2015-16 Round 14
Miller Lite Shamrock Shrine Cup - Shrine Desert Road Course - Wauwatosa, WI
March 17, 2016
Round 14 of 16
WHAT: Miller Lite Shamrock Shrine Cup
WHERE: Wauwatosa, WI
WHEN: Thursday, March 17, 2016 7pm
U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE: IndySlotCar Channel on YouTube
2015 CHAMPION: Matt Hayek
2015 POLESITTER: Matt Hayek
TRACK LAYOUT: Natural Terrain Road Course
RACE LENGTH: 20 minutes
TRACK RECORDS: Qualifying – 2013 – Mark Walczak – 4.421
Race – 2013 – Mark Walczak – 230 laps
Margin of Victory – Closest – 2010 – inches – Mark Walczak; Largest – 2011 – 16 laps – Mark Walczak
EVENT RECORDS: Qualifying – 2013 – Mark Walczak – 4.421
Race – 2013 – Mark Walczak – 230 laps
Margin of Victory – Closest – 2013 – Walczak – 2 laps; Largest – 2015 – Matt Hayek – 4 laps
RACE ROUND: 14 of 16 in the 2015-2016 IndySlotCar Series
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.
THE SHRINE CUP HISTORY (7 events, 1993 – 1996; 2013 - 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
3/13/2014 Mike Lack Shrine Desert Road Course
3/5/2015 Matt Hayek Shrine Desert Road Course
§ John Wiedemann cut into Mike Lack’s Husarsbilt Cup points lead for the first time in six races to reduce his JAM Racing teammate’s lead to 74 markers.
§ Mike Fitzlaff has been quietly climbing the up the points ladder after missing the finals in the first six races, he has now been in five of the last seven and moved from ninth place to fifth place.
§ Matt Hayek has a win and a second in the last two races.
§ Mike Lack has made the final in the last six races.
§ Mike Fitzlaff has appeared four of the last five races.
§ Matt Hayek has moved into third place in Husarsbilt Cup points ahead of his MaD Motorsports teammate Dean Strom by eight points.
§ ROTY: The battle for Rookie of the Year honors tightened up when Bill Black missed the Stardust 500 allowing Andretti Autosport teammate Pete Dorn to close within 13 points.
§ Mike Fitzlaff and Mike Lack are now in a three-way tie with Hall of Famer Jim Iverson for sixth place in all-time Heat Wins with 59.
§ Matt Hayek is now in 15th place on the all-time Starts list with 119.
§ If Mike Lack can make the final in all three remaining races this season, he would set a new series record for most finals in one season with 14. He already shares the record of 13 from his first championship season in 2013-14 with Mark Walczak, Jim Iverson, Phil Cianciola, Larry Rotter, Jim Kaehny and Dave Austin.