2013-14 Round 14
The Shrine Cup - Shrine Desert Road Course, Wauwatosa, WI
March 13, 2014
Round 14 of 16
Lack Wins Shrine Cup and Husarsbilt Cup
Get the complete box score here.
Wauwatosa, WI -- Mike Lack won his fifth race of the season and clinched his first Husarsbilt Cup championship at The Shrine Cup at the Shrine Desert Road Course. With his customary smooth and fast style, Lack quickly showed that he was now going to back into his clinching race, by scoring the pole position, also his fifth of the season, and then went out and easily handled his heat race without drama winning 7 laps clear of Karen Carpenter Racing's Dean Strom, who also moved to the final. Matt Hayek led the up and coming Dungeons & Dragon Racing team to another two car final as teammate Mike Kristof in the #7 McAfee car held off Ev Kamikawa to advance.
Once the four drivers were lined up for the 20 minute challenge in the New Mexico desert of the Shrine Desert Road Course, it looked like a real battle was shaping up between Lack and Hayek as they opened up a lead on Strom and Kristof. As the race got past pit stops the duel continued with Hayek always lurking but could not turn laps any faster than the newly crowned champion, meanwhile the 20 car of Dean Strom lost the handle coming out of the hairpin on lap 171 and found himself out of the event, Kristof was never able to find the speed to challenge the leaders and settled for a step below his teammate on the podium. Lack held on for a two lap lead and an insurmountable 109 point lead at the end of the night. It was the #15 JMM Racing car's second visit to victory lane at the home if the IndySlotCar Series and Lack's first since that Christmas Classic triumph.
Ev Kamikawa made a late charge in the second heat race to try and stop Kristof's streak of final's but the Penske HO driver could dig himself out of the hole he'd dug earlier in the race to finish fifth on the night. Lack's JMM Racing teammate John Wiedemann was never really able to dial in the handling on the undulating road course among the sage brush and chmisa winding up the night sixth.
Veteran Dan Margetta made an early exit sliding off the track coming out of final turn and down the front straight with just 71 tours, finishing seventh. Coming off the hauler it looked like rookie sensation Corey Galbraith looked to have figured out the 11 turn track, qualifying fourth and challenging the leaders in his heat, but danger lurks in many places The Shrine and Galbraith jumped on the gas too quickly in the hairpin and climbed the fence and out of the race. Many veteran observers said they had never seen a car go out in that part of the track where an eight foot safety fence protects the drivers and the fans.
The series moves on to the final "open class" race of the season for March Madness at Turtle Creek Raceway, but the goal stated at the beginning of the season has already been attained by Mike Lack, just the eighth driver in series history to hoist the Husarsbilt Cup.
WHAT: The Shrine Cup
WHERE: Wauwatosa, WI
WHEN: Thursday, March 10, 2014 7pm
U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE: MBC Slotcar Network, YouTube
2013 CHAMPION: Mark Walczak
2013 POLESITTER: Mark Walczak
TRACK LAYOUT: Natural Terrain Road Course
RACE LENGTH: 20 minutes
EVENT RECORDS: Qualifying – 2013 – Mark Walczak – 4.421
Race – 2013 – Mark Walczak – 230 laps
Margin of Victory – Closest – 2013 – Walczak – 2 laps;
Largest – 2013 – Walczak – 2 laps
RACE ROUND: 14 of 16 in the 2013-2014 IndySlotCar Series
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.
THE SHRINE CUP HISTORY (5 events, 1993 - Present)
Date Race Winner Track
8/26/1993 Pat Jarvis The Shrine Track
9/8/1994 Phil Cianciola The Shrine Track
9/7/1995 Dave Austin The Shrine Track
9/5/1996 Jim Kaehny The Shrine Track
2/28/2013 Mark Walczak Shrine Desert Road Course
Mike Lack merely needs to qualify for the Shrine Cup to clinch his first Husarsbilt Cup championship. Lack will be the first new name on the Cup since Mark Walczak’s first championship in the 2008-09 season and he will be just the eighth different driver in the 21 season history of the series to win a championship.
--Mike Kristof is the only driver to make the last two finals.
--Matt Hayek scored his second straight pole, his fourth of the year.
--Matt Hayek’s pole at the Stardust 500 placed him in a tie for 15th all-time with Dean Strom, each with 5.
--Mike Kristof moved past Chad Sorce for 16th all-time in Heat Wins with 16 and ahead of Tony Perkins for all-time Finals appearances with 20 for 17th.
--Corey Galbraith becomes the 27th driver to win a heat race and 34th driver to appear in a Final in series history.
--Mike Fitzlaff is now eighth all-time in total laps passing Jim Iverson with 26,907; while Mike Lack moved ahead of Chad Sorce to 14th place with 18,400 and John Wiedemann is now 18th besting John Baas’ lap total with 15,810.
--Mike Lack has also equaled Chad Sorce in starts with 86, making them 20th on the list.
--Matt Hayek’s DNF at Stardust International moves him ahead of Andy Spehert with 15 and ranks 17th.