2018-19 Round 13
Stardust 500 - Stardust Speedway - Vegas (Greendale, WI)
March 7, 2019
Round 13 of 16
Stardust Memories for Kamikawa
(Vegas) -- Ev Kamikawa has been the stalking horse in the race for the Husarsbilt Cup in 2018-19, but at the Stardust 500 he has made it clear he's in this championship battle to the finish with a win that pulls him even with John Wiedemann for second place, 35 points behind Mike Lack with three races remaining.
The night started with a career first for Black-Atom Racing's Pete Dorn, who scored his first pole position edging out Kamikawa by 15-one-thousandths of a second over their four lap qualifying run and setting a new single lap track record of 1.654 seconds.
In the heats the challenge for all the drivers at Stardust Speedway was avoiding the green lane, typically, if a driver was in green they did not advance out of the final, However, in the opening heat, Pete Dorn followed up his pole position with a win, holding off Ev Kamikawa who would be the exception to the rule about the green lane, having started in yellow and finishing in green, the PenskeHO Racing veteran piled up enough laps to transfer into the final as did third place in that heat, hometown favorite Chris Spehert. The only driver not to transfer out of the heat was title contender John Wiedemann, starting in green, the USAF car was unable to recover in the second half and wind up sixth on the night.
The second heat started out with Mike Kristof again leading Mike Lack in the first half of a heat, as he did at Rapids two weeks ago, and again he couldn't close the deal, moving to the green lane he fell behind Lack and Tom Spehert, who had a solid run to fifth place on the night. Lack would take the win to advance, while Kristof would settle for seventh on the night and Matt Hayek struggled in qualifying and his heat to finish eighth.
In the final, the early battle was between Kamikawa and Lack as they traded the lead, while Pete Dorn started closing in and by half way, with a lightning fast pit stop, the #5 Arrow Electronics car soon passed Lack as the #1 SealMaster car was shuffled to the green lane. Dorn then showed how quick he was taking the lead over Kamikawa after several spinouts for the #12 Verizon car. But the pressure of possibly taking his first win may have gotten to Dorn as he started losing the handle on the car while Kamikawa took advantage to pull out a lead that he would hold to the checkered flag and take his second win of the season and the 43rd of his career moving him into solo second place on the all-time victories column, just one behind record holder Dan Margetta. Dorn would still have his best finish of his career in second and his fifth final of the season. Mike Lack struggled in green in the second half to finish third and hold off the hometown driver, Chris Spehert who was satisfied to make his first start of the season and finish fourth.
The series moves back to it's historic home, the Shrine Desert Road Course for the Shrine Cup in two weeks. Can Wiedemann or Kamikawa close the gap on the five-time defending champion, but with double points on offer for the season finale HO Indy 500, it's almost impossible to be able to close out the title before the last race.
Race date: Thursday, Mar 7
Track: Stardust Speedway, 1 mile tri-oval, Greendale, WI
Race distance: 500 laps
IndySlotCar Website: indyslotcar.com
2018 race winner: Mike Lack (No. 41 ABC Supply)
2018 P1 Award winner: Mike Lack (No. 41 ABC Supply)
Qualifying record: new track configuration; Single lap record: new track configuration
Race record: new track configuration
YouTube Broadcast: IndySlotCar Channel
At-track schedule (all times local):
6:30 – Driver introductions
6:55 – Drivers’ meeting/Chassis distribution
7:00 – IndySlotCar Series Practice
7:25 – Qualifying for the IndySlotCar 25th Anniversary cap P1 Award (single car/ four laps)
7:55 – Heat races
8:45 – Stardust 500
· Mike Lack scored his fifth win of the 2017-18 season at this race last year, and is coming off his fourth win of this season after his victory at the Maytag Rapids Grand Prix, opening up a 27 point lead over his Angry Squirrel Speedsport teammate John Wiedemann.
· Lack’s latest win moves him into fourth place with 37, on the all-time list passing fellow five-time champion and series founder Phil Cianciola.
· Lack also moves into the top ten in career starts with 161, seven behind his A.S.S. teammate John Wiedemann.
· Dean Strom pulls into a tie with Hall of Famer Jim Kaehny for all-time starts with 156, good for 12th on the list.
· Rookie sensation Joe Heitz has now made the final in the last three races.
· Pete Dorn surpasses Phil Marich on the all-time Heat Wins list with six to move to 22nd and equals Arnie Lueders total of seven Final Four appearances they are tied for 24th.
· Hometown favorite Chris Spehert will become the 16th driver to make a start this season and the most to take the green flag since the 2011-12 season.
STARDUST 500 HISTORY (11 events, 2006 - Present)
Date Race Winner Event Name Track
9/28/2006 Jim Iverson Reinhart FoodService 400 Milwaukee International
9/27/2007 Jim Iverson Reinhart FoodService 400 Milwaukee International
9/18/2008 Mike Fitzlaff Reinhart FoodService 400 Milwaukee International
10/8/2009 Ev Kamikawa Reinhart FoodService 400 Milwaukee International
10/7/2010 Chris Spehert Reinhart FoodService 400 Milwaukee International
2/2/2012 Dean Strom Stardust 400 Stardust Speedway
3/14/2013 Dean Strom Stardust 400 Stardust Speedway
2/27/2014 Ev Kamikawa Stardust 500 Stardust Speedway
3/3/2016 John Wiedemann Stardust 500 Stardust Speedway
3/2/2017 Matt Hayek Stardust 500 Stardust Speedway
3/1/2018 Mike Lack Stardust 500 Stardust Speedway
Most Wins – 2-Ev Kamikawa, Dean Strom, Jim Iverson