2015-16 Round 5
Halloween Havoc - Quarry Heights Raceway - Wauwatosa, WI
October 29, 2015
Round 5 of 16
John Wiedemann Scary Fast!
See the box score here
Wauwatosa, Wis—John Wiedemann was scary fast Thursday night at Quarry Heights Raceway, and drove off to a dominating win in the IndySlotCar Series, Halloween Havoc. Wiedemann was the evening’s fast qualifier and scored the win in the first heat race, notching a clean sweep and claiming $19,000 Indy Slot Car Bucks along the way.
“This was just one of those special nights,” stated Wiedemann. “My ABC Supply Dallara-Honda was just on a rail from the time we unloaded.”
His JAM Racing teammate, Mike Lack, joined Wiedemann in the 20-minute final as did MaD Motorsports Dean Strom. Tom Spehert claimed the third heat checkers, earning himself a spot in the final…his first since September of 2011.
When the green flag dropped, Wiedemann immediately jumped to the lead and distanced himself from Lack. Spehert settled into the third spot from the potent green lane while Strom labored after he curiously chose to start in the tight red lane. The finalists would run that way until the half-way break and mandatory lane switch. Wiedemann and Lack flip-flopped the two inside lanes while Spehert and Strom exchanged the green and red lanes. Wiedemann’s crew gave him a solid pit stop, wiping away any chance the rest of the field had to close in on him. Strom made up ground on Spehert in the second half, but had dug himself too big of a hole in the opening stanza to mount a serious challenge for the final podium spot. The margin of victory at the double-checkers was three laps, but was not indicative of just easy Wiedemann made his win look. The win was his first of the season and eleventh of his Indy Slot Car Series career. The clean sweep allowed Wiedeman to score maximum points and jump him up to the runner-up spot in the championship standings, seven markers ahead of Strom and just 14 behind Lack. Lack’s, who transferred to the final by being the highest second place heat finisher, claimed runner-up honors in the final. It was his third such showing of the young 2015-16 campaign.
Former HO Indy 500 winner Mike Kristoff had his best showing of the season, claiming the fifth spot. JAM Racing’s Amy Butler drove to a sixth place showing in the final run down while hometown driver Matt Hayek suffered from handling woes, all night long, earning him a seventh place finish.
Dan Margetta was the lone Penske HO representative and appeared lost without his teammate, fading to an eighth place run. Mike Fitzlaff DNF’d late in the running of the third heat and was credited with a ninth place finish in the final order. Pete Dorn, making his first appearance at the tricky Quarry Heights Raceway, finished tenth.
The IndySlotCar Series next races for a turkey, as the tour travels to South Shore Speedway and the running of the annual Turkey Trot.
WHAT: Halloween Havoc
WHERE: Wauwatosa, WI
WHEN: Thursday, October 29, 2013 7pm
U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE: IndySlotCar Channel on YouTube
2014 CHAMPION: Dean Strom
2014 POLESITTER: Strom
TRACK LAYOUT: Natural Terrain Road Course
RACE LENGTH: 20 Minutes
TRACK RECORDS: Qualifying – 2014 – Dean Strom – 3.987
Race – 2009 – Mark Walczak – 261 laps
Margin of Victory – Largest – 2014 – 12 laps – Dean Strom; Smallest – 1 lap – Dan Margetta – ‘12
RACE ROUND: 5 of 16 in the 2015-2016 IndySlotCar Series
Dean Strom had the IndySlotCar field covered Thursday night at Quarry Heights Raceway, scoring a clean sweep of the Halloween Havoc re-dubbed Nightmare Before Christmas with this season's move to December. Strom took his first pole of the year, backed it up with a heat win and then toyed with the field, leading the entire way, in the 20-minute finale.
“This car was perfect right from the first lap of practice,” said Strom. “I was really able to just set my own pace in the final and cruise.”
The Out of the Box Racer started the feature event from the green lane and immediately jumped to a lead over Dan Margetta, Husarsbilt Cup points leader Ev Kamikawa and defending series champion Mike Lack.
Kamikawa, a heat race winner earlier in the night, battled the handling of his Penske HO, Dallara-Chevrolet in the red lane and fell off the pace in the first half of the race. Meanwhile Lack set a steady and consistent pace while holding down the third spot.
But the standing room only crowd was drawn in to the battle between bitter rivals Margetta and Strom. Margetta drove the wheels off of his Burgetta Racing entry in an attempt to keep up with Strom. Every time Margetta pulled ahead of Strom, he’d turn up the wick and drive back past Margetta. Strom appeared to be playing with Margetta like a cat plays with a half-dead mouse.
Strom’s crew gave him an ultra-fast pit stop, setting up the driver to establish his own pace in the finale’s second half. Strom cruised while Margetta drove out of the slot lap after lap.
Late in the race, Margetta was heard over his team radio to say, “Most times I’m happy with a second place run, but tonight, losing to him sucks.”
At the checkers, Strom scored the win with a comfortable 12 lap margin over Margetta while Lack and Kamikawa completed the top four.
The win was not without controversy. In the opening minutes of the race, Margetta, frustrated by his inability to get by Strom drove into the popular racer as the pair exited turn two. Strom’s car flew off the course, landing in the grass outside the turn. Margetta was called for a stop and go penalty, even though his car was still on the racing surface. All involved thought the penalty from race control was for rough driving. When pressed, the race director admitted he got the two cars mixed up and it was Strom who should have been called for a penalty. Margetta drove the rest of the race with a chip on his shoulder, but could still do nothing with Strom and his potent Dallara-Honda.
Hometown favorite Matt Hayek couldn't advance to the finale through his heat race and settled for fifth in the final rundown. John Wiedemann struggled all night long at his least favorite track on the circuit, finishing sixth. Target Fitz-Ganassi teammates Mike Fitzlaff and Mike Kristof had a night to forget, slogging their way to a seventh and eighth place runs respectively.
Strom took home 23,000 IndySlotCar bucks of pole-to-win money by winning the pole and the feature. It marked the first time he had ever accomplished that feat.
The win was Strom’s first of the 2014-15 season and propelled him into third place in the championship standings while Kamikawa and Lack are now tied for first.
HALLOWEEN HAVOC HISTORY (22 events, 1993 - Present)
Year Race Winner
1993 Jim Chitel – The Shrine Track
1994 Dave Austin - Shrine
1995 Phil Cianciola – HO Road America
1996 Dave Austin - HORA
1997 Jim Kaehny - HORA
1998 Jim Kaehny - HORA
1999 Phil Marich - HORA
2000 Ev Kamikawa - HORA
2001 Dan Margetta - HORA
2002 Jim Kaehny - HORA
2003 Larry Rotter - HORA
2004 Dan Margetta - HORA
2005 Ev Kamikawa – Road Wisconsin
2006 Mark Walczak – Lake Country Motorplex
2007 Dan Margetta - LCM
10/23/2008 Mark Walczak – Turtle Creek Park - Milwaukee Sporting Goods Halloween Havoc
2009 Mark Walczak – Quarry Heights Raceway
2010 John Weidemann – QHR
2011 Dan Margetta – QHR
2012 Dan Margetta – QHR
2013 Mark Walczak – QHR
2014 Dean Strom - QHR
Most Wins – Dan Margetta-5; Mark Walczak-4; Jim Kaehny-3; Dave Austin-2; Ev Kamikawa-2
n Amy Butler scored her first win since 2007 at the last round at the Stardust Speedway.
n Mike Lack missed his first final of the season but holds on to a 14 point lead in the Husarsbilt Cup championship.
n Dean Strom has a win and 3 finals in the first four races.
n Rookie Bill Black has make the last two finals and the podium in the last race.
n Amy Butler’s third win moves her into tie for 18th with Mike Kristof and John Bass.
n Dean Strom equals John Wiedemann’s total for Heat Wins with 33 good for 11th all-time
n Matt Hayek made his 111th start at Stardust Spdwy moving him to 16th on the all-time starts list.
n Dean Strom’s DNF at the Slots-A-Fun 400 moves him into a tie for 17th all-time with Chris Spehert with 16.
n Strom also passed the 20,000 lap mark.