2020-21 Round 12

Larry Rotter Memorial Grand Prix - Turtle Creek Park Raceway - Menomonee Falls, WI

March 4, 2021

Round 12 of 15

2021 Larry Rotter Memorial Grand Prix

Wiedemann Wins At Home Again

March 4, 2021

Menomonee Falls, WI – John Wiedemann scored his second win of the season by again topping the field at his home track, Turtle Creek Park Raceway. In round 12 of the IndySlotCar 2020-2021 season, Wiedemann was able to mount a comeback to take the lead with under a minute remaining in the final and capture his second career Larry Rotter Memorial Grand Prix.

Qualifying was fast and furious in the “open class” race with drivers able to hop up their rides for this round of the series. Dean Strom, who also won the pole in the earlier “open class” event, was the top qualifier with a lap of 3.133 seconds. Strom’s Squirrel Shagged Enterprises teammate, Steve Rist, followed in second with a lap of 3.276 seconds. Mike Lack, who has dominated this event, struggled in qualifying with an evil handling car but still ran a 3.432 second lap to manage third in the qualifying results. Wiedemann, Lack’s Super High Intensity Team teammate, also struggled in qualifying as he was possibly unable to get his ride up to speed. The team reported that there was a silicon dioxide issue that seemed to be contained prior to qualifying.

The first heat race was a battle from the beginning between Strom and Mike Kristof. The two were nearly inseparable in the opening half, only for Strom to pull away in the second half to take the win by seven laps. Kristof’s strong run had him setup well for the transfer spot with two more heat races to go.

Heat race two found the second, third and fourth place qualifiers battling it out to get to the feature. Pete Dorn, fourth in qualifying, grabbed the lead as Lack and Rist struggled to rein in their speed. Going into the second half, Dorn had a four lap advantage over Lack and it seemed to be time for a typical comeback run by Lack. But it was not to be. Dorn maintained the lead as Lack continued to struggle with handling and was only able to get one lap back. When the checkers flew it was Dorn heading to the final and Lack ending up a lap short of the transfer position.

The third heat was exciting early but then the fun faded. Bill Black took on Wiedemann and rookie Brad Core for the last spot in the final. Black led early and looked to be heading to his sixth final of the season, but then handling issues struck allowing Wiedemann, mysteriously running quicker, to take the point. Then, 59 laps into the race, Black misjudged his speed up the hill and flew up and out of the circuit to end his night. Wiedemann was able to back it down to qualifying speeds and cruise to the heat win followed by Core.

With the drop of the green in the final, Dorn jumped out to the lead followed by Wiedemann as polestitter Strom struggled. That struggle didn’t last but a few laps long as Strom found his footing and flew back to challenge the top two drivers. Strom was able to get past Wiedemann in a few laps and set his sights on Dorn. Just a couple more laps and Strom had retaken the lead. Wiedemann also picked up the pace and was able to wrestle second away from Dorn. Kristof really struggled and at one point his entire front axle/wheel assembly came off the car in pieces. That left Strom and Wiedemann to race to the halfway break with two laps between them.

In the second half it was more of the same as drivers found their pace following the lane swap. Strom came in for his pit stop, which was a quick eight second stop and he was back in the lead. Wiedemann didn’t have the same luck as his stop was a slow 20 second grind, costing him another three laps to the leader. Back on track, Wiedemann pushed the car to the limit to try and catch Strom. Running slightly quicker laps, Wiedemann was able to get a couple laps back but running on the edge had a price with a few offs and spins. Strom looked to be headed to his second “open class” victory when his handling seemed to just go away. A series of off-track excursions allowed Wiedemann to make up a lot of the distance and eventually forced Strom to stop quickly to fix the body. With 45 seconds to go, Wiedmann took advantage of Strom’s issues, took over the lead and sped to the checkers with a two lap victory in an unbelievable finish that left one driver exhausted and another heartbroken. Dorn held off Kristof to claim the third step on the podium.

In what was his 200th start in the IndySlotCar Series, the win was the 29th of Wiedemann’s career and allowed him to slightly close the gap on series point leader Lack. With three races left in the season, Lack continues to hold the point lead. Wiedemann is in second place, 37 points behind his teammate. Strom is in third, sixteen points behind second place.

Up next is March Madness which is being contested at a new location, the Rapids Oval. Wiedemann won this race last season, but that was Bermuda Raceway. This race will be run in bracket-buster format pitting driver vs driver until the overall bracket winner emerges.

Larry Rotter Memorial Grand Prix fast facts

Race date: Thursday, Mar 4

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

Race distance: 20 minutes

Entry List: Larry Rotter Memorial Grand Prix

Twitter: @indyslotcar

IndySlotCar Website: indyslotcar.com

2020 race winner: Mike Lack (No. 1 Angry Squirrel Speedsport Dallara-Honda)

2020 P1 Award winner: Mike Lack (No. 1 Angry Squirrel Speedsport Dallara-Honda)

Qualifying record: Larry Rotter, 3.023 seconds, 2005

Race record: Mike Lack, 311 laps, 2020

YouTube Broadcast: IndySlotCar Channel

At-track schedule (all times local):

6:00 – Gates open

6:30 – Driver introductions

6:55 – Drivers meeting

7:00 – IndySlotCar Series Practice

7:25 – “Open Class” cars presented for Technical Inspection

7:35 – Qualifying for Firestone P1 Award (group qualifying/ fastest single lap)

8:00 – Heat races

8:45 – Larry Rotter Memorial Grand Prix (20-minute final)

Race Notes:

· Mike Lack has won the last three LRMGPs and is coming off his second win of the season at the Jackson 500.

· Dean Strom broke Lack’s five “open class” race win streak back at the Sweeney Memorial in December, Strom returns to action after missing high banks of the Black Track.

· John Wiedemann moved into a familiar position, second in the Husarsbilt Cup championship, his fourth place at the Jackson 500 and Strom missing the race moves him seven points up on the Squirrel Shagged Enterprises driver, 58 markers behind his S.H.I.T. teammate.

· STAT WATCH: Lack’s win at the Black Track moves him within one victory of all-time leader Dan Margetta…Lack moved ahead of Chris Spehert in starts, his 191st is good for eighth…Mike Kristof’s first final four of the season was the 37th of his career, equaling Chad Sorce for a tie at 16th…Brad Cove became the 56th driver to turn a lap in competition in the 28 season history of IndySlotCar.


Date Race Winner Event Name

3/16/2003 Larry Rotter March Madness

3/25/2004 Larry Rotter March Madness

3/3/2005 Larry Rotter Milwaukee Bucks March Madness

3/30/2006 Mark Walczak Milwaukee Bucks March Madness

3/29/2007 Amy Butler M&J March Madness

3/27/2008 Mike Fitzlaff M&J March Madness

10/23/2008 Mark Walczak Milwaukee Sporting Goods Halloween Havoc

4/1/2009 Mark Walczak March Madness

3/31/2010 Dan Margetta March Madness

3/29/2011 Mark Walczak March Madness

3/28/2013 Larry Rotter March Madness

3/27/2014 Ev Kamikawa March Madness

4/2/2015 John Wiedemann Larry Rotter Memorial Grand Prix

3/31/2016 Mike Fitzlaff Larry Rotter Memorial Grand Prix

3/30/2017 Dean Strom Larry Rotter Memorial Grand Prix

3/29/2018 Mike Lack Larry Rotter Memorial Grand Prix

4/4/2019 Mike Lack Larry Rotter Memorial Grand Prix

3/5/2020 Mike Lack Larry Rotter Memorial Grand Prix

Most Wins – 4-Larry Rotter, Mark Walczak; 3-Mike Lack; 2-Mike Fitzlaff