2013-14 Round 5
Halloween Havoc - Quarry Heights Raceway, Wauwatosa, WI
Round 5 of 16
October 24, 2013
Walczak Wins His Farewell Race
(Wauwatosa, WI) -- A shocking pre-race announcement, Thursday night, at the Halloween Havoc overshadowed the actual on-track race. Reigning, and five-time IndySlotCar Series champion Mark Walczak informed the assembled media, fans and drivers that the race would be his last this season, and possibly his career.
“I just have a lot going on in my life right now,” stated Walczak. “I don’t want my life events to get in the way of the league and all the fun that everyone has on race night.”
If the race is indeed Walczak’s final IndySlotCar run, he went out in true championship style. Fast qualifier and hometown favorite Matt Hayek took the double checkers in the first heat. Walczak finished second and secured a transfer spot into the night’s headliner. JMM Racing driver John Wiedemann pulled away to an easy win in the second heat, leaving bitter enemies Dan Margetta and Dean Strom to battle for the final transfer spot. The heated exchange came down to the final seconds before Strom threw the car out of his lane, handing Margetta a spot in the 20-minute final.
The first half of the final was an instant IndySlotCar Series classic. Dan Margetta and Walczak exchanged haymakers, hooks and jabs for the entire ten minutes, crossing the line in a virtual dead heat. During the break, series officials reviewed the tapes and declared Margetta the first half winner. Pit crews for both Margetta and Walczak stumbled in the second half, but the crews were equally as bad. But with the pit stop miscue behind him, Walczak showed why he is a five-time series champion and the series all-time winningest driver. Walczak turned up the heat on the competition and separated himself from Margetta and Wiedemann. In an effort to keep up with Walczak, Hayek threw his machine to the floor late in the run. Hayek, fresh off a one-race probation, then proceeded to frustrate league officials by dropping an on camera, profanity-laced tirade that would make the heartiest trucker blush.
But nothing could distract Walczak during the second half as he pulled away to a 15-lap margin of victory over Margetta. Wiedemann was an even more distant third. Honda power plants did occupy the entire podium.
D&D Racing driver, Mike Kristof, who earlier in the evening timed in third, drove to a fifth place finish in the final run down. Karen Carpenter Racing’s Strom placed sixth while drinking the driver’s lounge out of Tanqueray. JMM Racing teammates Mike Fitzlaff and Mike Lack completed the rundown. Lack, who came into round five as the championship point leader suffered his worst performance of the season. Lack, claiming to be Sergio’s illegitimate son was surely weighed down by his gold chains and rock-star wig, saw his point lead whittled down to 32 markers over his teammate, Wiedemann.
Barring a Brett Favre-like retirement, Walczak leaves the IndySlotCar Series as a five-time champion; the all-time winningest driver while owning or sharing five other marks.
The series travels next to the Inside Edge at South Shore Superspeedway for the annual running of the Turkey Trot on November 7.
WHAT: Halloween Havoc
WHERE: Wauwatosa, WI
WHEN: Thursday, October 24, 2013 7pm
U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE: MBC Slotcar Network, YouTube
2012 CHAMPION: Dan Margetta
2012 POLESITTER: Dan Margetta
TRACK LAYOUT: Natural Terrain Road Course
RACE LENGTH: 20 Minutes
TRACK RECORDS: Qualifying – 2012 – Mike Fitzlaff – 5.940
Race – 2000 – Phil Cianciola – 13:53
Margin of Victory – Largest – 2009 – 5 laps – Mark Walczak; Smallest – 1 lap – Dan Margetta – ‘12
RACE ROUND: 5 of 16 in the 2012-2013 IndySlotCar Series
Dan Margetta made a rare IndySlotCar Series appearance, Thursday night at Quarry Heights Raceway, and drove off with a clean sweep of the annual Halloween Havoc. The win marked the second straight for Margetta in the historic event. Margetta began the night by setting fast time and backed it up by taking his heat win over Everet Kamikawa and Tom Spehert. Kamikawa chased Margetta the entire distance and wound up taking the coveted transfer spot. And in the 20-minute final, Margetta was stout the entire distance. His pre-race call to race in the yellow and red lanes had the field scratching their collective heads, but Margetta would have the last ghoulish laugh.
Mike Fitzlaff, who earlier in the night was gifted a spot in the final when heat leader Mark Walczak DNF’ed while leading with just seconds to run, duplicated the feat-throwing his GEICO ride off the table just 16 laps into the main event. “I shouldn’t have even been in the final, so I was going for it,” stated Fitzlaff. That left hometown hero Matt Hayek and Kamikawa to try and chase down Margetta. However, late in the going, Hayek came flying off the table, ending his bid for victory and sending the capacity crowd home disgruntled. Knowing it was a head-to-head matchup over the final five minutes; Kamikawa set his National Guard sponsored machine into high gear and chased Margetta down. In the final seconds he got to the tail end of the lead lap before running out of time, laps and handling.
Margetta scored $9000 in IndySlotCar Pole Cash, but left it behind for the trophy girl. “Did you look at her?” asked the happy winner. “She needs a lot of work. The $9,000 will just be a start.”
The final rundown saw Walczak claiming the fifth spot with teammate Dean Strom in sixth. Mike Kristof, John Weidemann and Spehert rounded out the field. In addition to Margetta, Fitzlaff and Hayek took heat wins.
The large Quarry Heights gathering was told by event organizers to expect the 2012-13 Series debut of Amy Butler. She, however, was a no-show-promoting the promoters to refund ticket purchases and call in extra security. Butler’s people claim a “sponsor conflict” for the non-appearance. (editor’s note: While she has slightly more wins than another popular, sponsor driven, female racer-she apparently has more diva in her than everybody’s favorite website pinup gal)
HALLOWEEN HAVOC HISTORY (20 events, 1993 - Present)
Year Race Winner
1993 Jim Chitel – Shrine Desert Road Course
1994 Dave Austin - Shrine
1995 Phil Cianciola – HO Road America
1996 Dave Austin - HORA
1997 Jim Kaehny - HORA
1998 Jim Kaehny - HORA
1999 Phil Marich - HORA
2000 Ev Kamikawa - HORA
2001 Dan Margetta - HORA
2002 Jim Kaehny - HORA
2003 Larry Rotter - HORA
2004 Dan Margetta - HORA
2005 Ev Kamikawa – Road Wisconsin
2006 Mark Walczak – Lake Country Motorplex
2007 Dan Margetta - LCM
2008 Mark Walczak – LCM
2009 Mark Walczak – Quarry Heights Raceway
2010 John Weidemann – QHR
2011 Dan Margetta – QHR
2012 Dan Margetta – QHR
Most Wins – Dan Margetta-5; Jim Kaehny-3; Mark Walczak-3; Dave Austin-2; Ev Kamikawa-2
Mike Lack has stormed out to the championship lead winning 3 of the first 4 races.
Dan Margetta has owned Halloween lately, winning the last 2 Havocs and 5 Halloween races overall.
Mike Lack has won 3 of the first 4 races.
Ev Kamikawa has made the final in 3 of the 4 races this season.
Mike Lack scored his 7th pole at the Slots A Fun 400, tying him for 12th all-time with Mike Kristof
Ev Kamikawa’s 118th finals appearance at the Slots A Fun 400 ties him for second all-time with Phil Cianciola
John Wiedemann’s DNF moves him into 15th on that list all-time.