2021-22 Round 13

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

March 3, 2022

Round 13 of 16

2022 Larry Rotter Memorial Grand Prix

Strom Tightens Points Race With Turtle Creek Win

Menomonee Falls, WI – There was controversy, there was a bit of chaos, there was no Carnage, but some calamity, even a claim of collusion and conspiracy. Oh yeah, there also were cookies. And through all of that, there was Dean Strom driving to his fourth IndySlotCar Series victory of the season in the Larry Rotter Memorial Grand Prix at Turtle Creek Park Raceway lopping twenty points off of Mike Lack’s Husarsbilt Cup championship lead.

Lack went out early in the first qualifying group promptly setting the lap to beat at 3.338 seconds. The next group was led by Strom who got close but was short by 32 thousandths of a second and had to settle for the outside of the front row. Matt Hayek was about a tenth slower than his Angry Squirrel Speedsport teammate, Lack, and qualified third. The third member of A.S.S. and defending race winner John Wiedemann was 6 hundredths of a second behind Hayek and qualified fourth with Mike Kristof three tenths back in fifth. Lack’s pole win was the third of the season and the 46th of his career, just two behind second place all-time, Phil Cianciola, six behind leader Dan Margetta.

After a randomly generated Heat race lineup, the first group hit the track with Lack and Hayek taking on CBD Racing teammates Brad Core and Pete Dorn. Lack quickly put distance between himself and the field on his way to leading by eight laps over Hayek at the halfway point. Calamity struck Dorn just a few laps into the second half after a hard shot to the wall damaged his car, he was unable to continue. Meanwhile, Lack stretched out his lead over Hayek to ten laps as the race wound down. Then the unexpected happened. As Lack was driving over the bridge the race ended. But Lack’s ride jumped off the bridge and crashed across the table and off. Race stewards and marshals discussed the issue at length and it was decided that Lack had crashed out of the race and the win was given to Hayek with Core taking the provisional transfer spot. Lack would finish fifth on the night.

The second heat race was a bit calmer as Wiedemann and the third CBD Racing driver Bill Black battled for the lead early. Squirrel Shagged Enterprises' Steve Rist struggled with handling after a crash in practice wrecked his road course body and he was forced to race his oval configuration body. Wiedemann pushed the pace and took over the lead by seven laps over Black at the halfway point on his way to an 11 lap victory when the race ended. Black took over the transfer spot from teammate Core.

The final heat race was a bit of a preview of the final with Michael Shank-It Racing's Mike Kristof battling for the lead with SSE's Strom and PenskeHO Racing's Ev Kamikawa. Kristof led at the halfway break by two laps over Strom. But in the second half, it was Strom setting the pace as he took over the lead and beat Kristof at the finish by two laps. All three members of the heat outpaced the laps set by Black, allowing Kristof took the transfer to the final. The MSR driver claimed flood gates have reopened after slamming shut at Quarry Heights Raceway the week before.

Last year in this race Strom had the lead with under a minute to go when handling issues saw the win slip out of his grasp. Determined not to let that happen again, Strom was hard on the throttle from the word go. Hayek chased him in second with Kristof third and Wiedemann struggling early in the race. As Strom over-paced the field, things were happening in the battle for second place. With minutes to go in the first half, Kristof lost control and crashed off the track, placing him fourth for the event. In the meantime, Wiedemann was chasing down his teammate. Wiedemann was able to take over the second place spot but by the end of the half was ten laps behind Strom.

In the second half, Strom came in for a pit stop and immediately had issues, resulting in a 20 second stop. Wiedemann was in and out with an eight second stop and was able to gain some ground on Strom. With pitstops completed, Strom still had a seven lap lead. From that point on Strom was just on cruise control as Wiedemann pushed his ride for all it was worth and beyond. Strom managed the rest of the race wisely and took the victory, five laps ahead of Wiedemann, his Angry Squirrel Speedsport teammate, Matt Hayek, a solid third, to follow his win last week, returning to form after two forgettable last place finishes previous to these events..

The victory was the 17th of Strom’s IndySlotCar career, tying him for 10th in the all-time standings with former teammate and 2013 Hall of Fame inductee Jim Iverson.

With Strom’s win and Lack’s fifth place finish, the points gap between the two shrunk from 37 to 17 points with three races left in the season. Kristof and Black maintain third and fourth in the standings, but Wiedemann in fifth was able to close to within two points of Black and eleven behind Kristof. Kamikawa moved into tenth place in the standings.

Up next, on March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day, it is also is March Madness for the NCAA and IndySlotCar too. IndySlotCar will be racing in Jackson at the Black Track in March Madness format meaning the drivers will be pitted against each other in a bracket set up by qualifying. The Black Track oval is usually pretty crazy and that will be ramped up for this race. Earlier this season, Matt Hayek was the winner in a final where he battled the entire CBD team of Bill Black, Brad Core and Pete Dorn.


Larry Rotter Memorial Grand Prix fast facts

Race date: Thursday, Mar 3

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

Race distance: 20 minutes

IndySlotCar Website: indyslotcar.com

2021 race winner: John Wiedemann (No. 1 Super High Intensity Team Dallara-Honda)

2021 Firestone P1 Award winner: Dean Strom (No. 14 Squirrel Shagged Enterprises Dallara-Chevrolet)

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:

· After dominating this event for three straight seasons, Mike Lack’s Angry Squirrel Speedsport teammate and hometown favorite scored his second win at the Larry Rotter Memorial GP last year. Without a win this season, “JW” is hoping this is the place to change that.

· The third member of A.S.S., Matt Hayek, scored his second win of the season at last week’s Quarryfest Deslotmania, and allowing the #28 DHL car to leap from 12th in the Husarsbilt Cup championship standings to 7th.

· At the top of the standings, Mike Lack added three points to his lead over Squirrel Shagged Enterprises’ Dean Strom, bringing a 37-point margin into the last four events of the season.

· An intense battle for third in the championship is shaping up, with Mike Kristof holding a slim three-point margin over Bill Black, John Wiedemann just 20 points behind Kristof and Black’s CBD Racing teammate Pete Dorn just one marker behind Wiedemann.

· STAT WATCH: Steve Rist’s final four appearance at Deslotmania was the eighth of his career, moving to 26th on the all-time list. Matt Hayek moves into the top 10 in total laps with 37,113. DNF domination: Mike Lack moves into a tie for seventh on the all time Did Not Finish list, joining Hall of Famers Larry Rotter and Jim Kaehny with 30. Dean Strom is one behind with 29, pulling even with Matt Hayek. Joe Heitz moves to 23rd all-time with 12, while Steve Rist also moves up with his seventh DNF, to 26th.


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

3/4/2021 John Wiedemann Larry Rotter Memorial Grand Prix

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