2018-19 Round 14
Jack Daniel's Shrine Cup - Shrine Desert Road Course - Wauwatosa, WI
March 21, 2019
Round 14 of 16
Strom Scores Again
(Wauwatosa, WI) -- In what has become a theme this season, Dean Strom dominated the Jack Daniel's Shrine Cup at the Shrine Desert Road Course Thursday night, joining a growing group of drivers with multiple wins this season. Strom's win follows Ev Kamikawa, who joined the club at the last race, membership also includes Mike Lack, John Wiedemann and Mike Kristof.
Speaking of Mike Lack, where was the defending race winner and Husarsbilt Cup points leader? Rumors swirled around the paddock that an investigation into Lack's family reportedly having bribed Angry Squirrel Speedsport to accept him as a driver, mainly so his wife could get him out of the house once in a while, instead of staying home and watching Star Wars movies.
Rookie Joe Heitz continues to impress as he scored his third pole position in just five starts and set a new track record in qualifying with a 4.228 second lap on the big, but fast 9-turn road course. Matt Hayek lined up next to Heitz on the front row, Dan Margetta and Strom lined up in the second row with part-timer Alex Hayek in a solid fifth spot on the grid next to John Wiedemann.
The randomly selected heat races pitted father against son in the opening heat, but it was the third member of that heat, rookie sensation Joe Heitz who took the win and the ticket to his third final of the season. Alex Hayek would finish ahead of father Matt, it would be the fourth time in four starts that son would best pops, Alex would have his best finish of his career in fifth and Matt sixth.
In the second heat a trend began with just two laps complete Mike Kristof's #60 SiriusXM car went careening off the track coming out of the carousel and ending his night in tenth, a marked reversal from the first half of the season for the Micheal Shank-It driver who won two races. After the dust cleared from Kristof's crash, Ev Kamikawa and Dean Strom battled for the lead, while Tom Spehert's newly painted #28 Spehert AutoSport car would hang on for seventh as Kamikawa was able to hold off Strom and advanced to his third final in a row, while Strom would sit on the "transfer spot" and have to see if a driver in the third heat would pass his lap total.
He didn't have to wait long as first Bill Black would crash out of the that heat on the first lap, followed by John Wiedemann who climbed the fence in the carousel and out on lap 60 into ninth place, another mistake coming out of the carousel and Pete Dorn also found his #5 Arrow Black-Atom car out of the running and into eighth place, that left Dan Margetta the last man standing and into the final and handing the "transfer" to Strom.
In the final it only took 43 laps before another car would coming crashing out of the race, for the second appearance in a row, rookie sensation Joe Heitz would have to settle for fourth after another DNF. The battle that Kamikawa and Strom had in their heat race was renewed in the 20-minute final and Dan Margetta was right there in the mix, after a series of well executed pit stops Strom started to open up a lead while the #12 Verizon car of Kamikawa and #13 Go Daddy car of Margetta would fight it out to the finish for second place, as time ran out Strom took the checkers for the second time of the season, following his win at the Fall Brawl. Margetta in a last ditch attempt to take Strom out, crashed off the track at the last turn and settled for a third place DNF, totaling six cars on the hook which equals a record for the Shrine set in 2006. Kamikawa would have his sixth second place finish of the season and thanks to an MIA Mike Lack, vault him from third to first in the points standings, six points ahead of Lack and 19 markers above John Wiedemann.
The final two rounds feature an "open class" race, up next at Turtle Creek Park Raceway for the Larry Rotter Memorial Grand Prix in two weeks and a double points finale for the HO Indy 500 at South Shore Superspeedway, which means the gaps between the top three mean almost nothing as we decide the 26th championship in IndySlotCar Series history.
Jack Daniel’s Shrine Cup fast facts
Race date: Thursday, Mar 21
Track: Shrine Desert Road Course, 4-mile road course in Wauwatosa, WI
Race distance: 20 minutes
IndySlotCar Website: indyslotcar.com
2018 race winner: Mike Lack (No. 41 ABC Supply)
2018 P1 Award winner: Mike Lack (No. 41 ABC Supply) 4.797 seconds
Single lap qualifying record: Mike Lack, 4.797 seconds; 2018
Race record: Mike Lack, 215 laps; 2018
YouTube Broadcast: IndySlotCar Channel
At-track schedule (all times local):
6:30 – Driver introductions
6:55 – Chassis distribution/Drivers’ Meeting
7:00 – IndySlotCar Series Practice
7:25 – Qualifying for the IndySlotCar 25th Anniversary cap P1 Award (group qualifying/ fastest single lap)
7:55 – Heat races
8:45 – Jack Daniel’s Shrine Cup
· With his win at the Stardust 500 Ev Kamikawa became the fourth driver in 18-19 to have multiple wins, it is also the 43rd win of his career moving him into second all-time, just one behind record holder Dan Margetta.
· Kamikawa also moved into a tie for second in the Husarsbilt Cup championship with John Wiedemann, 35 points behind Mike Lack.
· Lack has won the last two races run on the Shrine Desert Road Course, including the final edition run on the old set up in 2016 and the new version of the track last year, winning both from pole position.
· The last two podiums have included Kamikawa, Lack and with his second place at Stardust, his best career finish, Pete Dorn.
Jack Daniel’s Shrine Cup PRE-EVENT QUOTES:
Mike Kristof (No. 60 SiriusXM Michael Shank-It Racing): My town, my track, time to defend it again.
Pete Dorn (No. 5 Arrow Black-Atom Racing): Just one more step to take!
THE SHRINE CUP HISTORY (9 events, 1993 – 1996; 2013 – 2016, 2018-present)
Date Race Winner Track Event Name
8/26/1993 Pat Jarvis The Shrine Track The Shrine Cup
9/8/1994 Phil Cianciola The Shrine Track The Shrine Cup presented by Hank's Beloit Speedway
9/7/1995 Dave Austin The Shrine Track The Shrine Cup
9/5/1996 Jim Kaehny The Shrine Track The Shrine Cup
2/28/2013 Mark Walczak Shrine Desert Road Course The Shrine Cup
3/13/2014 Mike Lack Shrine Desert Road Course The Shrine Cup
3/5/2015 Matt Hayek Shrine Desert Road Course The Shrine Cup
3/17/2016 Mike Lack Shrine Desert Road Course Miller Lite Shamrock Shrine Cup
3/15/2018 Mike Lack Shrine Desert Road Course The Shrine Cup
Multiple winners: Mike Lack – 3