2016-17 Round 10
Fat Tony 400 - Black Track - West Allis, WI
Round 10 of 16
January, 19, 2017
Wild Opener at the Black Track
(West Allis, WI) -- The first new track to be built for the IndySlotCar Series in five years, the Black Track, proved to be just as competitive and exciting to watch as an track on the schedule. The night opened with single car qualifying and amazing speeds as driver after driver attempted to get through the four lap attempt without a spin, few managed it and those that did were rewarded with spots right at the front of the field. Matt Hayek's MaD Motorsports Dallara-Honda scored his second Chick-fil-A Brookfield P1 Award after covering the four laps in 8.647 seconds to establish the track record, while Mike Lack ran the single fastest lap in 2.055 seconds, but a spin during his run put him fifth on the grid.
Heats were filled by qualifying order and the surprise grouping of Hayek along with Mike Kristof and Amy Butler in the first heat race showed the wide open nature of a new track. Hayek opened up a comfortable lead over Kristof while Butler struggled with the tight turns and high speeds, but a spin by Hayek late in the heat right in front of Butler that cost the #15 Steak-n-Shake car it's night, as Butler's #63 JAM Racing Dallara-Honda had no where to go and sent Hayek tumbling off the track, ultimately finishing ninth on the night, Kristof inherited the lead and cruised to the win and a spot in the 400 lap final.
The midfield heat featured the other two member of JAM Racing as Mike Lack and John Wiedemann would battle for the win while hometown favorite Bill Black's #25 Spehert Autosport held on for a respectable sixth and Mike Fitzlaff, Kristof's Fitz Ganassi teammate would struggle to tenth. Eventually the battle at the front would sort out with Lack taking the win leaving Wiedemann to wonder if he would make the final, sitting in the transfer position waiting for the third and final heat race.
It was that third heat that would offer the highest drama of the evening as Penske HO Racing teammates Dan Margetta and Ev Kamikawa lined up with MaD Motorsports' Dean Strom and Spehert Autoports' Pete Dorn. The lead bounced between Strom, Margetta and Kamikawa early on, eventually, Kamikawa took control with Margetta hoping to knock Wiedemann off the transfer spot, but as Margetta and Strom entered turn three on the 188th circuit Strom saw an opening and plowed into the #3 Penske HO car knocking him clear off the track and out for the night. The clash would leave Margetta tenth for the event, Strom continued on but admitted he had taken the chrome horn to Margetta and just missed taking the transfer spot for himself, finishing fifth. [Editor's note: Dean Strom was placed on probation for his next start by the IndySlotCar Series after the race]. Pete Dorn crashed out on his own and would save Margetta from a last place finish.
The 400 laps final continued the carnage as Mike Kristof, in just his second final of the season, would crash out with just three laps in the books, while Wiedemann struggled with handling and Mike Lack's car would blow up in the put lane leaving Ev Kamikawa to cruise to an 18 lap victory, his first since the Turkey Trot of 2015 and the 39th of his career and bumped him from ninth in points to fifth. But it was the "Punt heard 'round the world" that would make the biggest change in the standings as Dan Margetta's eight point lead for the Husarsbilt Cup became an eleven point deficit as John Wiedemann's second place was more than enough to put him on top for the first time this season.
The series moves on to the big road course in the woods, the Deckertring for the Deckertring Grand Prix.
Fat Tony 400 Fast Facts
Race date: Thursday, Jan 19
Track: The Black Track, 1.5 mile oval, West Allis, WI
Race distance: 400 laps
IndySlotCar Website: indyslotcar.com
2016 race winner: new event
2016 Chick-fil-A Brookfield P1 Award winner: new event
One-lap qualifying record: TBD
Race record: TBD
YouTube Broadcast: IndySlotCar Channel
At-track schedule (all times local):
6:30 – Driver introductions
7:00 – IndySlotCar Series Practice
7:20 – Qualifying for the Chick-fil-A Brookfield P1 Award (group qualifying/ fastest single lap)
7:40 – Heat races
8:15 – Fat Tony 400
· The Black Track is the first new oval built for the IndySlotCar Series since Stardust Speedway was added to the schedule in 2012.
· The addition of the Black Track gives IndySlotCar four different oval tracks, along with Stardust, the Mini Milwaukee Mile and South Shore Superspeedway and a total of five oval races, the most since the 2004-05 season when there were six oval races, including the Mini Milwaukee Mile, two on the Lake Country Motorplex and three at Edgewood Superspeedway,
· The Black Track is built out of the remnants of Lake Country Motorplex, when track owner “Fat” Tony DeFalko went to prison for 4300 felony counts of fraud, racketeering, money laundering and robust flatulence, the track went into receivership and was sold to the Black Track organization. However, “Fat” Tony was recently paroled and sued to have LCM returned. Having been financed by the M.R. Bigg outfit, the suit was successful, but there was no way to resurrect LCM, the settlement then called for the first race at the Black Track to be called the “Fat Tony 400” and Mr. DeFalko will be the event’s grand marshal.
· The Husarsbilt Cup points race is tightening up after John Wiedemann’s win at Raven, he is just nine points behind Dan Margetta.
· Margetta won the opening race of the season at the Mini Mile and holds a one point lead for the Foyt/Mears Oval points trophy over Matt Hayek, who had a third at the Mini Mile and second at the Slots-A-Fun 400. Mike Lack won that first race at Stardust, but missed the Mini Mile.
Raven 250 PRE-EVENT QUOTES:
Bill Black No. 25 Spehert Autosport: I’m am so excited to be able to host this race, I am looking forward to finally driving the track, there has been so much to do!
John Wiedemann No. 19 JAM Racing: I think this track is going to provide some spectacular racing!
Mike Kristof, commissioner, IndySlotCar Series: This is a great addition to the IndySlotCar calendar, congratulations to Bill on getting the track moved and built. I want to thank John Wiedemann and Mike Lack for all the time they have spent getting this track up and running. And of course, thanks to “Fat” Tony Defalko for going to prison and Ned Wicker