2014-15 Round 12
The Shrine Cup - The Shrine Desert Road Course - Wauwatosa, WI
March 5, 2015
Round 12 of 15
Hayek Takes The Shrine Cup; 3rd Win of Season
Wauwatosa, WI - Matt Hayek scored every point possible at The Shrine Desert Road Course on his way to his third victory in nine starts, equaling points leader Mike Lack for the most wins this season. The Tosa-native grabbed the pole position in qualifying, never had to sweat his heat race coasting to a four lap victory, and then won with the same margin in the 20 minute Shrine Cup final.
The rescheduled Shrine Cup was all Hayek's from the start as he easily outclassed the rest of the field in qualifying with a 4.508 second lap around the New Mexico circuit, more than a tenth of a second faster than Ev Kamikawa's best effort for second on the grid.
Hayek took the win in the opening heat race and Kamikawa captured the victory in heat race two with Mike Fitzlaff and defending race winner Mike Lack securing transfer spots for the feature race. Competition was fierce in the battle for the transfer positions as six drivers were within four laps of each other for the two bonus positions.
The feature race seemed up for grabs early with each driver spending some time in the lead. As the first half wore on, it looked like the race would be decided between the two fastest qualifyers, Kamikawa and Hayek. But, as the end of the opening segment came to a close, something odd happened. Well, not really that odd. Kamikawa, trying to work his way through Hugh Downs, hit the floor and crashed out of the race for the fifth DNF in his last eight starts at the track. Only a pit stop could slow race leader Hayek down at that point, and it did. With a slower than the rest of the field stop combined with a penalty, Hayek needed to make his way around the twisty track driving with his opposite hand for ten laps as Fitzlaff and Lack closed in to the lead.
Hayek recovered from the pit stop fiasco to resume the lead and leave the others to battle amongst themselves. Lack used a late race pass to race his way to best in class status for second, with Fitzlaff climbing on to the bottom step of the podium.
Dean Strom came up short of the final just clipping Mike Kristof for fifth place, while John Wiedemann struggled with handling to come in seventh and Tom Spehert making his second straight start wound up eighth.
Kamikawa's fourth place finish combined with Lack's second place, allows the defending Husarsbilt Cup champion to extend his points lead after missing the previous race. Lack takes a 27 point advantage over Kamikawa to Badger Raceway for March Madness in two weeks, with his teammate John Wiedemann still within striking distance 42 markers back with three races left, including the double-points paying HO Indy 500.
WHAT: The Shrine Cup
WHERE: The Shrine Desert Road Course, Wauwatosa, WI
WHEN: Thursday, March 5, 2015 7pm
U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE: MBC Slotcar Network, YouTube
2014 CHAMPION: Mike Lack
2014 POLESITTER: Mike Lack
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 – 2013/14 – Walczak/Lack – 2 laps;
Largest – 2013/14 – Walczak/Lack – 2 laps
RACE ROUND: 14 of 15 in the 2014-2015 IndySlotCar Series
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 of 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 chamisa 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 SHRINE CUP HISTORY (6 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
3/13/14 Mike Lack Shrine Desert Road Course
Mike Lack missed the last race at Quarry Heights Raceway, allowing his closest pursuers, Ev Kamikawa and John Wiedemann, to close within 20 and 28 points respectively, for the Husarsbilt Cup. The change in venues and the elimination of a 500 lap race removes the double points that the Stardust 500 would have brought. That leaves four races, with just the HO Indy 500 offering the double-point payday to decide the championship.
--The hottest driver on the circuit won’t be on the starting grid at the Shrine, with Dan Margetta out of town, the Bargetta Racing driving coming off a win and three finals in a row.
--Dean Strom continues to be the hot show in qualifying scoring his fourth pole of the season at Quarry Heights.
--Parody is hot this season, 8 different drivers have made appearances in the last 3 finals and 7 of the 8 most regular starters have won a race this season.
--Only Mike Lack has gone without a DNF amongst the regular starters.
--One year ago Lack clinched his first Husarsbilt Cup championship with his start at the Shrine Cup.
--Dean Strom moved to a three-way tie for 12th all-time with his ninth career pole, equaling Mike Kristof and John Wiedemann.
--Mike Kristof made his 203rd start at Quarryfest, moving him to fourth all-time and tying Larry Rotter.
--Dean Strom pulled up alongside former teammate Jim Iverson for most starts all-time with 110, good for 14th.
--Matt Hayek moved ahead of Tony Perkins on the all-time starts list with 103, making him 17th.
--Mike Fitzlaff broke a four-way tie for 5th on the all-time DNF list with his finish at Quarry Heights, giving him 31 for his career, moving him alone into 4th.
--Matt Hayek’s early exit at the last race moves him ahead of Chris Spehert in the all-time DNF line-up with 17 making him 16th.
--and Dean Strom broke his tie with Ned Wicker for DNFs when he went out and moved into 20th all-time with 14.