2020-21 Round 2
The Choco Taco Fall Brawl - Road Course at Badger Raceway - Muskego, WI
September 24, 2020
Round 2 of 15
Strom Catches Choco Taco Fall Brawl
After a runner-up finish in the opening race of the IndySlotCar season, Dean Strom moved to the top of the podium by winning the Choco Taco Fall
Brawl at his home track, the Road Course at Badger Raceway.
This was the fifth running of the Fall Brawl with Strom and six time series champion Mike Lack splitting the victories in the previous
events. Staying true to form, those two were the top contenders in this season’s running of the event as well.
Qualifying was led early by Bill Black, only to have his dreams crushed when Lack went out and set fast time of the night. Strom took a swing
at the top spot but had to settle for the third quickest time. The pole win by Lack was the 39th of his IndySlotCar career, tying him with Ev
Kamikawa for fourth place on the all-time list.
Heats were set up by driver’s choice from last to first in qualifying time and the drivers did a great job getting the fast guys grouped
together in the first heat. The excitement of the top drivers duking it out quickly waned when Black, working on his seventh time around the
track, lost control and flew off the track. With Black’s night complete, Strom cruised to the Heat win with Lack scoring enough laps to
set the transfer pace that no one could touch in the later heats.
Heat two was a great duel with Kamikawa taking the point early and looking like the guy to beat. But, as the halfway point approached,
handling became an issue and Matt Hayek took the lead with Steve Rist only a lap behind. Hayek would continue at the front in the second half
as Kamikawa struggled. Hayek captured the win and advanced to the finals, a great turn around from his last place finish in the season
The third heat pitted Mike Kirstof, Pete Dorn and John Wiedemann. While each driver took a turn leading the race, Wiedemann could never get
speed out of his chassis and settled for eighth place on the night. Kristof struggled with handling as Dorn increased his pace as the race
went on and took the heat win and a spot in the finals.
With the pole position win comes first lane choice in the feature and Lack made the right choice as he sped away from Strom at the start of
the Fall Brawl finale. The two separated themselves from Dorn and Hayek and it was obvious, the race was going to be a “Fall Brawl” from start
to finish to see which driver could win their third race in this event. As Lack slightly stretched his lead, Strom got involved in a crash and
had to pit to fix body damage. By the time the halfway break came, Lack had built up a comfortable three lap lead on the big track. Pitstops also went Lack’s
way as he made a quick ten second stop to refuel and change tires. Bad luck continued to pile up on Strom as he had a lengthy pitstop that
started out with him running over a crew member entering the pit. A five second stop and go penalty for that infraction caused Strom to lose
more time and distance to the leader. Dorn stopped for 15 seconds with slight tire changing issues and continued back into the race in the third position.
Hayek came in for his pitstop….. and then the entire race changed. While his Super High Intensity Team teammate came in for that pitstop,
six time Series champion Lack inexplicitly went flying off the track and out of the race while leading. Lack lost control and rolled his ride
across the track, across the next section of the track and off the table through an area that was unprotected by track walls. Lack’s complaints
and protests about the missing safety protection for the drivers were not heard (or cared about) by the track owner and hometown hero, Strom,
because he was too busy taking the lead in the race. After that bit of drama, Strom cruised to an easy victory, the twelfth of his career, with Dorn and
Hayek taking the second and third places on the podium.
Strom will take his early lead in the point standings to the 10th annual West Bend Grand Prix at the Lack Track in West Bend on October 8th.
Hayek is the defending champion of the race and Lack has four wins in the nine previous runnings.
The Choco Taco Fall Brawl Fast Facts
Race date: Thursday, Sep 24
Track: Road Course at Badger Raceway, 3.25 mile natural-terrain road course
Race distance: 20 minutes
IndySlotCar Website: indyslotcar.com
2019 race winner: Mike Lack (#1 Angry Squirrel Speedsport Dallara-Honda)
2019 Firestone P1 Award winner: Matt Hayek (#15 Alter Ego Racing Dallara-Honda)
One-lap qualifying record: Mark Walczak, 4.397 seconds, 2013
Race record: Mike Lack, 238 laps, 2019
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
7:20 – Qualifying for the Firestone P1 Award (group qualifying/ fastest single lap)
7:45 – Heat races
8:30 – Fall Brawl
· There have been four runnings of the Fall Brawl, but only two winners, hometown hero Dean Strom and Mike Lack.
· Dan Margetta holds the championship points lead after his win at the Mini-Mile, could this be the season he holds that lead after all 16 rounds?
· Pete Dorn’s pole at the Trokan Cup 500 moved him into a tie for 20th on the all-time list with two, equaling Chris Spehert and Phil Marich.
· Bill Black has moved into 23rd place on the all-time Laps list, with 10,026 turns.
· Steve Rist’s tenth start moved him into 34th on the all-time list, ahead of Alex Hayek and Lori St. James.
FALL BRAWL HISTORY (4 EVENTS):
Date Race Winner Event Name
9/19/2013 Mike Lack Ricardo’s Pizza presents the Badger Raceway Fall Brawl
9/17/2015 Dean Strom Fall Brawl presented by UFC
9/20/2018 Dean Strom Choco Taco Fall Brawl
9/29/2019 Mike Lack Choco Taco Fall Brawl