2021-22 Round 15
The Shrine Cup - Shrine Desert Road Course - Wauwatosa, WI
March 30, 2022
Round 15 of 16
Black Returns To Victory Lane In Tosa
Wauwatosa, WI – Bill Black has won three times in his IndySlotCar Series career, the last two coming on tracks in Wauwatosa, including a dominant performance at the Shrine Desert Road Course where he took The Shrine Cup.
The night started with hometown hero Mike Kristof ripping off a near track-record qualifying lap of 4.197 second, just 4-hundredths off Mike Lack's record mark from 2020. Starting next to him on the front row was championship contender Dean Strom, followed by Black's #7 CBD Racing Chevrolet-Daboiler, Angry Squirrel Speedsport's Matt Hayek qualified fourth ahead of his teammate John Wiedemann, the third member of that team, and defending race winner Mike Lack was unable to participate.
The opening heat race saw the two A.S.S.es battle for the heat win throughout and late in the race it looked like Hayek's #28 DHL sponsored Honda-Daboiler had the win, but a late crash in the Hugh Downs section allowed Wiedemann to get by and with little time left, he held on to advance to the final. Hayek would hold the transfer spot for the moment. Ev Kamikawa would struggle with handling throughout.
The second heat was a mixed bag as Dan Margetta took an early lead, trading the lead with CBD Racing's Pete Dorn, while Joe Heitz stayed in the mix and part-time racer Hiro Kamikawa, tried to stay clean on the track. As the heat moved to the second half the #48 MisFitz Motorsports Honda-Daboiler of Margetta faded while the Michael Shank-It Racing #06 of Heitz made a push toward the front, but it wasn't enough as Dorn put the #5 in the final, Heitz would have to sit and wait to see if his lap total held up for the transfer. Margetta finished seventh on the night, the fast heat pushed Hayek down to ninth, Hiro would settle for tenth, but one position ahead of his teammate-father.
Three of the fastest qualifiers were grouped together in the third heat, Kristof and Black were fighting it out for the lead while two Squirrel Shagged Enterprises drivers would find the speed and sharp turns of the Shrine track challenging, Strom in the #1 SSE car had a big opportunity to grab the Husarsbilt Cup championship lead with Lack's absence, but the car would not turn well leaving him a distant third in the heat and finishing sixth on the night, while his SSE teammate Rist was not far behind, but with the championship in mind, the #4 Chevrolet-Daboiler stayed behind for an eighth-place result. Meanwhile, Black opened up a lead in the second half that Kristof could not overcome, then the goal became taking the transfer spot away from his MSR teammate. Kristof needed to keep pace with Black in their battle for third place in the championship. With just a few seconds left Kristof would get by Heitz, leaving his teammate rather miffed.
The final started with another spirited battle between Black and Kristof, but again, the CBD Racing #7 Chevrolet-Daboiler was just too quick for Kristof, while Black's CBD Racing teammate Dorn and Angry Squirrel Speedsport's Wiedemann fought for third place. Into the second half Black continued to build his lead over Kristof, who decided to make a bone-headed hail-mary of a move on turn five and tried to ride the guard rails, but the gap toward Hugh Downs was too large and suddenly the #60 Michael Shank-It Honda-Daboiler became a rocket, attempting to go into orbit, as the car crashed out of the race for a fourth place finish. Black would not be challenged, but the battle for what was now second place remained tight right to the checkered flag as CBD Racing would pull off their first-ever one-two finish, Dorn less than a lap ahead of Wiedemann. Wiedemann's final four, gives him the most of any driver this season with nine.
The Husarsbilt Cup championship and the tight battle for third place will be decided at the HO Indy 500 at South Shore Superspeedway. Dean Strom brings a 15-point lead over Mike Lack, while Bill Black is just three points ahead of Mike Kristof and 23 ahead of John Wiedemann. There are points battles all down the order, Pete Dorn is just 16 markers up on Matt Hayek for sixth, it wasn't that long ago that Hayek was 12th in the standings. Brad Core is just one point ahead of Joe Heitz for ninth and Dan Margetta sits ten back of Heitz. With double points for the race and up to nine points available for qualifying, it's all up for grabs at the 2021-22 season finale.