2016-17 Round 7
Christmas Classic - Shrine Desert Road Course - Wauwatosa, WI
December 1, 2016
Round 7 of 16
Wauwatosa, WI - Christmas came early this year for the IndySlotCar Series and JAM Racing's John Wiedemann who took the checkers at the annual holiday race. In order to allow the owners of the track to make a major refurbishment of the facility the Christmas Classic was run two weeks early and Wiedemann found his present under the tree, holding off Ev Kamikawa to take his third win of the season and close to within nine points of Husarsbilt Cup leader Matt Hayek.
The night started out with Penske HO Racing's Dan Margetta looking like he was going to continue right where he left off at the Turkey Trot, where he took the pole and the win. In qualifying, Margetta pulled out a 4.688 second lap just ahead of MaD Motorsport's Dean Strom's 4.749, it helped Margetta continue to pull closer to Hayek's points lead as the point man lined up fourth.
In the heats, Margetta quickly moved out to the lead and kept his Penske HO teammate, Ev Kamikawa, in his rear view mirror throughout to move into the final, and ultimately, Kamikawa would too, hold on to the transfer position and MaD Motorsports' Dean Strom would wind up seventh on the night. MaD Motorsports lead car, the #15 Steak'n-Shake entry for Hayek would stretch his season opening streak of final four appearances to seven, now the second longest such streak in series history as he easily outdistanced the two Fitz Ganassi drivers, with Mike Kristof coming across eighth and Fitzlaff tenth, while Pete Dorn and the Spehert Autosport party would demand a recount of all laps after finish last, eleventh.
The third heat featured all three members of JAM Racing and sophomore sensation Bill Black. "JW" beat out his JAM teammate, Mike Lack who would have to settle for fifth, while the third JAM car of Amy Butler right behind in sixth.
The Christmas Classic featured the top three in Husarsbilt Cup points and all the other three competitors could do, was, hope to stay within sight of Margetta who built a substantial lead through the first half and beynd, but with about 8 minutes left in the 20 minute contest, Margetta's #3 Penske machine would take a tumble down the start/finish straight away and eventually come to rest, unable to restart, the stunned Margetta, checked with his team several times to check that the car could not be restarted, but it was no use, it would be a disappointing fourth place finish. That crash promoted Wiedemann to the top step of the podium, Penske HO's #2 to second for the second race in a row and Hayek also repeated his finish from the "Trot" in third.
It was Wiedemann's third Christmas win, having won the race in 2014 and 2012, being dubbed the San Francisco Giants of the Christmas Classic, winning in the even years. The series now moves on to the "open class" rules of the Duane Sweeney Memorial Grand Prix at the Road Course at Badger Raceway. The teams are allowed to prep their own cars, unlike the "club car" events that fill most of the season.
Christmas Classic Fast Facts
Race date: Thursday, Dec 1
Track: 3.8 mile Natural Terrain Road Course in Wauwatosa, WI
Race distance: 20 minutes
IndySlotCar Website: indyslotcar.com
2015 race winner: Mike Lack (No. 1 JAM Racing Dallara-Honda)
2015 Chick-fil-A Brookfield P1 Award winner: Matt Hayek (No. 15 MaD Motorsports Dallara-Honda)
One-lap qualifying record: Mark Walczak, 4.510 seconds, 2012
Race record: Mike Lack, 227 laps, 2015
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 – Christmas Classic (20 minutes)
· This will be the final running of a race at the Shrine Desert Road Course at the East Wauwatosa location, before the track returns to its original West Tosa neighborhood.
· This is the third straight race celebrating a holiday, following the Halloween Havoc and the Turkey Trot.
· Dan Margetta reasserts himself into the championship with his second win of the season at the Tukey Trot.
· Matt Hayek continues to hold the Husarsbilt Cup championship points lead by 15 markers over Margetta.
· Hayek has made the final in all six of the races this season, the longest equaling the longest streak to start a season since 2008-09 only Phil Cianciola’s 10 finals to start the 2004-05 season is longer.
Christmas Classic PRE-EVENT QUOTES:
Dan Margetta No. 3 Penske HO Racing: I am stuffed on Chick-fil-A and turkey after the Turkey Trot and after taking out two JAM Racing “birds” with one stone, look out!
Mike Lack No. 1 JAM Racing: Hayek might hold the points lead right now, but he’s too nice of a guy, he’ll crack under the pressure.
Mike Kristof No. 10 Target Fitz Ganassi Racing: I MADE A FINAL! I don’t care what happens now!
CHRISTMAS CLASSIC HISTORY (21 events, 1993 - Present)
Date Race Winner Event Name Track
12/16/1993 Phil Cianciola Shrine Christmas Classic Shrine Road Course
12/15/1994 Dave Austin Tomy Christmas Classic Shrine Road Course
12/14/1995 Phil Cianciola Tomy Christmas Classic Shrine Road Course
12/12/1996 Jim Kaehny Tomy Christmas Classic Sanibel Speedway
12/18/1997 Jim Kaehny Tomy Christmas Classic Sanibel Speedway
12/17/1998 Dan Margetta Parma Christmas Classic Sanibel Speedway
12/16/1999 Phil Marich Championship Racing Magazine 400 Sanibel Speedway
12/13/2001 Chad Sorce Christmas Classic Sanibel Speedway
12/12/2002 Phil Cianciola Piggly Wiggly 400 Sanibel Speedway
12/19/2003 Dan Margetta Piggly Wiggly 400 Sanibel Speedway
12/16/2004 Phil Cianciola Piggly Wiggly 400 Sanibel Speedway
12/15/2005 Jim Iverson Chipotle Christmas Classic Vista Rio Rancho Raceway
12/14/2006 John Shea Christmas Classic Vista Rio Rancho Raceway
12/13/2007 Ev Kamikawa Christmas Classic Vista Rio Rancho Raceway
12/18/2008 Larry Rotter Christmas Classic Vista Rio Rancho Raceway
12/16/2010 Mark Walczak Christmas Classic Vista Rio Rancho Raceway
12/15/2011 Mark Walczak Christmas Classic Vista Rio Rancho Raceway
12/6/2012 John Wiedemann Christmas Classic Shrine Desert Road Course*
12/19/2013 Mike Lack Christmas Classic Shrine Desert Road Course
12/18/2014 John Wiedemann Christmas Classic Shrine Desert Road Course
12/17/2015 Mike Lack Christmas Classic Shrine Desert Road Course
*-Vista Rio Rancho Raceway renamed to original name
Most Wins – 4-Phil Cianciola; 2-Mike Lack, John Wiedemann, Mark Walczak, Dan Margetta, Jim Kaehny