2021-22 Round 10

Rapids Grand Prix - Streets of Rapids - Milwaukee, WI

January 27, 2022

Round 10 of 16

2021 Rapids Grand Prix

Shocker! Michael Shank-It 1-2

Milwaukee, WI – What started out looking like it would be another record-extending victory at Rapids International by Mike Lack wound up being an unfathomable one-two finish by Michael Shank-It Racing led by Joe Heitz for his second career victory at the Rapids Grand Prix.

The eleventh round of the 2021-22 IndySlotCar Series season started with a surprise in qualifying as Dan Margetta scored his first pole position in over a year and Heitz starting alongside in the front row.

Dean Strom would start from the second row well ahead of his Husarsbilt Cup championship rival Mike Lack, back in the sixth spot, and had to battle hometown hero Ev Kamikawa in the opening heat race with the pole-sitting #48 MisFitz Motorsports Chevrolet-Daboiler of Margetta. Margetta had speed for a single lap, he had mechanical problems that kept him from challenging the other two for the heat, losing the nose of the car and struggling with downforce and handling issues. Strom opened up a lead of a couple of laps, but Kamikawa's #12 PenskeHO Chevy-Daboiler would not go away and the lead was shrinking as the clock ran out. Strom moved on to the final while Kamikawa would settle for fifth on the night and Margetta seventh. allowing the pole-to-win prize fund to roll over to the next round.

Mike Lack did what Mike Lack does and took a solid lead in the second heat and was rarely challenged, the drama was for the second spot and the transfer position. The #06 Michael Shank-It Honda-Daboiler of Heitz and #28 Angry Squirrel Speedsport Honda-Daboiler of Matt Hayek were in a good battle halfway through the hear when the #28 DHL car went flying off the track ending Hayek's race with his first DNF of the season winding up tenth. Meanwhile, Heitz was on a mission to pass the lap total of Kamikawa for the transfer spot, which, with about 20 seconds left in the race he did.

The third heat was the most competitive of the night, with the three CBD Racing teammates taking on the second MSR car, Mike Kristof in the #60 SiriusXM Honda-Daboiler. Bill Black's #7 and Pete Dorn's #5 were quickest in the first half, although second-year driver Brad Core in the #86 did lead a couple of laps early on. In the second half, the CBD started to wear off and Kristof started closing in on Dorn and Black, while they struggled with handling the #60 kept turning consistent and quick laps, eventually overtaking Dorn's #7 Vuse-Arrow Chevrolet-Daboiler and tracking down Black's #5 Arrow Chevy-Daboiler with about a minute left and held on for his second final four appearance of the season.

It was the first time this new pairing of Kristof and Heitz for Michael Shank-It Racing both lined up in the final together. Expectations going in were modest as they took on the top in the championship, Lack and Strom. However, as the race got underway, while Lack's #28 Angry Squirrel Speedsport Honda-Daboiler took his usual position up front, it was Heitz's #06 that race second with Strom's #1 Squirrel Shagged Enterprises Chevrolet-Daboiler back in third, Kristof did the best he could in the tight green lane. Late in the first half Heitz complained that the SiriusXM car was down on power, even making a short pit stop for adjustments and just as the clock ticked down to halfway Strom got by for second place, but, this was not noticed until after the event was over.

Pit stop order being determined by how the cars finished the first half, allowed Lack and Heitz to pit without an issue, Strom was not so lucky, the car would not refire coming out of the pits ending the #1 cars race relegating the championship contender to fourth place. While the media was talking to the dejected Strom, a roar from the crowd stole their attention, one of the most dramatic turn of events of the season found Lack's NAPA #28 had left the track and crashed out, leaving only the two MSR cars to finish the Rapids Grand Prix. There was no contest between Heitz and Kristof, Heitz was ahead by double-digit laps, in fact, Kristof had to make sure he kept his composure and made enough laps to pass Lack's total to guarantee a second-place finish, the most dramatic part of the last minute was getting the two cars into formation for a PR photo at the finish.

It was Heitz's second career victory, after the win at the Christmas Classic in 2019 and Kristof equaled his best finish of the season back at the West Bend GP in October. The championship lead was extended by just three points from Lack to Strom, the difference between third and fourth, Lack now 26 points up with six events left on the schedule including the new to the schedule Corvette Grand Prix at Corevette Connection Raceway in two weeks.

[Editor's note] Following the conclusion of the Rapids Grand Prix, Squirrel Shagged Enterprises on behalf of their entrant Dean Strom's #1 ABC Supply Chevrolet-Daboiler filed a protest with the IndySlotCar Series under Section 4, Part J of the rule book. SSE contended that the Race Director brought the cars in for their pit stops in the wrong order. Even though both the #1 and the #06 Michael Shank-It Racing Honda-Daboiler were on the same lap at the end of the first half, Strom's car was ahead of the Heitz's, therefore, Strom should have pitted second and Heitz third, this would have allowed Strom to finish the race and Heitz receive the so-called "Death card". IndySlotCar series' officials determined there was no recourse possible to the protest and the race results are considered official as posted.


Rapids Grand Prix Fast Facts

Race date: Thursday, Jan 27

Track: Rapids International, 2.3 mile street course in Rapids

Race distance: 20 minutes

Twitter: @indyslotcar

IndySlotCar Website: indyslotcar.com

2021 race winner: Mike Lack (No. 9 Super High Intensity Team)

2021 Firestone P1 Award winner: Mike Lack (No. 9 Super High Intensity Team)

One-lap qualifying record: Mike Lack, 5.398 seconds, 2020

Race record: Mike Lack, 188 laps, 2020

YouTube Broadcast: IndySlotCar Channel

At-track schedule (all times local):

6:00 – Gates open

6:30 – Driver introductions

7:00 – Drivers’ meeting/chassis distribution

7:05 – 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:

● Mike Lack has won the last three Rapids Grands Prix and five of the last seven. Lack’s win last season makes him the winningest driver in IndySlotCar on the streets of Rapids with six.

● Lack is coming off a win at Raven Raceway, his fourth of the season, holding a 23 point lead over Dean Strom.

● After eight events in the first half of the season, six different drivers have won a race, five different drivers have pole positions.

● STAT NOTES: Dam Margetta’s appearance in the final four at the Raven 250 was the 200th final of his career, extending his series record. Mike Lack has 204 starts moving ahead of Mike Fitzlaff and Larry Rotter to solo sixth place all-time. Dean Strom moves further up the top ten in starts with his 192nd at Raven, now ninth ahead of Chris Spehert. Steve Rist has moved up to 28th all-time with his 33rd start, the DNF was his sixth, equaling Chad Sorce at 26th, Brad Core moves to 34th with his 14th start. Brian Miller’s one off effort makes him the 57th driver to make a start in IndySlotCar Series history.

RAPIDS GRAND PRIX HISTORY (22 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

2/20/2020 Mike Lack Rapids Grand Prix

1/7/2021 Mike Lack Rapids Grand Prix

Most Wins: Mike Lack-6; Mark Walczak-5; Ev Kamikawa-3; John Wiedemann, Dave Austin-2