2015-16 Round 12
Quarryfest Deslotmania - Quarry Heights Raceway - Wauwatosa, WI
February 18, 2016
Round 12 of 16
The Drive For Five...Denied!
Read the full box score here.
Wauwatosa, WI—Matt Hayek thrilled the home track fans by driving to a commanding win, Thursday night, in the IndySlotCar Quarryfest Deslotmania at Quarry Heights Raceway. The win was Hayek’s first of the season and put an end to Mike Lack’s four-race winning streak.
“He wasn’t going to come into our home track and establish a new league record,” said Hayek. “It just wasn’t going to happen. This team has been close all year, we finally put it all together tonight. Hayek advanced to the 20-minute final by claiming one of the two open spots, going to the heat race non-winners who scored the most laps. Mike Lack advanced to the final the same way while Dean Strom and Mike Fitzlaff garnered heat wins.
Quarryfest Deslotmania rules only allow a driver three deslots, with the fourth relegating the driver to the sidelines. That didn’t deter the final four combatants as they charged ahead at the drop of the green racing in a tight pack, just inches from one another. Fitzlaff, and his Fitz Ganassi Racing, Dallara-Chevrolet, blinked first as a pair of quick offs relegated him to a cautious pace. That allowed Hayek and Lack to pull away from the pack while Strom maintained a steady speed. Fitzlaff’s night came to an end at lap 103, just prior to the half-way mark. He quickly left the circuit as word of his granddaughters birth spread throughout the paddock and made its way to the veteran chauffer. He would be scored fourth on the night.
The MaD Motorsports crew had a tough go of it at the mandatory mid-race pit stops. Slow stops for both Hayek and Strom put the popular drivers behind the eight ball as the clock wound down in the second half. Lack’s JAM Racing crew ripped off a perfect eight-second stop as they did their part to give Lack a chance at making it five in a row. But Hayek quickly regained the lead once the pit stops cycled through, as Lack continued to drive a cautious race. With five minutes to go in the race, Hayek led Lack by four laps with Strom five laps in the rear. However Hayek and Lack each had three offs while Strom only had two. The call came from Strom’s race strategist that now was the time to go. And go he did.
“When you’re leading, you don’t know how hard to push it,” stated Hayek. “The last thing you want to do when you’re leading is DNF.”
Strom put on a charge for the ages, narrowing his teammates lead to just a lap and a half as the clock struck two minutes. In his charge from five laps down, Strom did suffer another off, but he was deterred by the threat of a DNF. He pushed it a tad too much entering the tough right-handed 180 and desloted one final time. That allowed Hayek to cruise over the final minutes and handed Lack the runner-up spot.
“I had nothing to lose,” said Strom. “I’m not in the championship battle. I came here to win a race. You don’t see the trophy girl leaving with the guy who finished second.”
John Wiedemann overcame a terribly slow machine to finish fifth. He missed the last transfer spot for the main event by just a half-lap. Mike Kristof finished sixth. Rookie driver Bill Black drove cautiously to a seventh place finish in his first appearance at Quarry Heights Raceway. Penske HO pilot Ev Kamikawa was the evening’s fast qualifier, but immediately ran into trouble with the handling on his mount. Kamaikwa would be scored eighth after completing just 66 circuits.
Lack maintains an 88 point advantage over his teammate, Wiedemann, as he tries to claim his third consecutive Indy Slot Car season-long championship.
The IndySlotCar Series now heads west to Stardust Speedway in the desert of Vegas, for the annual running of the Stardust 500, March 3.
WHAT: Quarryfest Deslotmania
WHERE: Wauwatosa, WI
WHEN: Thursday, February 18, 2016 7pm
TELEVISION SCHEDULE: IndySlotCar Channel on YouTube
2015 CHAMPION: Dan Margetta
2015 POLESITTER: Dean Strom
TRACK LAYOUT: Natural Terrain Road Course
RACE LENGTH: 20 minutes
EVENT RECORDS: Qualifying – 2015 – Dean Strom – 4.025; Race – 2015 – Dan Margetta – 245 laps
Margin of Victory – Closest – 2013 – Mark Walczak – 8 laps; Largest – 2015 – Dan Margetta – 20 laps
RACE ROUND: 12 of 16 in the 2015-2016 IndySlotCar Series
Wauwatosa, WI - Dan Margetta drove to his first IndySlotCar Series win of the 2014-15 season, besting a spirited challenge from Ev Kamikawa to score the win in the Quarryfest Deslotmania, at Quarry Heights Raceway.
Fortunately for Margetta and his Burgetta Racing Team, there are no league rules regarding distracted driving. Margetta, a recovering fendered racing series fan, spent the entire evening with one eye glued to his phone and its coverage of racing of a different variety.
“What? I won?” asked a bewildered Margetta after crossing first under the checkered flag.
De-slot rules for the IndySlotCar Series only allow the driver two times out of the slot in heat race action and only three out of slot ventures in the feature. The tight rules have polarized both fans and drivers of the iconic series, and have made for many short nights of racing. While the feature went the advertised distance, only Margetta and Kamikawa finished.
Feature action saw Target Fitz-Ganassi driver Mike Kristof, making his second finale of the season, exit after just 182 circuits. Kristof led early, but got rattled after a poor second half pit stop and a quick flurry of off’s. Defending race winner, Matt Hayek, only went four circuits more than Kristof to nail down the final rung on the podium.
In spite of his less than concentrated effort, Kamikawa could do nothing with Margetta. “Once Strom fell out, nobody else had anything for me,” boasted the unlikeable winner.
Earlier in the night, Out of the Box Racing’s Dean Strom blistered the competition, en route to his league-leading, fourth pole of the season.
In heat race competition, however, Strom fell victim to the de-slot rules and was scored eighth in the final run down. Margetta, Kristof and Kamikawa were heat race winners.
John Wiedemann came up short of a transfer spot in the first heat and settled for a fifth place showing. Tom Spehert, making just his second IndySlotCar Series start of the season came home sixth in the final run down. The winner’s teammate, Amy Butler, scored a seventh place run. (editors note: It surprised no one that Butler showed up for the race, after it was announced that Latin heart throb Sergio would be in attendance. Butler’s poor showing seemed to coincide with her distraction and infatuation with the mustached macho Latin lover). Mike Fitzlaff qualified fourth, but made a quick exit in heat race action, another victim of the event’s de-slot format.
QUARRYFEST DESLOTMANIA HISTORY (3 event, 2013 - Present)
Date Race Winner
1/30/2013 Mark Walczak
2/13/2014 Matt Hayek
2/19/2015 Dan Margetta
§ The only story is Mike Lack’s four race winning streak. Lack tied that series high water mark at the Deckertring and goes for his fifth in a row at the challenging “de-slot” rules race.
§ Lack, Lack, Lack
§ By bizarre coincidence Mike Lack’s JAM Racing teammate (and closest challenger for the Husarsbilt Cup championship) has a three race finishing streak of fourth places.
§ Just 34 points separate third through sixth places in the points standings, with Dean Strom in third with 325, Matt Hayek 19 back, Ev Kamikawa six behind him and Mike Fitzlaff trails Kamikawa by nine.
§ John Wiedemann is now alone at tenth in all time Finals appearances with 55.
§ Mike Fitzlaff has equaled Hall of Famer Jim Kaehny’s career starts total with 156, that makes them tied for eighth all-time.