2014-15 Round 1
Outpost Natural Foods Grand Prix - Deckertring - Waukesha, WI
Round 1 of 15
September 18, 2014
Out Of the Box Wins Out Of the Box
Waukesha, WI – Matt Hayek kicked off the 2014-2015 IndySlotCar Series season with a victory in the Outpost Natural Foods Grand Prix at the Deckertring. In a night that featured rule changes, new team alignments and mechanical issues, Hayek maintained a quick steady pace and outran everyone to the checkers to capture his fourth career victory in the series.
A new season brought about new faces in new places as teams complied with the limit of two drivers per organization. The biggest change was announced just prior to the race when long time teammates Mike Kristof and Hayek separated after seven seasons together. Kristof is now teamed up with Mike Fitzlaff, who was let go by the newly named Lack Wiedemann Motorsports team in compliance with the new team rules. Kristof and Fitzlaff's will drive cars number 9 and 10 as Target Fitz Ganassi Racing. Hayek joined Dean Strom, a two time winner last season, to form Out Of The Box Racing.
Another new rule this season affects the transfer to the final specifications for two heat race events. Previously, the top two drivers from each heat would transfer. The new rule has the two heat winners transferring and then the two drivers with the most laps scored in either heat transferring as well. That rule immediately came into play at the Deckertring.
Long time driver Ev Kamikawa opened the track action by capturing the pole. Kamikawa outpaced the reigning champion Mike Lack's provisional pole from the first qualifying session and took the front position on the grid for the 33rd time in his career. Kamikawa continued his hot pace on the ultra quick track in the first heat race, pulling away to a comfortable lead over competitors Lack, Mike Fitzlaff and Hayek. That pace was slowed dramatically when an off course excursion damaged Kamikawa's chassis. Unable to diagnose the issue and losing speed, Kamikawa dropped like a rock in the standings. Lack cruised past to take the lead and the victory followed by Fitzlaff in second and Hayek in third.
Amy Butler took command of the second heat race at the drop of the green. A quick car and spins by all of her challengers allowed her to put almost a lap on the field. John Wiedemann was able to run her down and take the lead at the midpoint of the race. Following behind, Strom and Kristof continued to struggle on the course. Wiedemann took the heat win. Butler fought an ill handling car in the second half but maintained second, a position which would have transferred her to the feature – last season. But, it was Hayek's lap total in the first heat that knocked Butler out of the feature.
The opening laps of the Outpost Natural Foods Grand Prix feature were fast and furious with the cars of hometown favorite Fitzlaff, Lack, Hayek and Wiedemann running in tight formation. Wiedemann was able to sneak out front and methodically put some distance between himself and his competitors. By the time the halfway point was reached, a few spins and some hard racing allowed Wiedemann to run out front with a four lap advantage over the field. Hayek maintained a solid second place followed by Lack and Fitzlaff.
Only two things will definitively stop a fast race car, a tree falling and knocking out power to the track and the Death Card. Wiedemann didn't have to worry about the power to the track. Wiedemann came in to the pits on the opening lap of the second half and never left. The Death Card was drawn and Wiedemann's promising night was done.
Taking advantage of the leaders misfortune, Hayek had a flawless pitstop and continued to drive flawlessly for the remainder of the race with the lead. Lack tried to challenge Hayek for the front spot and closed to within a lap, but the handling of his car was too much to overcome and a multitude of spins in turn one proved to be his downfall. Fitzlaff gained ground as Lack struggled and the two former teammates battled for second place with Lack maintaining the position by just a few car lengths when the checkers flew.
Next on the schedule is the West Bend Grand Prix with a daytime Saturday race on October 4th. Wiedemann won last season's race at the Lack Track with Hayek finishing second.
WHAT: Outpost Natural Foods Grand Prix
WHERE: Waukesha, WI
WHEN: Thursday, September 18, 2014 7pm
U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE: MBC Slotcar Network, YouTube
2013 CHAMPION: New event
2013 POLESITTER: New Event
TRACK LAYOUT: Natural Terrain Road Course
RACE LENGTH: 20 minutes
TRACK RECORDS: Qualifying – 2009 – Mark Walczak – 4.500
Race – 2010 – Mark Walczak – 229 laps
Margin of Victory – Closest – 2011 & 12 – Walczak & Mike Lack – 2 laps;
Largest – 2010 – Walczak – 19 laps
RACE ROUND: 1 of 15 in the 2014-2015 IndySlotCar Series
Waukesha, WI – This is a new event part of a rotation of second races given to certain tracks across the schedule. The series will return to the Deckertring in February for the annual Deckertring Grand Prix.
DECKERTRING HISTORY (8 events, 2007 - Present)
Date Race Winner Event Name
3/1/2007 Mark Walczak Deckertring Grand Prix
3/13/2008 Ev Kamikawa Deckertring Grand Prix
3/5/2009 Mark Walczak Deckertring Grand Prix
3/18/2010 Mark Walczak Deckertring Grand Prix
3/17/2011 Mike Lack Deckertring Grand Prix
9/22/2011 Mark Walczak John Shea Memorial Deckertring Grand Prix
3/1/2012 Mike Lack Outpost Natural Foods Grand Prix
2/14/2013 John Wiedemann Deckertring Grand Prix
Most Wins – 4-Mark Walczak; 2-Mike Lack
A new season and a new defending series champion for the first time in five year, Mike Lack.
Several new teams have been formed for competition in the RacingNation.com Cup for the team championship.
--John Wiedemann closed out the 2013-14 season with a win at another oval, South Shore Superspeedway to take the HO Indy 500.
--Rookie sensation Corey Galbraith, who made the podium in his first HO Indy 500, will make his first start on the bull ring Mini Mile
--Ev Kamikawa and Dan Margetta are tied for second in all-time wins with Phil Cianciola with 36.
--Mike Lack’s pole at the HO Indy 500 moved him to 8th on the all-time list with 12.
--John Wiedemann’s heat win and appearance in the HO Indy 500 final put him 11th all-time in Heat Wins with 28 and 12th all-time in Finals with 38.