2015-16 Round 3
West Bend Grand Prix - Lack Track - West Bend, WI
October 1, 2015
Round 3 of 16
Lack is Back
West Bend, WI -- There is nothing like coming home. And, coming home was the ticket for Mike Lack as he dominated the West Bend Grand Prix at his home track – the Lack Track, winning his first event of the season.
Lack scored the pole position, won his heat race and controlled the feature race to attain the maximum points for an event. With those points, Lack took over the lead in the race to the Husarsbuilt Cup IndySlotCar Series championship.
It was evident early that the two time and defending champion of the West Bend Grand Prix was going to be difficult to beat and turning in a lap over two tenths of a second quicker than runner-up Matt Hayek in the qualification session was just the beginning of Lack's domination.
Heat races were setup with the top qualifiers racing each other, knocking out MaD Motorsports Dean Strom, the point leader coming into the event, and Target driver Mike Kristof while Lack took the win, his third in three events this season, and Matt Hayek took the transfer position to get to the final. Lack's JAM Racing teammate, John Wiedemann, won the next heat while Dan Margetta burned up his Penske HO ride, literally, there was smoke. Margetta, a winner in his last race, took the exact opposite finish at West Bend.
The final heat race featured the two rookie Spehert Autosport teammates Bill Black and Pete Dorn along with team leader Tom Spehert racing against Fitz Ganassi driver Mike Fitzlaff. Although the experienced members of the group put up a valiant effort, Black topped them all with his first heat win and a spot in his first IndySlotCar Series final.
The opening half of the final was a short lived battle between Lack and Hayek as Lack quickly took the lead and started to put some distance between himself and the MaD driver. Wiedemann struggled, laps behind the front runners, with handling in the outside lane and Black held his ground just a couple laps behind the third place position. Then the second half began and the drama intensified. Starting with a long, excruciating 30 second pit stop, it looked like the Lack dominance was over. Hayek took over the lead and the field was able to reduce their laps behind the track owner. Then Hayek made his pit stop, which was another struggle and when he returned to the track, he was back in second place. Wiedemann, now in a favorable lane, made quick work of his pitting and returned to the track just eight laps behind Hayek in second place. As Wiedemann closed the distance between himself and second place , the leader also struggled in his outside lane. Wiedemann passed Hayek for second and found himself just two laps behind Lack, but the time ran out and Lack took the checkers for the third time at the West Bend Grand Prix. Hayek held pace for third, just a lap behind Wiedemann, and Black scored a career high fourth place in just his third race in the series.
Lack's pole run and victory scored him 33,000 IndySlotCar dollars as the first driver to accomplish the feat this season. Another streak was broken when the "death card" didn't make an appearance, something it has done in the last three events.
With the victory and Strom's fifth place finish, Lack takes over the driver points lead by 19 markers. Strom maintains second followed by Wiedemann, Hayek and Tom Spehert. In the Team Point standings, JAM Racing leads MaD Motorsports by just a half point with Penske HO in third. Lack's win was the 18th of his IndySlotCar Series career and moves him into sole possession of seventh all-time.
Up next, the drivers travel southwest to the Startdust Speedway for the Slots A-Fun 400. Matt Hayek is the defending champion at the short oval and looks to pick up his first victory this season.
WHAT: West Bend Grand Prix
WHERE: Lack Track, West Bend, WI
WHEN: Thursday, October 1, 2014 7pm
TELEVISION SCHEDULE: IndySlotCar TV on YouTube
2014 CHAMPION: Mike Lack
2014 POLESITTER: Mike Lack
TRACK LAYOUT: Natural Terrain Road Course
RACE LENGTH: 20 minutes
TRACK RECORDS: Qualifying – 2013 – John Wiedemann – 3.971
Race – 2013 – John Wiedemann – 243 laps
Margin of Victory: Smallest – 2012 – Mike Lack – 1/2 laps;
Largest – 2013 – John Wiedemann – 10 laps
RACE ROUND: 3 of 16 in the 2015-2016 IndySlotCar Series
West Bend, WI – They say that it really doesn't count if you win at your own track. But Mike Lack doesn't really care what they say and he proved that by dominating the IndySlotCar Series West Bend Grand Prix at the Lack Track.
A short field showed up to contest round 2 of the 2014-2015 IndySlotCar Series season. Lack sped to the pole outrunning the other four drivers participating. The only driver to break the four second barrier lack captured his thirteenth career pole with a 3.99 second trip around the short and twisty track.
The rest of the drivers lined up for a heat race to determine the final three positions in the feature. Ev Kamikawa, second fastest in qualifying, took the heat win in his Penske HO ride. Dean Strom and John Wiedemann also transferred to the final, leaving Target Fitz Ganassi Racing driver Mike Kristof to spectate for the remainder of the event.
When the final started, it was clear that Lack was the driver to beat. Strom ran strong but a slow mid-race pit stop dropped him to third in the running order behind Wiedemann. Kamikawa seemed to lose his magic from qualifying and the heat race as he faded back in the field.
With Lack setting his Lack Wiedemann Motorsports Honda on cruise control, easily rolling toward the checkers, the battle late in the race was between Wiedemann and Strom. Wiedemann started the second half in third, just a couple laps behind Strom in second. When the Out of the Box Racing team struggled with Strom's pitstop, Wiedemann took advantage and stepped into second place with a three lap advantage. But with the race reaching its conclusion, Strom's speed was too much for Wiedemann to hold off. Driving past the car's handling, Wiedemann lost contact with the track and Strom buzzed past to take second place with a two lap advantage when the checkers flew.
Lack's win, the 14th of his career and first of the young season, jumped the reigning champion into the standings lead. Lack took home a boat-load of cash by capturing the pole-to-win award.
WEST BEND GRAND PRIX HISTORY (4 events, 2011 - Present)
Date Race Winner
10/8/2011 Ev Kamikawa
10/13/2012 Mike Lack
9/28/2013 John Wiedemann
10/4/14 Mike Lack
--Dean Strom takes the Husarsbilt Cup points lead to the West Bend Grand Prix after a win and a fourth place to open the season.
--Will both members of Penske HO Racing show up at the same race this time?
--Dean Strom with a win and a fourth place in the first two races.
--Mike Lack has finished second in the two opening rounds of the season.
--Dean Strom has equaled John Wiedemann for 11th on the all-time Heat Wins list with 32
--John Wiedemann passes John Shea in all-time Finals appearances with 48, JW is now 11th.
--Matt Hayek and Amy Butler each move up a spot on the all-time DNF list, Hayek to a tie for 15th with 18 and Butler to a tie for 18th with 15.
--Pete Dorn scored his first career DNF at the Fall Brawl, which makes him one of ten drivers tied for 29th with one DNF.