2015-16 Round 2
Fall Brawl presented by UFC
September 17, 2015
Round 2 of 16
Strom Survives the Brawl
Muskego, WI -- Dean Strom avenged a heart-breaking IndySlotCar loss from two weeks ago by driving to an impressive win Thursday night in the Badger Raceway Fall Brawl presented by UFC. At the season-opening race, Strom dominated the event, only to be sidelined when he drew the Death Card at the event’s mid-race pit stop. There would be no such drama at the second series race as the MaD Motorsports chauffeur put his home track advantage to good use and cruised to a five-lap cushion at the checkers. “The Mijack Team has really put some fast cars under me for these first two races,” said Strom. “All the off-season work and testing that we did is really paying off.”
The fast yellow lane proved to be tricky Thursday night, in heat race action, as four drivers put their cars on the floor and were eliminated from completion. All four drivers were in the yellow lane when their disaster struck.
Strom was not deterred and as the fast qualifier of the main event drivers, chose the yellow lane for the first half of the 20-minute finale. He put it to good use and quickly opened up a commanding seven lap lead at the half-way break. The second half draw saw Strom go to the red lane while two-time and defending Indy Slot Car league champion Mike Lack drew the yellow lane. “I really thought, with me going to red at Lack drawing yellow, that I’d be in trouble,” said Strom. Strom’s prediction turned out wrong as Lack couldn’t make up ground.
“My team really laid down a great pit stop, and that got us a couple of laps,” said Lack. “But beyond that I just couldn’t get pick up any ground.” For the second consecutive race, Lack would settle for the runner-up spot.
The finale featured all three drivers from the new JAM Racing. John Wiedemann struggled with the handling on his Dallara-Honda but soldiered on to a podium finish. Amy Butler won the third heat to secure a spot in the final only to be dealt the Death Card during her pit stop. It marked the third consecutive race that the card has made an appearance.
After the round of pit stops, the race was fairly uneventful. Heat race action, however, was a different story.
Heat race lineups were set from first-to-last, meaning the four fastest from qualifying were slated to do battle for the win in the first heat. Second fast qualifier Matt Mayek DNF’ed after completing just five laps and would be scored ninth on the night. Fast qualifier Ev Kamikawa was the lone Penske HO driver in the field. His night ended after contact with Strom while the pair was racing for the lead. Race control deemed the contact incidental, leaving Kamikawa fuming. Tempers escalated as Strom approached Kamikawa to apologize. The fiery Asian was in no mood to accept Strom’s olive branch and the pair had to be separated. Kamikawa was scored seventh in the final rundown.
Heat race number two saw Mike Fitzlaff DNF on the very first turn. He was shown 10th on the night. Pete Dorn DNF’ed in the third heat. The rookie driver was credited with an eighth place finish and moved ahead of teammate Bill Black in the rookie-of-the-year standings.
Tom Spehert edged Target Fitz-Ganassi Racing’s Mike Kristof by one lap for the fifth spot in the finish order.
Strom, Lack and Butler were heat race winners while Wiedemann secured the final transfer spot into the main event.
After just two races in the 2015-16 Indy Slot Car season, Strom maintains a four point advantage in the championship standings. In his 10th season of competition, this marks the first time that Strom has sat atop the Husarsbuilt Cup championship standings.
IndySlotCar travels next to the Lack Track for the West Bend Grand Prix, October 1.
WHAT: Fall Brawl presented by UFC
WHERE: Road Course at Badger Raceway, Muskego, WI
WHEN: Thursday, September 17, 2015 7pm
TELEVISION SCHEDULE: YouTube
WEB: indyslotcar.com, FACEBOOK and TWITTER
2013 CHAMPION: Mike Lack
2013 POLESITTER: Mark Walzcak
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 – Mike Lack - 10 laps
RACE ROUND: 2 of 16 in the 2015-2016 IndySlotCar Series
Muskego, WI (September 19, 2013)--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.
ROAD COURSE AT BADGER RACEWAY/BAYSIDE INTERNATIONAL HISTORY (11 events, 2004 - Present)
Date Race Winner Event Name
1/27/2005 Dan Margetta Bayside Grand Prix*
9/19/2013 Mike Lack Ricardo’s Pizza presents the Badger Raceway Fall Brawl
* - Track was built as Bayside International and moved to become The Road Course at Badger Raceway before December 2008.
--Dan Margetta swiped the Trokan Cup from the hands of Dean Strom to open the season.
--Dean Strom MaD Racing teammate, Matt Hayek, shuffled the pit cards that ended Strom’s easy stroll to victory.
--Bill Black took the first round of the ROTY chase, finishing four laps and one position ahead of his fellow rookie Pete Dorn.
--Despite his “death card” fourth place finish at the Mini Mile, Dean Strom took the pole and no one was going to catch him in the race, save the failure in the pits.
--MaD Racing was the only team to put two drivers in the final, with Hayek and Strom finishing third and fourth.
--Mike Lack’s second place gets his Husarsbilt Cup title defense off to a solid start.
--Dan Margetta’s Trokan Cup 500 win was the 38th of his career, equaling Ev Kamikawa on the all-time list, they trail only Mark Walczak, who has 42.
--Margetta’s win also extends his streak of seasons with at least one victory to 17.
--Dean Strom’s pole position moves him into a four-way tie for ninth on the all-time list. This was his fifth since the beginning of last season, he led all drivers with four poles in the 14-15 season.
--Matt Hayek moves ahead of John Baas to 18th in all-time Heat Wins, with 14. Hayek also moves to 16th in Finals with 26.
--With two starts now under their belts, Bill Black and Pete Dorn arrive at 38th on the all-time starts list and 34th and 35th on the laps list.
--John Weidemann eclipsed Jim Iverson in starts, now with 111, makes him 15th all-time.
--JW’s JAM Racing teammate passes Tony Perkins in starts, with 103, good for 18th.