2015-16 Round 6
Turkey Trot - Inside Edge at South Shore Superspeedway - St. Francis, WI
November 12, 2015
Round 6 of 16
Historic Turkey Trot Win For Kamikawa
St. Francis, WI -- It is pretty clear that Ev Kamikawa really likes South Shore Superspeedway. Combine that track with the annual Turkey Trot race and Kamikawa is in dominance mode.
The 23rd annual Turkey Trot was held Thursday night at the St. Francis track and Kamikawa left holding the bird, which is a good thing. Kamikawa's record 6th win in the pre-Thanksgiving event was celebrated with a frozen turkey prize.
Kamikawa's first win in the event took place almost 20 years ago in 1996. That victory was followed up with a win in 1997. Wins in 1999 and 2000 gave Kamikawa a dominating four wins in the first eight Turkey Trot events. A bit of a dry spell was ended last season with Kamikawa capturing the bird and now, another back to back victory is in the books.
Team Penske HO Racing's Kamikawa came out with guns blazing as he set the second fastest qualifying lap and lined up on the grid right behind pole sitter and two-time Turkey Trot winner Mike Fitzlaff of Fitz Ganassi Racing, positions that both drivers have not seen since the beginning of the season.
The opening heat race was an epic battle between Kamikawa and points leader Mike Lack. The "de-slot" format of the event bit the polesitter as Fitzlaff quickly piled up three de-slots and was eliminated. Lack was able to sneak in front of Kamikawa late in the race to take the heat win, but Kamikawa put in enough laps to take the transfer spot. JAM Racing's John Wiedemann grabbed the second heat win while competitors Dan Margetta and Matt Hayek had their race pace slowed by an accumulation of de-slots.
The final heat race featured three Spehert Autosport teammates, rookies Pete Dorn and Bill Black along with team leader Tom Spehert. Up against them was Mike Kristof, trying to get a Target Fitz Ganassi Racing ride into a final for the first time this season. It was not to be for Kristof as teammates Black and Spehert battled for the lead until Black suffered his final de-slot trying to make the win with a minute to go in the race. Spehert took the heat win, his second in a row.
Lack, Wiedemann and Kamikawa battled side by side in the early portion of the final while Spehert struggled in the outside lane. As the opening half ran on, Kamikawa and Wiedemann separated themselves from the field and battled side by side until a spin by Wiedemann gave Kamikawa the lead heading into the halfway break. Following pitstops, which were relatively uneventful, Kamikawa maintained the lead even with a ten lap "drive with the opposite hand" penalty. Wiedemann closed in to challenge Kamikawa for the lead while Lack and Spehert maintained their pace with multiple de-slots holding them back from pushing the edge in their rides. Two quick de-slots put Wiedemann in the position of deciding between settling or racing with the threat of one more de-slot ending his race. He chose to race, pushing his car to battle side by side with Kamikawa to see which driver would break. Kamikawa was the victor of the challenge as a final de-slot ended Wiedemann's bid. Cruising to the finish, Kamikawa took the checkers with 323 laps in the books, breaking an event record he had set in last season's race. Maintaining his status as series point leader, Lack finished second while Spehert grabbed the final step on the podium for the second race in a row.
Wiedemann settled for fourth place on the night, while Hayek finished best of the non-finalists in fifth. Dorn scored a career best sixth place finish in his first ever de-slot race. Fellow rookie contender was the best of the DNF drivers, finishing seventh overall. Kristof, Margetta and pole-sitter Fitzlaff rounded out the top ten in the evening's standings.
Kamikawa's victory in his 260th start was the 39th of his IndySlotCar Series career, moving him into sole possession of second all time, just three wins away from the series record.
With six different winners in the opening six races and ten races left on the schedule, this season could approach the record of ten different visitors to victory lane set back in the 2007-08 season.
Up next is Round 7, the Duane Sweeny Memorial Grand Prix on the ultra-fast Road Course at Badger Raceway running under the ultra-fast "open class" rules. Kamikawa, the defending champion of this race, will be looking for two in a row both in the event as well as on the schedule.
WHAT: Turkey Trot
WHERE: Inside Edge at South Shore Superspeedway, St. Francis, WI
WHEN: Thursday, November 12, 2015 7pm
TELEVISION SCHEDULE: YouTube IndySlotCar Channel
2014 CHAMPION: Ev Kamikawa
2014 POLESITTER: Mike Lack
TRACK LAYOUT: Infield Road Course
RACE LENGTH: 20 minutes
TRACK RECORDS: Qualifying – 2008 – Mark Walczak – 2.852
Race – 2014 – Ev Kamikawa – 322 laps
Margin of Victory – Smallest – 2012 – Dan Margetta – 1 section; Largest – 2008 – Mark Walczak – 48 laps
RACE ROUND: 6 of 16 in the 2015-2016 IndySlotCar Series
(St. Francis, WI) -- It took until the 15th race of last season for Ev Kamikawa to collect his second win of the season, this year he wasted no time and scored his second and back-to-back win at the Turkey Trot at the Inside Edge at South Shore Superspeedway. Kamikawa took an early lead and never looked back as he opened up a lead on second place finisher Mike Lack, finally holding a nine lap gap at the checkers. It is Kamikawa's event record tying fifth win of the frozen turkey, but his first since 2000, when he dominated the early years of the race.
TURKEY TROT HISTORY (22 events, 1993 - Present)
Year Race Winner
1993 Phil Cianciola – Inside Edge at Edgewood Superspeedway
1994 Dave Austin
1995 John Shea
1996 Ev Kamikawa
1997 Ev Kamikawa
1998 Jim Kaehny
1999 Ev Kamikawa
2000 Ev Kamikawa
2001 Larry Rotter
2002 Jim Iverson
2003 Jim Iverson
2004 Phil Cianciola
2005 Mark Walczak – Inside Edge at South Shore Superspeedway
2006 Jim Iverson
2007 Mike Fitzlaff
2008 Mark Walczak
2009 Mark Walczak
2010 Mark Walczak
2011 Mark Walczak
2012 Dan Margetta
2013 Mike Fitzlaff
2014 Ev Kamikawa
Most Wins: 5 – Ev Kamikawa, Mark Walczak; 3 – Jim Iverson; 2 – Mike Fitzlaff, Phil Cianciola
- John Wiedemann moves into second place in the Husarsbilt Cup championship with his win at the Halloween Havoc.
- Wiedemann becomes the fifth different winner in five races.
- Points leader Mike Lack and Dean Strom have made four of the first five finals.
- Tom Spehert made his first finals appearance in 4 years at the Halloween Havoc.
- John Wiedemann ties Mike Fitzlaff for 11th all-time wins with 11.
- John Wiedemann’s win moves him into a five-way tie for ninth place on the all-time pole position list with 11, he has equaled active drivers Dean Strom and Mike Fitzlaff, along with retired drivers John Shea and Jim Iverson.
- Tom Spehert passed the 30,000 laps turned in competition, Mike Fitzlaff needs just 89 laps to become the eighth driver in series history to attain that mark.
- Dean Strom’s 118th series start moves him into a tie with Dave Austin for 13th.
- Mike Fitzlaff will make his 150th start at the Turkey Trot.
- Rookie Pete Dorn becomes the 33rd driver in series history to make at least six starts.