2013-14 Round 6
Turkey Trot - Inside Edge at South Shore Superspeedway, St. Francis, WI
November 6, 2013
Round 6 of 16
Fitzlaff Flies The Bird At The Turkey Trot
St. Francis, WI - Mike Fitzlaff scored his first win of the season at the Turkey Trot at the Inside Edge at South Shore Superspeedway. Fitzlaff held off a hard charging John Wiedemann who finished second, the two were the only survivors of the de-slot race, as their JMM Racing teammate, Mike Lack, dropped out earlier to finish third, and hometown favorite Dan Margetta rounded out the field to finish fourth.
It has been a disappointing season so far for the driver who ended last season with a win in the 500 and had high hopes for this season. After a best finish of sixth in the first four races, Fitzlaff's chances weren't looking good after qualifying last. Mike Lack scored the pole and the heats were setup by the qualifying results.
The night, and possibly the season, turned around for Fitzlaff as he stormed to the lead in the opening half of the first heat race. Teammate Wiedemann took over the lead midway through the second half and held on for the win as Fitzlaff slowed to preserve a berth to the finals as he was in danger of de-slotting out. The second heat race was won by Margetta with Lack finishing in second and transferring to the final.
Fitzlaff kicked back into high gear as the green flag flew in the final and quickly pulled out to a commanding lead. Teammates Lack and Wiedemann tried to keep pace with the leader as Margetta struggled with handling. Fitzlaff was able to continue his lead through the second half pit stop session. All drivers made it through pitstops relatively unscathed but Lack was served a penalty to drive with the opposite hand. Lack's penalty allowed Wiedemann to move past and secure the second position. A few laps later, Margetta spun off the track using up his last de-slot and ending his race, leaving the race to be decided by the JMM Racing team. Points leader Lack also used his last de-slot and finished third.
With time running low, Wiedemann picked up the pace and started to knock laps off of Fitzlaff's lead. Charging back to the lead lap with 13 seconds left Wiedemann tried to grab the lead away from Fitzlaff. A final spin in the tight 180 turn in the South Shore infield sealed the deal and Fitzlaff cruised to the win, a half lap ahead of Wiedemann.
With the victory, the tenth of his IndySlotCar career, Fitzlaff jumped to eighth in the standings. Lack's third place finish kept him in the series standings lead, twenty-eight points ahead of Wiedemann.
After a lengthy break, the IndySlotCar Series returns to racing on December 5th at the Road Course at Badger Raceway to contend the Dwayne Sweeney Memorial GP. The race is round seven in the sixteen race schedule and will be an "open class" race where teams are able to modify their rides for maximum speed on the long and speedy track.
WHAT: Turkey Trot
WHERE: Inside Edge at South Shore Superspeedway, St. Francis, WI
WHEN: Thursday, November 7, 2013 7pm
U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE: MBC Slotcar Network, YouTube
2012 CHAMPION: Dan Margetta
2012 POLESITTER: Mike Fitzlaff
TRACK LAYOUT: Oval Infield Road Course
RACE LENGTH: 20 minutes
TRACK RECORDS: Qualifying – 2008 – Mark Walczak – 2.852
Race – 2012 – Dan Margetta – 315 laps
Margin of Victory – Smallest – 2012 – Dan Margetta – 1 section; Largest – 2008 – Mark Walczak – 48 laps
RACE ROUND: 6 of 16 in the 2013-2014 IndySlotCar Series
Hometown driver Dan Margetta captured his second win in a row and 35th of his career with a victory an the Turkey Trot at the Infield Road Course at South Shore Superspeedway. In an event that normally is a playground for defending IndySlotCar Series champion Mark Walczak, it was once again Margetta and Ev Kamikawa putting on a show at the end of the race.
Mike Fitzlaff scored the pole, his second of the season, with the quickest lap in qualifying but luck ran out for the KVHO driver when he crashed out of his heat race. Leading heat races did not prove to be the place to be as RJ Foyt driver Matt Hayek and KVHO's Mike Lack crashed out of their respective races after running at the front of the pack. Heat winners John Wiedemann, Walczak and Margetta were joined by Kamikawa, who captured the transfer position for the second race in a row, to compete in the Turkey Trot.
The de-slot format of the night was the story as drivers were allowed only three de-slots in the heat races and four in the final Turkey Trot race. Out of the nine drivers competing, only two survived the night without taking home a DNF - winner Margetta and fifth place finisher Mike Kristof, his best showing of the season.
One of the most surprising DNF's on the night happened when Mark Walczak flew off the track only 27 laps into the Turkey Trot. Walczak has a stellar record at the Turkey Trot which is where he captured his first career win back in 2005. Including that win he has piled up five victories including a current streak, broken now, of four in a row. In the two races he did not win, he finished second. But, tonight was a different story and the current point leader finished in fourth.
The race continued with Margetta swapping the lead back and forth with Wiedemann during the entire first half of the race. Wiedemann held the point after pit stops were completed near half way and held a two lap lead over Margetta . As Margetta started to reel in the leader, Wiedemann suffered his fourth de-slot, ending his race and ruining his opportunity to eat into Walczak's point standings lead.
Margetta assumed the lead but had to play it safe since his next de-slot would end his race. Reminiscent of the Halloween Havoc, Kamikawa ripped off qualifying pace laps to run down Margetta for the second event in a row. Keeping up his streak of never finishing worse than his last race this year, Kamikawa had nothing to lose and raced back to the lead lap, but during that torrid pace used up two de-slots to put him on thin ice as well. With time running out, the two drivers raced into turn five and Margetta spun. What happened next was disputed by both drivers. Kamikawa flew past Margetta, but also de-slotted as time expired. Based on the rules, Kamikawa received a DNF, giving Margetta the win.
"Kamikawa can try, but he'll never rise to the greatness that is Dan Margetta," said Margetta, the gracious winner.
"I won fair and square," explained Kamikawa. "The electronic scoring was down and the power should have kicked off when the race ended. I was ahead. I know that, Dan knows that, everyone at the race knows that. I can't see one reason why we didn't win the race. I think I got screwed but I don't want to dig too deep into the politics. There's politics in every form of motorsports and I hope it doesn't come to that."
The final standings for the 2012 Turkey Trot: Margetta, Kamikawa, Wiedemann, Walczak, Kristof, Lack, Amy Butler (her first race of the season), Hayek and pole sitter Fitzlaff.
Walczak continues to hold on to the points lead with a 15 point gap to second place Wiedemann. Kamikawa and Margetta are climbing up the standings into fourth and fifth respectively.
TURKEY TROT HISTORY (20 events, 1993 - Present)
Year Race Winner
1993 Phil Cianciola – Inside Edge at Edgewood Superspeedway
1994 Dave Austin
1995 John Shea
1996 Ev Kamikawa
1997 Ev Kamikawa
1998 Jim Kaehny
1999 Ev Kamikawa
2000 Ev Kamikawa
2001 Larry Rotter
2002 Jim Iverson
2003 Jim Iverson
2004 Phil Cianciola
2005 Mark Walczak – Inside Edge at South Shore Superspeedway
2006 Jim Iverson
2007 Mike Fitzlaff
2008 Mark Walczak
2009 Mark Walczak
2010 Mark Walczak
2011 Mark Walczak
2012 Dan Margetta
Most Wins: 5 – Mark Walczak; 4 – Ev Kamikawa; 3 – Jim Iverson; 2 – Phil Cianciola
Mark Walczak announced his retirement from the series before the Halloween Havoc and then went out and won his final start.
Mike Lack after winning 3 of the first 4 races of the season finished last at the Havoc.
John Wiedemann’s third place finish allowed him to gain 12 points on Lack in the Husarsbilt Cup championship chase, to within 32.
John Wiedemann has a win and 2 other final fours in the last 3 races.
Dan Margetta has a second and a third in his return since missing the West Bend Grand Prix.
Despite a last place finish at the Halloween Havoc, Mike Lack continues to hold a 32 point championship lead.
Mark Walczak’s surprise retirement announcement shows him as the leader in all-time race victories with 42, six ahead of second place on the list, Phil Cianciola.
Walczak is also second all-time in pole positions, with 41, behind Cianciola’s 48.
He holds the record for most points scored in a single season under the current points system with 705 in the ’08-’09 season; most wins in a season, 9 in ’11-’12; tied with five others for most finals in a season with 13 in ’08-’09; tied with Phil Cianciola for most heat wins in a season with 12 in the ’08-’09 and longest winning streak – 4 in ’08-’09.