2019-20 Round 10
Raven 250 - Raven Raceway - Milwaukee, WI
January 23, 2020
Round 10 of 16
Wiedemann Loves Repaved Raven
(Milwaukee, WI) -- The ownership group at Raven Raceway has spent untold sums of time and money recently to repave the classic track built by Larry Rotter 20 years ago, if you ask John Wiedemann they did a perfect job on it.
Wiedemann's #19 Angry Squirrel Speedsport Dallara-Honda laid down a remarkably fast lap in qualifying to take pole position away from Mike Kristof by more than half a second and coming within a tenth of a second of the track record. Meanwhile, Wiedemann's A.S.S. teammate Mike Lack would line up directly behind hind in third and Husarsbilt Cup points leader Matt Hayek next to him in the second row.
Wiedemann lined up in the opening heat with Alter Ego Racing's Dean Strom and Dan Margetta. It would be an intense battle between Wiedemann and Strom while Margetta struggled with handling and finally crashed coming out of the final turn ending the #88 Hardly Steinbrenner-Margetta Racing entry's night, finishing tenth following the win at the Jackson 500. The two remaining combatants kept up a blistering pace but Wiedemann would hold on for the win, while Strom would have to wait and watch to see if anyone would pass his lap total to take away the "transfer spot" to the final.
The second heat featured home town hero Pete Dorn, Kristof and Steve Rist getting another start following up his second place finish at the Black Track. All three cars raced closed together early on, but Dorn's #5 Black-Atom Racing Dallara-Honda would start to gap the field while Kristof attempted to hold Rist off. Rist's handling would suffer in the second half while Kristof tried to score laps to take away the "transfer spot", while Dorn sailed away from them both to take the win and Kristof would come up short on laps and settle for fifth on the night, while Rist would finish seventh.
In the final heat it seemed to be anyone's race as Matt Hayek, Mike Lack and Joe Heitz all traded the lead early on, Tom Spehert kept out of trouble within striking distance. It remained a three horse race into the second half until carnage happened and Heitz was out, having crashed also, off the last turn, with 93 laps, ninth on the night for the #22 Menards car. Hayek would eventually open up a lead and like the previous heat, the second place runner would attempt to topple Strom's transfer spot, but the defending champion and defending race winner would come up short and wind up sixth on the night, while Hayek would appear in his first final since the Turkey Trot.
From the start each of the four drivers led during the first few minutes of the 250 lap final, Wiedemann and the pair of Alter Ego drivers would continue to battle while hometown hero Dorn fell back, they stayed close throughout, pit stops were without trouble as "JW" eventually opened up a gap that the others could not shrink, so as Wiedemann looked for the win, Hayek would move into second to minimize the damage to his championship points lead, Strom would settle for the bottom step of the podium.
With six races left in the season, Matt Hayek continues to lead the battle for the Husarsbilt Cup by 45 points over Wiedemann, while six-time defending champion Mike Lack has fallen to 75 behind and Joe Heitz is the best of the rest 113 back. Next up, a return to Hayek's home track and Quarryfest Deslotmania, the challenging "de-slot" format has been kind to Wiedemann at Quarry Heights, having won the event the past two seasons.
Race date: Thursday, Jan 23
Track: 2.5 mile Natural Terrain Road Course in Milwaukee, WI
Race distance: 250 laps
IndySlotCar Website: indyslotcar.com
2019 race winner: Mike Lack (No. 1 Angry Squirrel Speedsport Dallara-Honda)
2019 Firestone P1 Award winner: Mike Lack (No. 1 Angry Squirrel Speedsport Dallara-Honda)
One-lap qualifying record: Mark Walczak, 4.000 seconds, 2011
Race record: Mike Lack, 21 minutes 03 seconds, 2019
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 Firestone P1 Award (group qualifying/ fastest single lap)
7:50 – Heat races
8:45 – Raven 250 (250 laps)
· Dan Margetta scored his first win in two years at the Jackson 500 and became the fifth different winner in 19-20.
· Mike Lack fell to third place in the Husarsbilt Cup championship after having his second 10th place finish of the season.
· After the hottest start in IndySlotCar history, Matt Hayek has missed the last three finals, but maintains a 56 point lead over John Wiedemann for the top of the standings
· Alex Hayek and Steve Rist both scored their first heat wins at the Jackson 500
Raven 250 PRE-EVENT QUOTES:
Dan Margetta No. 88 Hardly Steinbrenner Margetta Racing: Watch out Strom! I’m coming for ya
Pete Dorn No. 85 Black Atom Racing: Raven is ready to race!
RAVEN 250 HISTORY (20 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
1/4/2018 Bill Black Raven 250
1/2/2019 Mike Lack Raven 250
Most Wins – 4-Mark Walczak; 3-Mike Lack (wins on all 3 tracks to host the event), Dan Margetta; 2-Phil Cianciola, Larry Rotter
*-Dave Austin bottle/nose incident
**-All races held at Rave Raceway through 2014