2014-15 Round 15
HO Indy 500 - South Shore Superspeedway - St. Francis, WI
April 11, 2015
Round 15 of 15
Weather: 63 - Sunny
Lack Captures Title Again; Kristof Drinks The Milk
St. Francis, WI -- Coming in to the 22nd HO Indy 500 and finale of the 2014-15 IndySlotCar season there was one thing that seemed quite possible, the other was about as likely as lightning from a clear blue sky.
Mike Lack came into the big race at South Shore Superspeedway with a 30 point lead and just needed to stay close to Ev Kamikawa to capture a second straight Husarsbilt Cup championship. But even Las Vegas odds-makers refused to put a line on Mike Kristof hoisting the milk after the HO Indy 500. Lack needed some luck to guarantee his triumph and more than a little of that spilled over into the milk bottle that Kristof wound up drinking from.
Seven drivers made the long trip to St. Francis, so making the eight car field was an afterthought but winning the pole was still on the line. Ev Kamikawa was the first driver to put a time up on the board and that time, 8.933 seconds for four trips around the oval, was a new track record that no one could touch. Kristof was the closest with a 9.038 second run, placing him second on the grid.
The top qualifiers handled the heat races without much difficulty. John Wiedemann pressured Matt Hayek for a little while in the opener as Kamikawa ran away to the heat win. In the second heat race Dan Margetta annoyed Lack as much as possible but Lack was able to prevail with heat winner Kristof to transfer to the 500.
Choosing the quick green lane, Kamikawa ran away with the lead throughout the first segment of the HO Indy 500 feature. Lack followed in second with former teammates Kristof and Hayek battling for third. On the inside lane, Kamikawa continued to lap the field and smooth pitstops kept the Penske HO driver out front on his way to a seemingly easy trip to victory lane. By the halfway pitstop and lane swap, Kamikawa had a manageable gap over the field, including a 50 lap advantage over Kristof who would be racing in the fast green lane.
Again pit stops went smooth for all teams with Lack returning to the track first, but still second place in the rundown. As the other drivers returned to the track, the positions remained the same with Kamikawa maintaining his lead heading into the lap 600 pitstop.
After running a flawless race for 607 laps, Kamikawa pulled into the pits where his car failed him. The luck of the pit cards came up "skull and cross bones" and his attempt to have his name etched on the Husarsbuilt Cup a third time was dashed. The luck of the draw guaranteed that Lack would repeat as champion.
With Kamikawa out and running the inside lane with the quickest car left in the field, it was up to Kristof to secure his third career win and first since January 2008. Kristof took over the lead and easily cruised to the victory like a champ. Hayek turned on the after burners and posted the quickest laps in the final portion of the race, but it was not near enough to catch the Target Fitz-Ganassi Racing driver. Hayek took over second place as Lack struggled in the outside lane and ended up 23 laps short of the leader.
Kristof's 1000 lap victory vaulted him into 9th place in the all-time IndySlotCar Series stats for laps run and moved into a tie for 18th in victories. More importantly, Kristof was able to drink/spill the milk and will always be known as a HO Indy 500 winner, the 15th driver to accomplish that feat.
Lack's finish ahead of Kamikawa secured his second series title by 32 points. Kamikawa maintained second place in the standings followed by Wiedemann, Hayek and Kristof. Kristof's win gave the series 8 different winners. In the RacingNation.com Team Challenge, Lack-Wiedemann Motorports with an average points/start of 41.275 took the championship over Penske HO with 39.866.
The series will gather in just less than two weeks to toast the champion, award prizes and look back at another great season as well as the induction of another member of the IndySlotCar Hall of Fame. Complete coverage will be right here and on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.
WHAT: HO Indy 500
WHERE: St. Francis, WI
WHEN: Saturday, April 11, 2014 11am
U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE: YouTube
2013 CHAMPION: John Wiedemann
2013 POLESITTER: Mike Lack
TRACK LAYOUT: Superspeedway
RACE LENGTH: 1000 laps
TRACK RECORDS: Qualifying – 2013 (all club car era) – Mike Lack – 9.244
Lap – 2013 (all club car era) – Dan Margetta – 2.183
Race – 2008 – Mark Walczak – 40:51.711
Margin of Victory – Closest – 2007 – Jim Iverson – 2 laps;
Largest – 2008 – Mark Walczak – 53 laps
RACE ROUND: 15 of 15 in the 2014-2016 IndySlotCar Series
St. Francis, WI -- John Wiedemann drove to his first HO Indy 500 win Saturday afternoon at South Shore Super Speedway, in the 2013-14 Indy Slot Car Series finale.
“Aside from the championship, this is why we do this,” said Weidemann upon drinking the traditional winner’s milk. Wiedeman bested his JMM Racing teammate, and new series champion, Mike Lack. Lack made a furious charge in the closing laps to take second away from series rookie of the year, Cory Galbraith. Dean Strom, also making his first Indy 500, finished fourth, 36 laps off the lead pace.
Safey improvements at the venerable speed plant helped the race be contested at full distance for the first time since 2010. And it marked the first time that all the starters completed the event since 2006.
The afternoon got off to an auspicious start as timing and scoring bugaboos kept drivers guessing throughout the qualifying session. Mike Lack captured the pole with a four-lap time of 9.244 seconds. But the focus quickly turned to the race for the eighth and final qualifying position. Defending HO Indy 500 winner Mike Fitzlaff, coming off of foot surgery just weeks ago; one of the hottest drivers on the circuit, Dungeons & Dragon Racing's Mike Kristof and four-time HO Indy 500 champion Ev Kamikawa all took turns on the bubble. And after timing and scoring reviewed tapes, and Kristof was ordered to re-qualify his backup car, both he and Kamikawa were ruled to be in the field, leaving Fitzlaff out.
Cory Galbraith and Wiedemann captured heat wins with Lack and Strom each running second in their respective prelims, setting the grid for the iconic event.
After the green flag dropped Galbraith set the pace, leaving many pit side observers in awe as the rookie made things look easy. By the first pit stop, however, Wiedemann took over the top spot and relegated the first-year racer to the runner-up position. Meanwhile Lack and Strom raced each other wheel-to-wheel in the upper lanes, clocking identical times lap after lap. John Wiedemann and Galbraith used the bottom lanes to their fullest advantage, opening a sizeable advantage at the mid-race break. Just past the half-way point, Wiedemann’s JMM racing crew performed a flawless pit stop, giving the veteran campaigner the margin he would need to cruise to the historic win.
“This race can often times be lost on pit road,” said Wiedemann. “But my guys not only didn’t lose the race, they helped me win it with every flawless stop.” The perfect pit stops continued for JMM Racing on Lack’s end of pit road as he too took advantage of quick work by his team to reel in Galbraith for the runner-up spot. With twenty laps to go the champ roared past the rookie, but it was too late to mount any challenge for Wiedemann.
With his runner-up finish, Lack captured the oval portion of the championship chase, to go along with his road course and overall crowns.
Penske HO driver Kamikawa was awarded fifth in the final run down which was a tough pill for the four-time HO Indy 500 winner to swallow. Two-time HO Indy 500 champion Matt Hayek placed sixth in the final run down. His teammate, Kristof, finished seventh with Cha-Ching Motorsports driver Dan Margetta coming up broke in eighth. Fitzlaff was credited with ninth.
DECKERTRING HISTORY (21 events, 1994 - Present)
Date Race Winner Track
5/19/1994 Phil Cianciola Edgewood “The Edge” Superspeedway
5/18/1995 John Shea
5/18/1996 Dave Austin
4/26/1997 Ev Kamikawa
4/18/1998 Jim Kaehny
4/17/1999 Phil Marich
4/15/2000 Phil Cianciola
4/21/2001 Jim Kaehny
4/12/2002 Ev Kamikawa
4/13/2003 Larry Rotter
4/17/2004 Chris Spehert
4/9/2005 Dan Margetta
4/18/2006 Ev Kamikawa South Shore Superspeedway
4/14/2007 Jim Iverson
4/12/2008 Mark Walczak
4/18/2009 Chris Spehert
4/10/2010 Matt Hayek
4/9/2011 Matt Hayek
4/14/2012 Ev Kamikawa
4/13/2013 Mike Fitzlaff
4/5/2014 John Wiedemann
Most Wins – 4-Ev Kamikawa; 2-Matt Hayek, Chris Spehert, Jim Kaehny, Phil Cianciola
The championship is still on the line with the double points payout for the “500”
--Ev Kamikawa has made the final in the last four races. Longest current streak.
--John Wiedemann’s win and pole at the Larry Rotter Memorial, moves him to 12th in both categories all-time. He is also 11th in Finals.
--Mike Fitzlaff moves to seventh all-time in laps turned moving ahead of Tom Spehert, “Fitz” also moves to ninth in starts with 144 ahead of Mark Walczak.