2018-19 Round 1
Trokan Cup 500 - Mini Milwaukee Mile - Greendale, WI
September 6, 2018
Round 1 of 16
Spehert Scores Surprise!
See the complete box score
(Greendale, WI) -- Tom Spehert thrilled the hometown crowd at the Mini Milwaukee Mile Thursday night as he dominated the Trokan Cup 500 to open the 2018-19 IndySlotCar season with his first win in ten years. Spehert got off to a fast start and never really looked back once he took the lead early on, five-time and defending champion Mike Lack crashed out early removing the favorite and defending race winner just 67 laps in, the last of a spate of wrecks through the night, it promoted John Wiedemann to the second spot while Mike Kristof moved up to third. Just past half way the Spehert Autosport team had trouble communicating with their driver to call him in for his pit stop, but when he did pull in for service it was flawless. Wiedemann's Angry Squirrel Speedsport crew had a lengthy 30-second stop and with Kristof's lightning quick pit work from the new Michael Shank-It Racing team was able to move to second place. The gap from Kristof back to Wiedemann began shrinking through the second half and at the finish as Spehert held a healthy 13 laps lead, Kristof could feel the heat from JW, when 500 laps were complete for the winner, Kristof was just one circuit up on Weidemann's hard charging #17 US Air Force car.
The night didn't start with any sign that the veteran Spehert Autosport driver would be running at the front as he qualifies sixth, but cruised through his heat race with Black-Atom Racing teammates Bill Black, who crashed out just seven laps into the season to finish last on the night and Pete Dorn, who would be disappointed when Mike Kristof would take the "transfer" spot away by just one lap. The opening heat featured the fast qualifiers but in speed resides danger and that is exactly what pole winner Ev Kamikawa found on the 38th lap as his Penske-HO Verizon Chevrolet wrecked hard to end his night after the hopeful start with his 39th career pole position and setting a new track 4-lap qualifying record. Matt Hayek was running second to Mike Lack in that first heat when his Alter-Ego United Rentals-Honda went flying off the track and out of the race, leaving only Mike Lack, who was not required to finish the full distance of his heat. The heat featuring the cars at the back of the grid was the most controlled and competitive of the three, with Mike Fitzlaff's Kuzin ITT Racing NTT Data-Honda taking the early lead, but handling in the second half would send him to the back of the pack as John Wiedemann would open a lead over Kristof, who would just sneak into the final with a lap more than Dorn for the "transfer", and setting up the Wiedemann-Kristof rematch in the final.
Spehert hit upon a brilliant, if not often enough espoused racing philosophy before the race, saying,"you have to race the track, not the other cars out there". Clearly that was what he did, on a night when the track was obviously looking to devour cars, his lasted to the end and scored his third career win, almost a decade to the day after his last win on September 4, 2008 at the beloved and missed HO Road America.
Next up, an early season visit to the Road Course at Badger Raceway for the Choco Taco presents the Fall Brawl.
Trokan Cup 500 Fast Facts
Race date: Thursday, Sep 6
Track: Mini Milwaukee Mile, 1 HO-scale mile oval in Greendale, WI
Race distance: 500 laps
IndySlotCar Website: indyslotcar.com
2016 race winner: Mike Lack (No. 1 Angry Squirrel Speedsport)
2016 Chick-fil-A Brookfield P1 Award winner: Mike Lack (No. 1 Angry Squirrel Speedsport) 6.371 seconds
One-lap qualifying record: Ev Kamikawa, 1.102 seconds, 2006
Four-lap qualifying record: Mike Fitzlaff, 5.940 seconds, 2012
Race record: Phil Cianciola, 13 minutes 53 seconds, 2000
YouTube Broadcast: IndySlotCar Channel
At-track schedule (all times local):
6:30 – Driver introductions
7:00 – IndySlotCar Series Practice
7:20 – Qualifying for the P1 Award (single car/four laps, total time)
7:45 – Heat races
8:30 – Trokan Cup 500 (500 laps)
· The series returns to the Mini-Milwaukee Mile for the 23rd time Thursday, past winners in the field in include: defending and two-time winner Mike Lack, four-time winner Ev Kamikawa, 2012 champ Mike Fitzlaff, 2007 winner Chris Spehert and 2003’s Mike Kristof.
· Lack won the race from the pole and never trailed in the Husarsbilt Cup championship from start to finish of the season.
· Hometown hero Tom Spehert and Mike Fitzlaff are the only two drivers to make the final both of the past two years at the Trokan Cup 500.
· Mike Lack comes into the season with five straight Husarsbilt Cup championships, a feat only attained once before.
· After a season to celebrate the series’ 25th anniversary, all drivers are back to fielding cars that mimic their full-scale counterparts. Watch for the “Spotter’s guide” to see all the excellent liveries and some new teams.
MINI-MILWAUKEE MILE HISTORY (23 events, 1996 - Present):
Date Race Winner Event Name
1/4/1996 Arnie Lueders Firestone 400
9/26/1996 Chad Sorce Ford 500
10/6/1997 John Baas Ford 500 (2 races in the
1/8/1998 Ev Kamikawa Firestone 400 97-98 season)
9/17/1998 John Baas Ford 500
10/7/1999 Ev Kamikawa Aero Race Wheels 500
9/21/2000 Phil Cianciola Aero Race Wheels 500
9/20/2001 Dan Margetta Aero Race Wheels 500
9/19/2002 Jim Iverson Chancery Restaurants 500
9/18/2003 Mike Kristof Krispy Kreme 500
10/21/2004 Phil Cianciola Milwaukee Mile presents the Mini Mile 500
9/8/2005 John Shea Milwaukee Mile 500
9/7/2006 John Shea Trokan Cup 500**
9/7/2007 Chris Spehert Trokan Cup 500 presented by the Milwaukee Mile
10/2/2008* Mark Walczak Trokan Cup 500
9/10/2009* Ev Kamikawa Trokan Cup 500
9/23/2010* Ev Kamikawa Trokan Cup 500
9/8/2011* Mark Walczak Trokan Cup 500
9/6/2012* Mike Fitzlaff Trokan Cup 500
9/5/2013 Mike Lack Trokan Cup 500
9/3/2015 Dan Margetta Trokan Cup 500
9/8/2016 Dan Margetta Trokan Cup 500
8/31/2017 Mike Lack Trokan Cup 500
*- From 2008-2012 the Mini Mile was renamed RJ Foyt’s All American Raceway
** - Since 1997 the opening round trophy was the Trokan Cup, this was restored for the 2006 race.
Most Wins – Ev Kamikawa-4; Dan Margetta-3; Mike Lack, John Baas, Phil Cianciola, John Shea, Mark Walczak-2