2018-19 Round 4

Turtle Grand Prix - Turtle Creek Park Raceway - Menomonee Falls, WI

October 18, 2018

Round 4 of 16

2018 Turtle Grand Prix

Kamikawa Cruises To Turtle Title

(Menomonee Falls, WI) -- From a solid qualifying effort to a win in a challenging heat race, then a runaway win in the 20-minute final, Ev Kamikawa did everything needed to take his 42nd career victory and the first of the 2018-19 season.

Kamikawa qualified early and had the provisional pole for much of the session with a 3.510 second lap, until John Wiedemann and his Angry Squirrel Speedsport teammate Mike Lack began trading fast laps. Lack's #1 SealMaster Dallara-Honda ultimately took the P1 time down to 3.338 seconds, a remarkable time considering the "Open Class" track record is in the 3.0 second range. Wiedemann would set up an all A.S.S. front row and Kamikawa would start from the inside of row two.

Heats were grouped by qualifying which forced those same three together to fight for two potential spots in the final. Wiedemann and Kamikawa ran off to a tight battle through much of the 10-minute heat, while defending champion Mike Lack struggled to control his extremely fast car and would have to settle for a fifth place finish for the second race in a row. Meanwhile, Kamikawa eventually held off Wiedemann, who would transfer into his third final of the season, with a lap total well ahead of the other second-place finishers in subsequent heats.

Dean Strom and Bill Black had a spirited battle in the second heat, but ultimately, Black would lose the handle on his Black/Atom Racing #6 Lucas Oil-sponsored machine and wind up sixth on the night, while Strom took the win. Matt Hayek never got control of his United Rentals #15 Alter Ego Racing Dallara-Honda and would score his third-straight seventh place finish of the season.

The third heat was a mess from start to finish and Mike Fitzlaff managed to survive a midrace challenge from Mike Kristof, whose #60 SiriusXM Michael Shank-It Racing Dallara-Honda became a battering ram, hitting everything but the pace car and well off the pace at the finish for an eighth place night. Pete Dorn and Tom Spehert struggled mightily on the high speeds and tight corners of Turtle Creek finishing ninth and tenth respectively. Amazingly, Spehert's win and a second place early this season, still has him third in the points ahead of Lack, who has been solid but not his usual dominating self, with two fourth and two fifth place finishes.

The Turtle Grand Prix began with Ev Kamikawa racing off into the distance while John Wiedemann and Dean Strom traded second and third place for much of the first half. A hard crash by Strom forced the #64 Manitowoc machine into the pits to repair a pick up shoe, with that lengthy stop, Wiedemann moved into a solid second, Strom would settle for the bottom rung of the podium while Mike Fitzlaff struggled to bring it home fourth. Kamikawa's #12 PenskeHO Racing Dallara-Chevrolet rarely put a wheel wrong and eased in to the winner's circle on a ten lap lead and moved into second place on the IndySlotCar Series all-time wins list, just two victories behind Dan Margetta's total. Margetta, who missed the race, was rumored to be watching a Night Ranger concert in the exotic locale of Waukegan.

Turtle Grand Prix Fast Facts

Race date: Thursday, Oct 18

Track: Turtle Creek Park Raceway, 2.8-mile, 9-turn natural terrain circuit, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin

Race distance: 20 minutes

Entry List: Turtle Grand Prix

Twitter: @indyslotcar

IndySlotCar Website: indyslotcar.com

Qualifying record: new (club car) race

Race record: new (club car) race

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

7:20 – Qualifying for the IndySlotCar Hat P1 Award (Three groups of qualifying)

7:45 – Heat races

8:30 – Turtle Grand Prix – 20 minutes

Race Notes:

  • This is the first “club car” event ever held at Turtle Creek Park Raceway. 15 other IndySlotCar events going back to the track’s building in 2003 have all been “open class rules” races.
  • With his win at the West Bend Grand Prix, John Wiedemann takes the points lead from Tom Spehert who falls back to second.
  • Three different drivers have won each of the first three races and three different drivers have won the P1 Award, only John Wiedemann has won from the pole.
  • Steve Rist’s final four rookie debut at the West Bend Grand Prix matches season two driver Dave Rosno, the only other IndySlotCar rookie debut to make a final, that happened at the 1994 Shrine Cup. (Never heard of Dave Rosno, despite that stunning beginning to his career, he made just one other start.)

Turtle Grand Prix PRE-EVENT QUOTES:

Tom Spehert No. 28 Spehert Autosport: It was fun while it lasted.

Dean Strom No. 64 Alter Ego Racing: Everyone won’t have it so easy this time, both AER drivers will be there.