2014-15 Round 10
Deckertring Grand Prix - Deckertring - Waukesha, WI
February 5, 2015
Round 10 of 15
Fitz Wins The Deckertring Grand Prix!
Waukesha, WI – Was it the comforts of home, good beer or a man on a mission? Whatever it was, Mike Fitzlaff may want to bottle it and bring it along with him the rest of the season.
Fitzlaff broke through to victory lane for the first time this season with a win at the Deckertring Grand Prix in round ten of the 2014-2015 IndySlotCar schedule. After steadily climbing the podium on his three previous starts, Fitzlaff gave the Fitz-Ganassi team its first win at the track where the team was formed months ago at the opening race of the season.
Fitzlaff looked fast in practice, but it was FGR teammate Mike Kristof who sped to his second pole of the season with a 5.308 second lap. Qulaifying was close at the speedy road course with Kristof holding of Fitzlaff by less than six hundredths of a second and a gap of just over three tenths of a second between first and eighth in the field.
Fitzlaff kept up the pace by winning the opening heat race. Dean Strom took the win in heat race two and Dan Margetta won heat race three. John Wiedemann captured the transfer spot knocking out his Lack Wiedemann Motorsports teammate and series point leader Mike Lack. Five drivers were within five laps in the battle for the final feature spot.
Determined to make true his prediction of keeping the trophy at home, Fitzlaff left the starting line and was never challenged on his way to a dominating victory. Back in the pack Out Of The Box Racing's Strom struggled initially but soon found the handle and passed Wiedemann for third. Burgetta Racing's other driver, Margetta, was cruising in second place when the halfway pitstops brought the cars in. Both Fitzlaff and Margetta escaped with quick stops but Strom and Wiedemann's crews struggled, leaving them further behind. Either the determination of Strom or the carelessness of Margetta set up a battle for second in the closing laps. While running on cruise control and checking out the fans in the stands, Margetta didn't realize that Strom had made up laps and was looking to take the position away. The battle was on in the closing laps as both drivers traded the position. One final spin by Margetta was all that Strom needed and at the finish, just a distance of four feet pushed Margetta back to third.
While Lack continues to lead the championship battle, there was a slight shakeup in the point standings as Wiedemann moved ahead of Ev Kamikawa for second by a slight three points. Strom, with his second place run, edged closer to a battle for third where he trails Kamikawa by 32 points. Teammates Kristof and Fitzlaff are battling for fifth with Kristof holding a three point advantage.
Up next on the schedule is the racer favorite Quarryfest Deslotmania at beautiful Quarry Heights Raceway. Last year, track owner Matt Hayek was the victor in a popular win while half of the field succumbed to Did Not Finish results and a good time was had by all. Dean Strom cruised to the win earlier this season at Quarry Heights in an event without the bogus deslot rules.
WHAT: Deckertring Grand Prix
WHERE: Waukesha, WI
WHEN: Thursday, February 5, 2015 7pm
U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE: GT Channel, YouTube
2014 CHAMPION: Dan Margetta
2013 POLESITTER: Dan Margetta
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 – 2014 – Dan Margetta – 1 lap;
Largest – 2010 – Walczak – 19 laps
RACE ROUND: 10 of 15 in the 2014-2015 IndySlotCar Series
Dan Margetta dominated the Deckertring Grand Prix Thursday night racing to the pole position and then holding off Husarsbilt Cup points leader Mike Lack to take the win and the $57 (thousand) Pole-to-Win fund. In front of a celebrity packed crowd, including Kitty Bo Peep, the president, Sergio and Amy Butler Margetta went off on a Richard Sherman style rant after the final that horrified sports fans across the country for the second time in a month.
From the moment practice started, it was clear that the race would come down to a battle between Cha-Ching Motorsports driver Margetta and the IndySlotCar series points leader Lack.
Sure enough in qualifying the top two drivers were Margetta and Lack with Margetta taking the pole with a run .146 seconds faster than Lack. Margetta's forty-first pole winning lap tied him with Mark Walczak for second place on the series all-time list.
Heat races were set based on the qualifying results meaning that Margetta and Lack would do battle again. The two exchanged the lead multiple times. Margetta fell back on the final lap when he got caught up in a lapped car's issues and Lack zoomed ahead to take the heat race win. Matt Hayek and John Wiedemann finished third and fourth. The second heat race was won by Ev Kamikawa followed by Mike Fitzlaff, Dean Strom and Mike Kristof.
Trash talking between the rivals escalated as the drivers lined up for the final and kept going throughout the race as Margetta and Lack took command. At the end of the first half Margetta led Lack by four laps with Kamikawa and Fitzlaff hanging on. Margetta hit the pits first and after a slow stop was penalized to drive with his opposite hand for ten laps. Lack was next and also had a slow stop but was able to escape a penalty and make up laps on the leader. Kamikawa also had a slow pit stop which allowed Fitzlaff, with a lightning quick eight second stop, take over third place. With the quick stop and a happier handling car, Fitzlaff pulled to within striking distance of the leaders. But Margetta proved too strong overall and held on to a one lap lead as he danced his way to the checkers, yelling at Lack over the course of the final laps. Lack held on to second, just one lap ahead of JMM Racing teammate Fitzlaff.
Margetta's thirty-sixth win ties him for second place all-time with Phil Cianciola and six victories away from Walczak the wins leader. Kamikawa also hit a milestone going over 50,000 laps in his IndySlotCar career.
With the pole and the win, Margetta captured $57,000 ISC bucks and threw them into the air in victory lane while exclaiming "Lack ain't nothin', I'm the best, why would they put up such a sorry racer to go against me?" Continuing his rant, Margetta predicted that Lack, who now has a seventy-nine point lead in the standings, would not win the championship this season. There are five races left and Margetta is on a streak of eight finals in a row, so it is possible that the brash talking racer could wrestle the championship away.
DECKERTRING HISTORY (9 events, 2007 - Present)
DateRace WinnerEvent 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
1/30/2014 Dan Margetta Deckertring Grand Prix
Most Wins – 4-Mark Walczak; 2-Mike Lack
Mike Lack leaves Rapids having won both races run there, the oval and the street course.
Mike Fitzlaff returns to the track at his home course after missing the Too Clean Laundry GP with an illness.
--Lack is starting to run away with the Husarsbilt Cup champions after his back to back wins.
--Only John Wiedemann has made the finals in the last two races like his teammate but finishing behind him has not allowed him to close the gap for the championship.
--Mike Lack equaled Dave Austin’s career win total with the victory at Rapids with 16, they are tied for eighth all time.
--Dean Strom moved ahead of Austin in Heat Wins with 28 elevating him to twelfth all time.
--John Wiedemann moved ahead of Dean Strom in laps turned with 18,777 good enough for 15th.
--Ev Kamikawa made his 250th start at his home track.
--Both members of Out Of The Box Racing moved up a ranking in DNF’s with their matching crashes at the Too Clean Laundry GP, Matt Hayek’s 16th failure to finish makes him tied for 16th all-time with Chris Spehert, while Dean Strom pulled equal to Ned Wicker with his 13th DNF, they are 20th on the all-time list.