2015-16 Round 16
HO Indy 500 - South Shore Superspeedway - St. Francis, WI
April 9, 2016
Round 16 of 16
Weather: 33 - Partly cloudy* - coldest HO Indy 500 day
Wiedemann Wins Second HO Indy 500
St. Francis, WI -- John Wiedemann caught Ev Kamikawa with just a couple laps to go to pull out a one lap victory in the HO Indy 500 at South Shore Superspeedway Saturday. The closest finish in the HO Indy 500's 23 events, saw Kamikawa rush out to a lead, but Wiedemann's pace in the second half of the race was just too much for the four-time 500 winner to hold off in the end.
"I had it floored all the way around, I had nothing for him," the Penske HO driver reported after he climbed from the car.
Wiedemann became a man on a mission as he made adjustments in the second half and moved to the inside lane, attempting to track down Kamikawa, "They stopped talking to me on the radio and I just put my head down and drove as hard as I could," said the two time drinker of the milk. "JW" took the season ender two years ago in a much less dramatic finish, this time it was all up hill until making the pass with just a handful of laps to and hanging on to take the checkers. Wiedemann, it was the fourth win of the season and finishes second in the Husarsbilt Cup championship for the third time in four years.
Meanwhile, Wiedemann's JAM Racing teammate, Mike Lack, struggled for pace in the second half of the race, finishing a distant third, with his third championship title already clinched, he did set a series record of 14 finals in a single series, surpassing a record held by several drivers with 13.
Dan Margetta managed to make his way to the HO Indy 500 final for the first time in eight years, but once he got there it became apparant the handling on his Penske HO Dallara-Chevrolet had gone completely away. "It was turning on the straightaways" complained the always smiling veteran, he would finish 239 laps behind the winner.
Dean Strom led the rest of the field in fifth, ahead of his MaD Motorsports teammate, Matt Hayek, then last year's winner, Mike Kristof in seventh and his fellow Target Fitz Ganassi Racing driver Mike Fitzlaff bringing up the rear.
The series will gather one more time to celebrate another fantastic season at the Awards Banquet in three weeks, including the IndySlotCar Series Hall of Fame Induction of former series champion Dave Austin.
WHAT: HO Indy 500
WHERE: St. Francis, WI
WHEN: Saturday, April 9, 2014 11am
U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE: IndySlotCar Channel on YouTube
2015 CHAMPION: Mike Kristof
2015 POLESITTER: Ev Kamikawa
TRACK LAYOUT: Superspeedway
RACE LENGTH: 1000 laps
TRACK RECORDS: (all club car era) Qualifying – 2015 – Ev Kamikawa – 8.933; Lap – 2013 – 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: 16 of 16 in the 2015-2016 IndySlotCar Series
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.
HO INDY 500 HISTORY (22 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
4/11/2015 Mike Kristof
Most Wins – 4-Ev Kamikawa; 2-Matt Hayek, Chris Spehert, Jim Kaehny, Phil Cianciola
§ With his third Husarsbilt Cup championship sewn up as long as he shows up, can Mike Lack cap it off with his first win at the most prestigious race on the circuit? Every previous champion has won the 500 at least once.
§ The battle for third place is on! Six points separate third place Ev Kamikawa from sixth place, Dean Strom, with Matt Hayek and Mike Fitzlaff sandwiched in between, with double points on the line, the highest finisher of the four is almost certain to attain the third place trophy at the season ending banquet.
§ ROTY fight: With Bill Black missing the last race, the gap between the two rookies is down to just three points, Pete Dorn holding that slight edge going into the biggest race of the year and the one that will decide this prestigious prize. Considering previous Rookies Of The Year include: soon-to-be three time champion Mike Lack, two-time HO Indy 500 winner Matt Hayek, multiple race-winners Mike Fitzlaff and Dean Strom.