2017-18 Round 4
Slots-A-Fun 400 - Stardust Speedway - Vegas
October 12, 2017
Round 4 of 16
Butler Owns Slots-A-Fun
See the complete box score
Vegas - Amy Butler hit the jackpot Thursday night at the Slots-A-Fun 400 with a dominating win at the short D-shaped Stardust Speedway oval in the Nevada desert. Butler's win continues the streak of wins by her Angry Squirrel Speedsport team that began with Mike Lack taking the Trokan Cup 500 and West Bend Grand Prix, while John Wiedemann won at the Deckertring. In just her second start of the season Butler's car rolled off the hauler fast, qualified it on the front row, ahead of her championship-leading teammates, dominated her heat race and the 400 lap final enroute to her fourth career win and the second at the Slots-A-Fun 400 in three years.
The repaved Stardust track showed signs of being fast in practice as several drivers had difficulty keeps the cars on the track. By qualifying, it was just a matter of who could complete their four lap run without losing control. Mike Fitzlaff figured it out, as he set the pace early on with a record setting qualifying run of 7.941 seconds, slipping past the previous record of 7.943 set by Matt Hayek last year. Butler would come closest to taking the point with an 8.021 second run. Those times would stand up as driver after driver would come up short or spin out, including championship leader Mike Lack who set a new track record for a single lap at 1.749 seconds, eclipsing a record that had stood since the track opened in 2012, but a spinout left him back in ninth on the starting grid.
The heats were grouped by speed, forcing the fastest three cars into the first heat, pitting Fitzlaff, Butler and Bill Black against each other. The Chick-Fil-A P1 Award winner would last just 15 laps before a major crash took him out, meanwhile Butler and Black would battle back-and-forth until the second half, when Amy took a commanding lead and never looked back, but Bill's lap total would wind up being more than enough to hold on to the transfer spot and advance to the Slots-A-Fun 400. In the second heat Fitzlaff's teammate Mike Kristof would join him in the paddock early crashing out with just 43 laps in the books, while hometown hero Chris Spehert held off John Wiedemann who was tracking the transfer lap total that Black had set, but ultimately JW would come up 4 laps short and finish fifth on the night while Tom Spehert had handling trouble and would finish the night in seventh, but sitting fourth in the points.
The third heat was a bit of a mess with Dan Margetta making an early exit 47 laps in, Mike Lack had an unspectacular win, while Pete Dorn kept out of trouble and finished a solid sixth, to back up his fourth place at the West Bend Grand Prix and landing tied for fifth in the championship and Matt Hayek said he couldn't get anything going to run to eighth, the last car still running.
The 400 lap final did not break any records, but Amy Butler took an early lead over her teammate, Lack, and never had to look back as she would stretch out the gap to 10 laps, the battle appeared to be for second place between Lack and Chris Spehert, but a spin off of turn two ended that fight as Spehert crashed out on the 267th lap, promoting Bill Black to third. Lack's second place finish along with JW's fifth pushed the four-time defending Husarsbilt Cup champion to a 36-point lead with one quarter of the season complete.
The second of the Founder's Five races is next at Quarry Heights Raceway for the Halloween Havoc in two weeks.
Slots A’ Fun 400 Fast Facts
Race date: Thursday, Oct 12
Track: Stardust Speedway, D-shaped 3/4 mile oval in Vegas
Race distance: 400 laps
IndySlotCar Website: indyslotcar.com
2016 race winner: Mike Lack, (No. 1 JAM Racing Dallara-Honda)
2016 Chick-fil-A Brookfield P1 Award winner: Matt Hayek (No. 15 MaD Motorsports Dallara-Honda)
Four-lap qualifying record: Matt Hayek, 7.943 seconds, 2016
Race record: Amy Butler, 14 minutes 12 seconds, 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
8:30 – Slot-A-Fun 400 (400 laps)
· Mike Lack scored his first win of the season in ’16-’17 at the Slots-A-Fun 400 holding off pole-sitter Matt Hayek.
· This season Lack has already been in victory lane twice with wins at the Trokan Cup 500 and the West Bend Grand Prix.
· Hayek re-set the record for qualifying at the 2016 Slots-A-Fun 400 with a time of 7.943, having held the previous record from 2014 at 8.497 seconds.
· This was expected to be the first full field even of the season, bumping into the field would have come into play, however a last minute scratch by Dean Strom has spoiled that possibility.
Slots A’ Fun 400 PRE-EVENT QUOTES:
Amy Butler No. 63 JAM Racing: WOOHOOO!!! It’s two years later and I still can’t believe I won this race!
Dean Strom No. 4 Mad Motorsports: Don’t ask me, I won’t be there.
RJ Foyt, Stardust Speedway Owner: Any dern fool who thinks of takin’ a knee during the anthem will have to answer to me!
SLOTS A FUN HISTORY (5 events, 2013 - Present)
Year Race Winner
10/5/2012 Mark Walczak
10/10/2013 Mike Lack
10/16/2014 Matt Hayek
10/13/2015 Amy Butler
10/13/2016 Mike Lack
Multiple wins – Mike Lack-2