the lead ahead of Wiedemann, Lack and Margetta. The field paced themselves throughout the opening half and Kamikawa built up a six lap cushion over Wiedemann by the halfway break.
Kamikawa's pitstop in the second half was the first bit of misfortune that the driver faced all event long. A penalty after a somewhat slow stop dictated that Kamikawa run the next ten laps with the opposite driving hand. The penalty, along with a routine pitstop by Wiedemann, ended up with Kamikawa giving back a couple laps to second place. Wiedemann picked up the pace with time running out just as the handling started to go away for leader Kamikawa. With only a minute to go, Wiedemann shot past Kamikawa to grab the lead. More handling issues plagued Kamikawa and allowed Wiedemann to coast to the victory and reclaim the Too Clean Laundry Grand Prix trophy.
Lack retains his point lead in the standings by 66 over teammate Wiedemann. Margetta holds down third place in the standings, just 27 points behind Wiedemann and 25 points ahead of Strom. Hayek rounds out the top five and is now only five points out of fourth.
The next round, number eleven in the sixteen race season, takes place in two weeks at another ultra fast track – the Deckertring for the Deckertring GP. Defending Deckertring race winner Wiedemann looks to climb the mountain that is Lack's point lead as the series races towards the three quarter mark of the season.
WHAT: Too Clean Laundry Grand Prix
WHERE: Milwaukee, WI
WHEN: Thursday, January 16, 2014 7pm
U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE: MBC Slotcar Network, YouTube
2013 CHAMPION: John Wiedemann
2013 POLESITTER: John Wiedemann
TRACK LAYOUT: Temporary Street Course
RACE LENGTH: 20 minutes
TRACK RECORDS (Current layout): Qualifying – 2012 – Mark Walczak – 4.777
Race – 2012 – Ev Kamikawa – 208 laps
EVENT RECORDS: Margin of Victory – Closest – 2007 – Kamikawa – 2 track sections; Largest – 1996 – Dave Austin – 100 laps
RACE ROUND: 9 of 16 in the 2013-2014 IndySlotCar Series
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 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 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. 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.
SHRINE CHRISTMAS CLASSIC HISTORY (13 events, 1996 - Present)
Date Race Winner Event Name Track
4/13/1995 Dave Austin Rapids Grand Prix Rapids Raceway
4/11/1996 Dave Austin Rapids Grand Prix
12/3/1998 Dan Margetta Rapids Grand Prix Rapids Raceway Version 2
12/2/1999 Ev Kamikawa Rapids Grand Prix
12/7/2000 John Shea Rapids Grand Prix Rapids Raceway Version 3
11/29/2001 Phil Cianciola Rapids Grand Prix Rapids Raceway Version 4
2/1/2007 Ev Kamikawa WiJobs.com Grand Prix Rapids Raceway Version 5
1/31/2008 Mark Walczak Rapids Grand Prix Rapids International
2/5/2009 Mark Walczak Lia Sophia Grand Prix
9/17/2009 Mike Lack Lia Sophia Grand Prix
9/30/2010 Mark Walczak Lia Sophia Grand Prix
3/15/2012 Mark Walczak Too Clean Laundry Grand Prix Rapids International Ver. 2
9/20/2012 Mark Walczak Lia Sophia Grand Prix
1/17/2013 John Wiedemann Too Clean Laundry Grand Prix
Most Wins – 5-Mark Walczak; 2-Ev Kamikawa, Dave Austin
--Dean Strom outlasted Mike Lack to take the Raven Bowl 250 but Lack’s second place still extended his Walczakian 81 point lead in the Husarsbilt Cup championship.
--Dean Strom has won 2 of the last 3 races.
--Dan Margetta continues to make finals, now 7 in a row.
--Dean Strom has moved in to a tie for all-time wins at 6 for 13th place with John Wiedemann. Dean has also moved up another spot on the all-time lap list to 16th, passing Amy Butler.
--Mike Lack’s appearance in the final at Raven was his 50th. Lack has also ties John Wiedemann and Chris Spehert for 14th for all-time DNFs with 16.
--Larry Rotter moved in to a tie for 4th on the all time DNF list with his crash at Raven, he now has 30 along with Tom Spehert and Jim Kaehny.