2015-16 Round 11
Deckertring Grand Prix - Deckertring - Waukesha, WI
February 4, 2016
Round 11 of 16
Waukesha, WI – Mike Lack made it four in a row Thursday night, equaling a record that was set eight years ago, by winning the Deckertring Grand Prix at the high speed Deckertring road course in round 11 of the 2015-16 IndySlotCar season. The streak never seemed in jeopardy as Lack also took home the "Pole-to Win" fund for the second event in a row.
The only thing one needs to know about Lack is that he drives fast, and that is just what he did to kick off the evening in qualifying by taking the pole by just .037 seconds ahead of Target Fitz Ganassi Racing driver Mike Kristof.
Hometown favorite Mike Fitzlaff continued to turn his season around with a heat win, his second of the campaign, with Lack and Ev Kamikawa also making the finals with victories in their heat races. Kamikawa's heat race victory was the most exciting with the veteran exchanging the lead with Kristof and JAM Racing pilot Amy Butler throughout the entire race. John Wiedemann captured the transfer position.
The feature race started out as expected with JAM Racing's Lack streaking out to an early lead. Fitzlaff and Kamikawa maintained pace a few laps behind but as the first half completed, it looked to be an easy sweep for Lack as he easily outdistanced his competitors. Pitstops were relatively uneventful for the top three as the "death card" decided not to make an appearance this week. As the second half got under way, it seemed that Lack found his "kryptonite" and appropriately it was the green colored lane. Lack's ride didn't perform as well in the inside lane and his lap times dramatically increased. Sensing blood in the water, both Kamikawa and Fitzlaff picked up the pace and made up laps on the struggling leader. In the end, the pace to catch "the Machine" proved to be too much and Lack was able to cruise to a record tying one lap victory over Kamikawa and Fitzlaff.
With the victory by Lack and fourth place finish by Wiedemann, Lack now has a commanding 78 point lead as he eyes his third championship with just five races to go. Dean Strom, seventh on the night, finished a spot better than his MaD Motorsports teammate Matt Hayek and retains the third position in the standings by 19 points over Hayek. Kamikawa holds down fifth place in the standings, just six points behind fourth place. Amy Butler finished fifth for the evening and along with her teammates, Lack and Wiedemann, holds the top spot in the RacingNation.com Cup team points by six points ahead of MaD Motorsports. Kristof's front row qualifying effort was wasted as he struggled against Kamikawa and Butler in his heat to finish sixth. The trio of Spehert Autosport entries finished at the bottom of the charts with the rookies Bill Black ninth, Pete Dorn eleventh and the patriarch of the squad Tom Spehert tenth.
Now the question is, can anyone stop Lack at the next round, Quarryfest Deslotmania? Lack goes for a record five in a row and one of the most difficult races of the season. Dan Margetta will miss the opportunity to defend his win last year at the event, which he won while watching other races on his phone while driving. Lack missed this race last season for still undisclosed reasons. In the season prior, the only time Lack has competed in this event, he was leading at halfway when his race was ended by the "death card".
WHAT: Deckertring Grand Prix
WHERE: Waukesha, WI
WHEN: Thursday, February 4, 2016 7pm
TELEVISION SCHEDULE: IndySlotCar Channel on YouTube
2015 CHAMPION: Mike Fitzlaff
2015 POLESITTER: Mike Kristof
TRACK LAYOUT: Natural Terrain Road Course
RACE LENGTH: 20 minutes
TRACK RECORDS: Qualifying – 2009 – Mark Walczak – 4.500; Race – 2015 – Mike Fitzlaff – 233 laps
EVENT RECORDS: Margin of Victory – Closest – 2014 – Dan Margetta – 1 laps; Largest – 2010 – Walczak – 19 laps
RACE ROUND: 11 of 16 in the 2015-2016 IndySlotCar Series
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.
DECKERTRING HISTORY (10 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
1/30/2014 Dan Margetta Deckertring Grand Prix
2/5/2015 Mike Fitzlaff Deckertring Grand Prix
Most Wins: 4-Mark Walczak; 2-Mike Lack
§ Mike Lack riding a three race winning streak, a feat only equaled four other times and surpassed just one other time in series history. Mark Walczak hold the record with four wins in a row from the 2008-09 season.
§ Mike Lack’s winning streak has taken all the heat from the rest of the field.
§ John Wiedemann’s appearance in the Too Clean Laundry Grand Prix ties him with Dave Austin for 10th all-time each has 54.
§ Unfortunately, Wiedemann’s DNF at the same race also moved him into a tie for 10th on the DNF list, pulling even with Mark Walczak with 32.