Butler, WI – The debut of Corevette Connection Raceway served as the setting for the sequel to the last race's shocking result as Michael Shank-It Racing followed up the team's 1-2 finish with another victory, this time Mike Kristof and the #60 SiriusXM car moved up to the top step of the podium after his second place at the Rapids Grand Prix.
The Corevette Connection Raceway was trailered from Illinois to Wisconsin and then hoisted up to the second floor of Corvette Connection in order to join the IndySlotCar Series as the home track to last season’s Rookie of the Year Brad Core – hence the naming of the circuit as COREvette Connection Raceway.
Bill Black, CBD Racing teammate of Core, started off the evening’s festivities by winning qualifying. Black’s third pole of the season edged out Dean Strom by less than a tenth of a second. Points leader Mike Lack was third with Ev Kamikawa and Angry Squirrel Speedsport's #28 pilot, Matt Hayek rounding out the top five.
With the heat lineup set from Worst-to-First qualifying choices, the fast guys all raced together in the first heat. Kristof lead the opening half, but it was Lack taking the win by just over a lap at the finish. Black and Strom's #1 Squirrel Shagged Enterprises Chevrolet-Daboiler battled it out for third, finishing on the same lap. By rule, a tie of laps is broken by qualifying and Black took third based on his pole run.
The second heat featured a redeeming run by Strom's SSE teammate, Steve Rist. In nine previous races this season, Rist had scored a pole but struggled in heat races and had not made a final. After two wins and a fifth-place finish in the standings last season, Rist was looking for more of the same this season. Rist led the first half of the heat by four laps over Dan Margetta's #48 MisFitz Motorsports Honda-Daboiler and survived the difficult red lane in the second half to hold off Margetta and Kamikawa by a lap to take the heat race win and a spot in the final.
The final heat had the third CBD Racing entry of Pete Dorn and the third Angry Squirrel Speedsport car of John Wiedemann battle nose to tail throughout the opening half with Dorn leading at the break. Dorn was sent to the red lane for the second half and Wiedemann, returning from a two-race absence, pounced to take the lead as Dorn fought the challenging lane. Joe Heitz, winner of the race two weeks ago, took over second from Dorn and set his sights on the lead. But, the final was not in the cards this week for the 06 Michael Shank-It entry as Wiedemann held him off by three laps to move on to the final. Kristof’s lap count from heat one put him in the transfer spot, as none of the other drivers were able to get within four laps of his total.
It looked like Lack was on his way to a fifth win of the season and padding his points lead immensely in the first half of the final with Kristof was two laps back, Rist was another five laps back and Wiedemann was struggling in the red lane. The “struggling in red” theme proved to be the dagger for Lack as that was the lane he was sent to in the second half. Not only was the lane difficult to drive but during the pit stop, Lack was delt a thirty-second stop for wing damage (which actually was true) plus a stop and go penalty. Add all of those together with the rest of the field getting quick stops and the running order changed quickly after pit stops were completed. Kristof assumed the lead and Lack fell back to third behind Rist. Kristof would still have to work hard as Rist was turning the quickest laps of the race and made up three laps on the leader. Kristof would hold on for the win and Rist would get the best finish of the season. A.S.S. teammates Lack and Wiedemann finished third and fourth respectively. Michael Shank-It's back-to-back victories are the only ones by a team that doesn't have Squirrel in their name this season.
With the victory, Kristof jumped up to third place in the Husarsbilt Cup championship standings behind leader Lack and second place Strom. Lack gained a few points to now lead Strom by 34. Bill Black fell back to fourth, fifteen behind Kristof and Wiedemann returned to the top five, six points behind Black.
Up next is Round 12 of the 2021-2022 season, the always popular (with who, I don’t know) Quarryfest Deslotmania at Quarry Heights Raceway on Thursday, February 24th. After a one year absence (which was fine) the series returns to the race where, in 2020 five of the eleven racers did not finish due to deslots and two of the four finalists desloted out. Matt Hayek is the defending champion (maybe he likes this race since it is his track) with a race record number of laps run in 2020.