2015-16 Round 7
Duane Sweeney Memorial Grand Prix - Road Course at Badger Raceway - Muskego, WI
December 3, 2015
Round 7 of 16
Wiedemann Wins Again!
Muskego, WI -- Coming from behind in both his heat race and the 20 minute final of the Duane Sweeney Memorial Grand Prix John Wiedemann became the first driver to score a second victory this season and closed the Husarsbilt Cup championship battle down to just three points. Wiedemann qualified second to his JAM Racing teammate and championship rival, Mike Lack. The two wound up in the same heat race as well and for nine minutes and 50 seconds of that 10 minute race it seemed "JW" would finish second to Lack there as well, until Lack suddenly accelerated down the start/finish straightaway and directly through turn one launching the #1 ABC Supply car off the track and out of the race. While Wiedemann was happy to be handed the gift of a heat win it was the third member of that heat who was the most stunned, Mike Fitzlaff wound up in the transfer position to advance to the final after having handling trouble as well as a stop behind the pit wall to repair a damaged rear wing.
Meanwhile, Dan Margetta sent the paying customers heading for the parking lots in his heat race, as he punted hometown favorite Dean Strom off the track early and Strom would be scored a last place, ninth on the night, while Margetta would advance to face Wiedmann, Fitzlaff and Ev Kamikawa who mocked his two heat race competitors, Mike Kristof and rookie Pete Dorn, by driving the entire race with his left hand.
The only driver in the final who could have extended the streak of six races and six different winners to seven and seven ended almost immediately appearance as Mike Fitzlaff crashed out after the third turn and was scored fourth. Margetta lost his chance at a second victory on the season when a hard hit into the wall damaged his transmission, he would spend the rest of the night stopping to get repairs to the broken gear teeth. That left Kamikawa out front with what looked like a safe lead well into the late stages of the race, but with about two minutes left Wiedemann would once again stage a comeback and this time without help from his competitor he tracked Kamikawa down and held on for his second win of the 2015-16 campaign. Coupled with Lack's fifth place finish, "JW" now sits just three markers behind in the Husarsbilt Cup points battle as the series moves on to the traditional home of IndySlotCar, The Shrine Desert Road Course, for the annual Christmas Classic.
WHAT: Duane Sweeney Memorial Grand Prix
WHERE: Road Course at Badger Raceway, Muskego, WI
WHEN: Thursday, December 3, 2015 7pm
TELEVISION SCHEDULE: IndySlotCar Channel on YouTube
2014 CHAMPION: Ev Kamikawa
2014 POLESITTER: Dean Strom
TRACK LAYOUT: Natural Terrain Road Course
RACE LENGTH: 20 minutes
EVENT RECORDS: Qualifying – 2010 – Mark Walczak – 3.977 (open class)
Race – 2009 – Mark Walczak – 248 laps (open class)
Fast Lap – 2006 – Mark Walczak – 3.961 (open class)
Margin of Victory – Smallest: 2009 – Mark Walczak – 1 lap; Largest: 2013 – Dean Strom - 38 laps
RACE ROUND: 7 of 16 in the 2015-2016 IndySlotCar Series
Muskego, WI – Indy Slot Car rolled into Badger Raceway, Thursday night, for the annual running of the Duane Sweeney Memorial Grand Prix and Ev Kamikawa strolled out with his first win of the 2014-15 campaign. Penske HO’s Kamikawa qualified second, but pushed ahead late in the 20-minute final before seeing the checkered flag ahead of Dan Margetta, John Wiedemann and Dean Strom. The event was run under open-class rules—meaning teams prepare their own cars to take on the ultra-fast Badger road course. “The last couple of years haven’t been kind to me here at Badger,” said Kamikawa. “It was good to put those poor runs behind our team and show what we’re capable of in these open class races.” Local favorite, and defending race winner, Strom led the early going before the handling went away on his Out of the Box Racing Dallara-Honda. Strom gave way to Kamikawa and later to Margetta, who was making just his second start of the season and first final. After switching lanes for the second half, Kamikawa inched ahead and pulled Margetta with him. Meanwhile Lack-Wiedemann Motorsports driver John Wiedemann recovered from a slow start and drove to the third spot. That’s how they would stay the rest of the way in front of the standing-room only crowd.
Mike Fitzlaff would be scored fifth in the final run down with championship point leader Mike Lack sixth. The Sweeney Memorial Grand Prix marked the first final that he failed to qualify for. Lack was scored just ahead of Burgetta Racing’s Amy Butler, by virtue of a stronger qualifying run. Mike Kristof and his Target-Fitz Ganassi brought up the dull end of the grid. Strom was the evening’s fast qualifier and won the first heat race while Margetta captured the second heat. Mike Lack saw his championship point lead shrink to seven over Kamikawa. The win was Kamikawa’s 38th all-time series triumph, cementing him securely in the number two spot on the most watched statistical category.
DUANE SWEENEY MEMORIAL GRAND PRIX HISTORY (12 events, 2004 - Present)
Date Race Winner Event Name
1/22/2004 Larry Rotter Duane Sweeney Memorial 500 - Edgewood Superspeedway
12/2/2004 Jim Iverson Duane Sweeney Memorial 500 - Bayside International
12/1/2005 Jim Iverson Duane Sweeney Memorial Grand Prix
11/30/2006 Jim Iverson Duane Sweeney Memorial Grand Prix
11/29/2007 Mark Walczak Duane Sweeney Memorial Grand Prix
12/4/2008 Ev Kamikawa Sweeney Stomp - Road Course at Badger Raceway*
12/3/2009 Mark Walczak Duane Sweeney Memorial Grand Prix
12/2/2010 Mark Walczak Duane Sweeney Memorial Grand Prix
12/1/2011 Mike Lack Duane Sweeney Memorial Grand Prix
11/29/2012 Mark Walczak Duane Sweeney Memorial Grand Prix
12/5/2013 Dean Strom Duane Sweeney Memorial Grand Prix
10/30/2014 Ev Kamikawa Duane Sweeney Memorial Grand Prix
* - Track was built as Bayside International and moved to become The Road Course at Badger Raceway before December 2008.
Most Wins – Mark Walczak-4; Jim Iverson-3; Ev Kamikawa-2
§ It was just a week before the January 2004 race at Edgewood Superspeedway that the sport lost a true gentleman and local racing icon, Duane Sweeney died at his home in New Berlin on Jan. 15, having once flagged a series race it only seemed appropriate to dedicate a race in his honor and so it has been for more than 10 years.
§ With one win and an astonishing four second place finishes, Mike Lack holds the Husarsbilt Cup points lead by 22 markers over his teammate John Wiedemann
§ Six different drivers have won in six different races so far this season.
§ After missing a race Ev Kamikawa returned to action at the track he likes best, South Shore Superspeedway and collected his record breaking sixth frozen bird at the Turkey Trot, now he returns to the event where he started his back-to-back wins last season, the Sweeney Memorial.
§ John Wiedemann has been trying to stay close to Mike Lack in the championship, a win and a final in the last two races.
§ Kamikawa’s win at the Turkey Trot moves him into sole possession of second place in the all-time wins column with 39.
§ Mike Fitzlaff’s pole position at the “Trot” breaks him out of a five-way tie for tenth on the all-time list to ninth with 12.
§ Mike Lack passed Hall of Famer Jim Kaehny into eighth with 54 Heat Wins; while John Wiedemann moved ahead of Dean Strom with 35 for 11th and Tom Spehert moved even with Dave Austin with 27, T-13.
§ Mike Lack equals Jim Iverson’s impressive Finals appearances total with 73, good enough for eighth all-time and Tom Spehert moves up to a tie with Chad Sorce at 14th with 37.
John Wiedemann’s DNF at the Turkey Trot pulls him into a tie with Dave Austin with 22 at 11th