2014-15 Round 13
March Madness - Road Course at Badger Raceway - Muskego, WI
March 19, 2015
Round 13 of 15
Lack Busts The Brackets
Muskego, Wis—Defending Indy SlotCarSeries champion Mike Lack danced his way to the March Madness win, Thursday night, at the Road Course at Badger Raceway.
The unique format saw drivers seeded in bracket style racing after qualifying. Target Fitz-Ganassi dull ender Mike Kristof beat first-time racer Kurt Schnelle in the play-in race to earn the privilege of taking on fast qualifier and top seeded Dean Strom. Strom held Kristof at bay the entire distance, squashing the upstart dreams of the eighth seed. “Just had to be smart, take it easy and not let the glass slipper fit the Cinderella team,” commented Strom. Kristof would be scored seventh in the final rundown with Schnelle ninth.
Mike Fitzlaff upheld the Target Fitz-Ganassi team as the number two seed cruised to a win over seven seed Matt Hayek.“Matt obviously had some handling problems,” said Fitzlaff. “As the number two seed you have to be careful of the underdog. You’re supposed to advance to the final, but the crowd is rooting against you.” Hayek logged enough laps to knock down the fifth spot in the final running order.
Burgetta Racing lead driver Dan Margetta was seeded third for his heat and had the unenviable task of taking on Lack, the fifth seed. Margetta had the heat race in hand as the laps wound down and was on the verge of eliminating Lack and shaking up the championship point standings. However, Margetta put his car on the floor, while leading and handed the win and final appearance to Lack. “I don’t know what happened,” said Lack, with a grin. “Typical Margetta. I’ll take it.” Margetta would be placed eighth in the final race report. But it was his teammates "appearance" via selfie that grabbed all the attention for Bargetta Racing, Amy Butler revealed she had her driver's suit on, but a family emergency kept her from making the race. (see photos)
The final heat was a head-to-head matchup with fourth seeded Penske HO’s Kamikawa and sixth seed John Wiedemann. The pair put on a fierce battle before Kamikawa pulled away in the second half. Wiedemann threw his car off course, late in the race, in desperation. “I love this format,” said Kamikawa from between two trophy girls. “This is what March is all about.” Wiedemann placed sixth in the final rundown.
In the 20-minute finale, Mike Fitzlaff, Lack and Kamikawa all took turns leading the first half in a see-saw battle while Strom fell two laps off the pace because his teammate and marshal, Matt Hayek, couldn’t tell the difference between the slot and the taint that is a seam between pieces of track…put this writer digresses. Fitzlaff led at the break, was moving to the blue lane and appeared to have the race in hand. However, as the Waukesha, Wisconsin driver came in for his mid-race pit stop, flames, smoke and fluid poured from the rear of his Dallara-Chevrolet and his night was done. (Editor’s note: The cruelest part of the DNF was the fact that Fitzlaff cut the pit cards, thus dealing himself the death blow.) From there it was Lack’s race to lose while racing in the preferred yellow lane. And lose he did not. Lack cruised to a five lap margin at the checkers. Kamikawa finished second with Out of the Box Racing’s Strom taking the final rung on the podium.
“Coming in as the five seed, I certainly didn’t expect this,” said Lack. “But March is ripe for upsets…that’s why they call it March Madness.” The win was Lack’s fourth of the 2014-15 campaign and propelled him to a 37 point advantage in his quest for back-to-back series titles.
The IndySlotCar Series heads next to Turtle Creek Park Raceway, in Menomonee Falls, for the first running of the Larry Rotter Memorial Grand Prix.
WHAT: March Madness
WHERE: Road Course at Badger Raceway, Muskego, WI
WHEN: Thursday, March 19, 2015 7pm
TELEVISION SCHEDULE: YouTube
2013 CHAMPION: New Event
2013 POLESITTER: New Event
TRACK LAYOUT: Natural Terrain Road Course
RACE LENGTH: 20 minutes
EVENT RECORDS: Qualifying – 2013 – Mark Walczak – 4.397
Race – 2013 – Mike Lack – 226 laps
Margin Of Victory – 2013 – LARGEST – 2013 – Mike Lack – 10 laps
- SMALLEST – 2005 – Dan Margetta – 1 lap
RACE ROUND: 13 of 15 in the 2014-2015 IndySlotCar Series
Muskego, WI --Mike Lack drove his JMM Racing entry to victory in the inaugural Ricardo’s Pizza Fall Brawl at Badger Raceway, Thursday night, the second round of the IndySlotCar season. The event was the first of two that are slated for the popular Badger Raceway in 2013-14. For Lack, the win makes it two in a row to open the championship season.
Lack easily held off Cha-Ching Motorsports chauffer Dan Margetta, scoring the trip to victory lane by 10 circuits in the 20-minute timed final. The abrasive veteran, Margetta, looked to have the fastest car in the events early stages, only to get rattled late, costing him any shot at the win.
“The team’s plan all along was to just maintain a steady pace and endure against this track and let the other drivers implode,” said Lack from victory lane. “This place is fast and the race can take many interesting turns.”
Five-time, and defending IndySlotCar Series champion Mark Walczak led early but then crashed out in the closing stages of the final and was credited with a third place run.
Dean Strom gave the Badger Raceway hometown fans nothing to get excited about, after landing his Karen Carpenter Racing entry on the floor just 65 laps into the final grind.
While Lack’s punishing performance had the fans heading for the turnstiles early, they were treated to some spirited heat race action.
Mike Fitzlaff forgot his glasses on the team plane and his driving performance proved the aging veteran needs the spectacles. He bounced off every competitor, the pace car, the safety truck, every wall and barricade in route to a sixth place showing.
Dan Margetta and Dungeons and Dragons racer Mike Kristof started what many pitsiders think could be a season-long feud when they tangled in the second heat. The normally refined Kristof attempted, unsuccessfully, to take Margetta out three times, finishing seventh. Crews had to be separated on pit road after the heat race while Kristof was comforted by his teammate, Matt Hayek, and a bottle of white zinfandel.
Action in the first heat was heavy as former teammates Walczak and Strom battled side-by-side for nearly the entire distance. Walczak took the win and the automatic transfer spot with a pass of Strom in the final seconds. Meanwhile Matt Hayek crashed his D & D car out 94 laps into the heat finishing eighth for the second race in a row and Ev Kamikawa's #12 Penske HO Verizon car had a short night finding the floor 28 laps in and finishing last.
Club car events AT BADGER RACEWAY/BAYSIDE INTERNATIONAL HISTORY (2 events, 2004 - Present)
Date Race Winner Event Name
1/27/2005 Dan Margetta Bayside Grand Prix**
9/19/2013 Mike Lack Ricardo’s Pizza Fall Brawl
** - Track was built as Bayside International and moved to become The Road Course at Badger Raceway before December 2008.
--Mike Lack is looking to secure a second straight Husarsbilt Cup championship, he holds a 27 point lead over Ev Kamikawa who looks to capture his third title.
--A shake up in the late season schedule sends the series back to Badger Raceway for a “club car” event, only the third time “club cars” have ever been used at Badger Raceway/Bayside International.
--Matt Hayek scored his third win of the season at the Shrine Cup
--Only Hayek and Ev Kamikawa have made the final in each of the last two races.
--Matt Hayek’s pole at the Shrine Cup was the sixth of his career moving him to 15th all-time.
--Hayek’s heat win at the Shrine moved him into a tie with John Baas for 18th with 13 wins.
--Mike Fitzlaff pulled even with Jim Iverson for most finals appearances with 73, good for 7th all-time.
--Matt Hayek moved into 17th all-time in finals appearances with 24.
--Mike Kristof moved into fourth all-time in starts with his 204th, moving ahead of the legendary Larry Rotter.
--Dean Strom is now 14th all-time with 111 starts
--Mike Lack will make his 100th start at Badger.