2017-18 Round 9
Raven 250 - Raven Raceway - Milwaukee, WI
January 4, 2018
Round 9 of 16
Black Wins, Black Wins, Black Wins!
Bill Black raced his way into the IndySlotCar Series record books with a breakthrough win at one of the most difficult tracks on the schedule.
Leading early and battling late with all-time wins leader Dan Margetta, Black scored his popular first victory in the series at Raven Raceway.
"Holy smokes, I can't believe it, I don't know what to say," Black expressed as he continued to explain that he had no words to explain his
victory and joy.
Starting right away in qualifying, the battle between Black and Margetta looked to be the story of the night. Black toured the track in 4.696
seconds to take the provisional pole away from points leader Mike Lack during the second qualifying session. It was Dan Margetta's turn in the
third session and he grabbed the pole position with a 4.618 second run 78 hundredths of a second quicker than Black. The pole run was the 46th
of Margetta's career.
Black and Margetta faced off in the opening heat race and battled a bit early until Margetta pulled away and cruised to the heat win. Black
finished second with a fast but difficult handling car and set the mark for the transfer spot. Track owner Pete Dorn had an unhappy chassis
that he battled throughout the race and finished third in the race and seventh overall.
Heat race two featured a family battle between Matt Hayek and his son Alex, who was competing for the first time in the series. Tom Spehert
and Ev Kamikawa joined them in the four car race. The race was tight lap after lap with the top three just a lap apart throughout the race.
At the end, it was Kamikawa winning his third final of the year and gaining a spot in the feature. Spehert finished a lap behind and was
followed by Matt Hayek in third another lap back. Alex fought hard and raced well in his debut but faded a bit at the end finishing fourth.
The final heat pitted veteran Mike Fitzlaff against the Angry Squirrel Speedsport teammates Mike Lack and John Wiedemann. Lack took the early
lead and never looked back, cruising to the win. That left Fitzlaff and Wiedemann to battle for second place and a shot at the transfer spot.
Wiedemann was able to distance himself from Fitzlaff in the second half and at the end finished about four feet short of the transfer spot set
The final quickly developed into two races as Black and Margetta scooted to the lead leaving Kamikawa and Lack to battle for third place behind
them. Black led early but Margetta ran a true veteran like race, chipping away at the lead until he was clearly in Black's rear view
mirror. A mistake by Black allowed Margetta to take the lead and he took off from there. At the halfway break, Margetta held a two lap lead
over Black and Lack held a two lap lead over Kamikawa. While Margetta's car looked stout in the first half, the opposite was true in the second
half. A pitstop did nothing to help out the situation as Margetta slid in the pits, knocking down tires and ending up with a thirty second
stop. The rest of the field pitted with Black in for ten seconds, Lack for eight seconds and Kamikawa in for seven seconds.
Black took over the lead after the pitstops but Margetta would not give in. As Black struggled with laying down clean laps, Margetta again
chipped away at the lead. With just minutes to go in the race, Margetta was back on the lead lap and then took over the lead. Black continued
to struggle but after each issue he would quickly race back to battle for the lead with Margetta. Finally, with time running out, Margetta
had his own spin, handing the lead and distance to Black. With a faster car than Margetta, the race win was in Black's hands and he raced clean
to the finish to capture his first series victory.
The last first time winner in the series was back in October of 2010 when Wiedemann won the Halloween Grand Prix, 116 races and over seven
Lack's third place finish increased his lead in the point standings to 80 points ahead of teammate Wiedemann. Black's victory vaulted him from
sixth to third with Fitzlaff just two points back in fourth and Kamikawa closing in to just ten points behind the third spot.
The series returns to action in two weeks at the Black Track high banked oval for the TBA 400 to see if track owner Bill can make it two wins in
Raven 250 Fast Facts
Race date: Thursday, Jan 4
Track: 2.5 mile Natural Terrain Road Course in Milwaukee, WI
Race distance: 250 laps
IndySlotCar Website: indyslotcar.com
2016 race winner: John Wiedemann (No. 19 JAM Racing Dallara-Honda)
2016 Chick-fil-A Brookfield P1 Award winner: Dean Strom (No. 16 MaD Motorsports Dallara-Honda)
One-lap qualifying record: Mark Walczak, 4.000 seconds, 2011
Race record: Mark Walczak, 21 minutes 14.362 seconds, 2013
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)
7:45 – Heat races
8:30 – Raven 250
· Matt Hayek broke through for his first pole, heat win, final and win of the season
· With Hayek making the final, every driver has now made one final
· Hayek’s pole ties him with Mike Kristof with 12 all-time, tied for 12th position, he also equals Dave Austin’s career Heat Wins with 27th, tied for 14th.
· Mike Lack missed his first final of the season at the Christmas Classic, but his nearest Husarsbilt Cup points championship competitor, John Wiedemann, did also.
Raven 250 PRE-EVENT QUOTES:
Dean Strom No. 16 MaD Motorsports: I’m finishing this race this year!
Pete Dorn No. 88 Black Atom Racing: Pete-downs for everyone who finishes ahead of me!
RAVEN 250 HISTORY (18 events, 2000 - Present)
Date Race Winner Event Name
2/17/2000 John Shea Milwaukee Bucks Challenge – Raven Raceway**
3/1/2001 Chad Sorce Milwaukee Bucks Challenge
1/31/2002 Phil Cianciola Palermo’s Pizza Challenge*
1/2/2003 Larry Rotter Saz’s 250
10/2/2003 Larry Rotter Saz’s 250
1/6/2005 Phil Cianciola Saz’s 250
1/5/2006 Dan Margetta Saz’s 250
1/4/2007 Dan Margetta Quizno’s Grand Prix
1/3/2008 Mark Walczak Quizno’s 250
1/8/2009 Mark Walczak Raven 250
2/4/2010 Mike Fitzlaff Raven 250
1/6/2011 Dan Margetta Raven 250
1/5/2012 Mark Walczak Raven 250
1/3/2013 Mark Walczak Raven 250
1/2/2014 Dean Strom Raven Bowl 250
1/8/2015 Mike Lack Raven 250 at Rapids – Temporary oval at Rapids International
1/7/2016 Mike Lack Raven 250 – Turtle Creek Park Raceway
1/5/201 7 John Wiedemann Raven 250 – race returns to Raven Raceway
Most Wins – 4-Mark Walczak; 3-Dan Margetta; 2-Phil Cianciola, Larry Rotter, Mike Lack (both at non-Raven Raceway events)
*-Dave Austin bottle/nose incident
**-All races held at Rave Raceway through 2014