2016-17 Round 6
Turkey Trot - Infield Road Course at South Shore Superspeedway - St. Francis, WI
November 10, 2016
Round 6 of 16
Margetta Gets Fowl
Read the complete box score here.
St. Francis, WI -- Following a disastrous crash that gave him a last place finish at the Halloween Havoc, Dan Margetta, bounced right back and dominated Thursday night's Turkey Trot at his home track, the challenging Infield Road Course at South Shore Superspeedway, by collecting the Chick-fil-A Brookfield P1 Award in qualifying, then knocked out two-thirds of JAM Racing in his heat race and went on to hold off defending race winner and Penske HO teammate, Ev Kamikawa for the Turkey.
Qualifying was tight throughout the field as each session seemed to show new speed until a duel between Margetta and JAM Racing's John Wiedemann in the final session finally decided the matter on the last lap dropping into the 3.0 bracket for the first time by any driver, leaving "JW" to line up on the outside of row one.
The field was sorted by qualifying order placing Margetta, Wiedemann and JAM Racing's other ace, Mike Lack together in one heat race, the drivers kept a furious pace throughout, but de-slots eventually caught Wiedemann out and he would finish the night last, in tenth place, while his teammate stayed within a lap of Margetta, but as the time wound down and both drivers sitting on their last de-slot that would knock them out, it was the three-time defending champion who blinked as he tried to catch the leader, sending the #1 out for the night and a rare eighth place finish as Margetta moved on to the final.
Matt Hayek ran away with the second heat race but a battle broke out for second place and the potential transfer position between JAM Racing's Amy Butler and Target Fitz Ganassi Racing's Mike Kristof, Butler was almost two laps down with two minutes left and eventually passed Kristof to get on the same lap and continued to close as the clock ran down, but a late spin sealed second place for the #9 Target car, which had to wait and see what his fate was.
The third heat featured two-time defending race winner Ev Kamikawa, the #10 Dallara-Chevy of Mike Fitzlaff and the Spehert Autosport teammates of Bill Black and Pete Dorn. Kamikawa, the master of this event rushed out to a lead and never really had to look back, Black's #25 Dallara-Honda hit his three de-slot limit in the second half to wind up ninth and Dorn stayed on track to the finish to match his solid seventh place from the last race, but he never challenged "Fitz" who was working hard to displace his teammate in the transfer spot, but with two de-slots and being forced to drive carefully not to get his third strike, he came up short and finished sixth and elevating his teammate to a final for the first time in almost a season and a half, dating back to his win at the 2015 HO Indy 500.
The final saw Margetta streak out to a lead with Kamikawa and Hayek keeping it close, Kristof quickly fell back. Margetta's lead disappeared as his Penske HO pit crew kept him stopped for almost 30 seconds while his teammate saw the usual military precision get him out in nearly ten seconds. As the two fought it out, Hayek had several problems including a mystery vibration that held him back. But it was Kristof's spectacular exit from the race that drew everyone's attention as the consistently underperforming driver as his car caught fire during his pit stop and the driver jumped out of the cockpit and attempted to extinguish the fire by stopping, dropping and rolling as well as being sprayed with water, of course, the flames were invisible due to the fact that you can't see the flames of a methanol fire, Paul. With that mess out of the way and then Hayek de-slotting for the fourth and final time, that left two grizzled veterans and teammates to decide the matter, but Margetta had run a very clean race, while the #2 Penske HO was on the edge of elimination. But, while attempting to close the gap, one wrong move took away the chance to take home Thanksgiving dinner for the third straight season, as Margetta had his second Turkey Trot victory and put himself right back into the championship.
With his second win of the season, sweeping pole, heat and the victory collecting 53 points, moves Margetta into second in the Husarsbilt Cup points, trailing Hayek, who has yet to miss a final in the 16-17 campaign, by 15 points. Meanwhile, John Wiedemann falls back one spot to third, 24 back as the series heads to the third straight holiday race, this time, it's the Christmas Classic at The Shrine Desert Road Course on December 1st.
Turkey Trot Tonight
St. Francis, WI -- The IndySlotCar Series heads to the south side for the annual pre-Thanksgiving race, the Turkey Trot has been dominated over it's long history by Ev Kamikawa, taking home the prize for the last two years and a record six times overall. This year, Kamikawa is coming off a an accident away from the race track and hoping to get his results back to where Penske HO Racing expects them to be, having not made a final yet this season. Kamikawa's teammate is hometown favorite Dan Margetta who sits third in Husarsbilt Cup points but needs to keep pace with Matt Hayek and John Wiedemann, who are first and second respectively, Wiedemann having leaped to second after winning for the second time this season at the Halloween Havoc.
The De-slot rules format always makes for tense racing as the drivers have to pay attention to control in addition to speed, numerous DNFs are common. Whatever happens, we know someone is going home with dinner!