2019-20 Round 12

Rapids Grand Prix - Streets of Rapids - Milwaukee, WI

Round 12 of 16

February 20, 2020

2020 Rapids Grand Prix

The Champion Strikes Back

(Milwaukee, WI) -- If you give a champion an opportunity, you have to assume he will take it and that is exactly what Mike Lack did at the Rapids Grand Prix. Sitting third in the 2019-20 IndySlotCar season championship 97 points behind lead Matt Hayek, Lack jumped at the chance to take a cleaver to that gap and chop it in half with a dominant performance on the streets of Rapids.

It started in qualifying where for a while it looked like PenskeHO's Joe Heitz might take the pole position after a hot lap, but Lack came back late with a ridiculously fast track-record lap of 5.398 seconds to land his third Firestone P1 Award of the season. Heitz would line up beside him on the front row while Bill Black and Steve Rist surprised many by filling out the second row.

The opening heat grouped those four fast qualifiers together, but while they may have had speed, they did not have car control and numerous spinouts and crashes led to a rather low lap count, with Lack taking the heat win.

The second heat was just the opposite, while John Wiedemann, Ev Kamikawa, Mike Kristof and Pete Dorn might not have had the speed, they were able to keep the cars on track. Wiedemann took the win and both Pete Dorn and Mike Kristof took the transfer positions, scoring more laps than the second place car in heat one, Joe Heitz.

Kamikawa would wind up fifth, with his PenskeHO teammate Heitz six, Rist and Black rounding out the field.

The final was exactly as the Angry Squirrel Speedsport drivers had drawn it up, with Hayek missing, both Wiedemann and Lack in the final and a chance to take maximum points. Mike Lack continued to show his speed and essentially ran away and hid from the field, Wiedemann did his best to keep pace, while Dorn and Kristof battled for the last step of the podium, a fight Dorn would win. Meanwhile Lack would go on to set a new race distance record for the 20 minute final, tallying 188 laps, smashing his own record from 2016 of 175 laps.

With the victory, his third of the season and fifth at Rapids, Lack's points gap to Matt Hayek is now 45 and the other Angry Squirrel, John Wiedemann's second place finish allowed him to shrink the Husrasbilt Cup championship points lead down to 36 with just four races left in the 2019-20 season. Next up is a race that sets up well for Mike Lack the Larry Rotter Memorial Grand Prix at Turtle Creek Park Raceway, an open class race that Lack has won the last two seasons.


Fast Facts

Race date: Thursday, Feb 20

Track: Rapids International, 2.3 mile street course in Rapids

Race distance: 20 minutes

Twitter: @indyslotcar

IndySlotCar Website: indyslotcar.com

2019 race winner: Mike Lack (No. 1 Angry Squirrel Speedsport)

2019 Firestone P1 Award winner: Mike Lack (No. 1 Angry Squirrel Speedsport)

One-lap qualifying record: Dan Margetta, 5.569 seconds, 2016 (September)

Race record: Mike Lack, 175 laps, 2016 (January)

YouTube Broadcast: IndySlotCar Channel

At-track schedule (all times local):

6:00 – Gates open

6:30 – Driver introductions

7:00 – IndySlotCar Series Practice

7:25 – Qualifying for the Firestone P1 Award (group qualifying/ fastest single lap)

7:50 – Heat races

8:45 – Rapids Grand Prix (20 minutes)

Race Notes:

● Due to schedule conflicts Matt Hayek will miss the Rapids Grand Prix, this means his 77 point Husarsbilt Cup championship points lead will be cut by however many points John Wiedemann, who sits second, collects, if Wiedemann wins and scores the pole and a heat win, could shrink that lead to 25.

● Third place in points, Mike Lack sits in the unusual position of being 97 points behind the leader and having missed three straight finals for the first time since the 2012-13 season.

● Hometown hero Ev Kamikawa has run a limited schedule this season, but coming into the RPG, he has made two finals in three starts including second place at the last round, the Quarryfest Deslotmania.

● Matt Hayek’s victory at Quarryfest Deslotmania, was the fifth of the season and the 16th of his career, moving him into a tie for tenth place on the all-time wins list with Dave Austin. Hayek’s win came from pole position, fourth of the season, the 17th of his career, moving ahead of Mike Fitzlaff into ninth on the all-time list.

RAPIDS GRAND PRIX HISTORY (20 events: 1995 - 2001, 2007 - Present)

Date Race Winner Event Name Track

4/13/1995 Dave Austin Rapids Grand Prix Rapids Raceway

4/11/1996 Dave Austin Rapids Grand Prix

12/3/1998 Dan Margetta Rapids Grand Prix Rapids Raceway Version 2

12/2/1999 Ev Kamikawa Rapids Grand Prix

12/7/2000 John Shea Rapids Grand Prix Rapids Raceway Version 3

11/29/2001 Phil Cianciola Rapids Grand Prix Rapids Raceway Version 4

2/1/2007 Ev Kamikawa WiJobs.com Grand Prix Rapids Raceway Version 5

1/31/2008 Mark Walczak Rapids Grand Prix Rapids International Version 6

2/5/2009 Mark Walczak Lia Sophia Grand Prix

9/17/2009 Mike Lack Lia Sophia Grand Prix

9/30/2010 Mark Walczak Lia Sophia Grand Prix

3/15/2012 Mark Walczak Too Clean Laundry Grand Prix Rapids International Version 7

9/20/2012 Mark Walczak Lia Sophia Grand Prix

1/17/2013 John Wiedemann Too Clean Laundry Grand Prix

1/16/2014 John Wiedemann Too Clean Laundry Grand Prix

1/22/2015 Mike Lack Too Clean Laundry Grand Prix Rapids International Version 8

1/21/2016 Mike Lack Too Clean Laundry Grand Prix

9/22/2016 Matt Hayek Too Clean Laundry Grand Prix

2/1/2018 Ev Kamikawa Too Clean Laundry Grand Prix

2/21/2019 Mike Lack Maytag Rapids Grand Prix

Most Wins: Mark Walczak-5; Mike Lack-4; Ev Kamikawa-3; John Wiedemann, Dave Austin-2