2021-22 Round 16
HO Indy 500 - South Shore Superspeedway - Saint Francis, WI
April 16, 2022
Round 16 of 16
Strom Drinks Milk, Clinches Cup
Saint Francis, WI - In dramatic fashion, Dean Strom won his first HO Indy 500 and clinched his first Husarsbilt Cup championship.
The battle has been going on all season long, mostly with Strom chasing seven time IndySlotCar series champion for the point standings lead. A breakthrough happened at the Shrine Cup race where Strom was able to take the lead away from Lack when Lack was unable to attend the race. Strom went into the 29th annual HO Indy 500, the final race of the season, with a 15 point lead. With the HO Indy 500 paying double points, that lead wasn’t very comfortable.
Qualifying fired up the drama with ten drivers aiming for the eight spots available to try to race into the 500. Once all drivers had a run with their primary cars, Steve Rist had scored the pole and CBD teammates Pete Dorn and Brad Core were the two drivers on the outside looking in. Rist, the Squirrel Shagged Enterprises teammate to Strom, ran his four laps just a tenth of a second quicker that Matt Hayek’s four lap total to grab his first Indy 500 pole. Followed by Hayek were his Angry Squirrel Speedsport teammate Lack, veteran Dan Margetta and then Strom in fifth. Mike Kristof was on the bubble in eighth.
Bumping began as John Wiedemann was unhappy with his ride and started to search for a better one. The big bump took place when Core took Margetta’s back up car to the track and ran the fifth quickest four lap run. Wiedemann went through his backup, Rist’s backup and then Dean’s backup to finally push his way to seventh. At the end, when no “available” backups were left, Kristof and Dorn ended up in ninth and tenth respectively.
The first heat had Hayek, Lack, Bill Black and Margetta racing for two spots in the 500. Hayek and Lack took control early and cruised their way into the 500. Heat two had Rist, Strom, Core and Wiedemann. While Strom cruised to the win, Rist seemed to have the second place spot wrapped up. But, a strong run by Core in the second half had Rist worried. In the end, it was Rist taking the second transfer spot to the 500 by just a single lap over Core.
The 500 turned into a battle for the championship and a battle between the top teams in the IndySlotCar series, Squirrel Shagged Enterprises and Angry Squirrel Speedsport. The teammates chose their starting lanes for the race with the championship battle in mind with Rist deferring to Strom and Hayek deferring to Lack. When the green flag flew, it was Rist in the lead from the inside lane and Hayek close behind. Hayek would take his turn at the front as well as the race went on as would Strom, but Lack remained in fourth after starting in the first half in the most difficult lanes. After halfway, Lack started to make his move, as did his championship rival Strom. Entering the final 250 laps of the race, Strom had the lead with Lack in second. With Lack in the second groove and Strom outside of him in the third lane, the chase was on. Lack pushed for all his worth and continued to speed past Strom to get his laps back. But Strom had the steady steely pace and a final spin by Lack with under ten laps to go sealed the deal. Strom took the checkers by two laps over Lack to win his first HO Indy 500 race and his first season championship in the IndySlotCar series. Hayek captured third and Rist finished fourth for the second 500 in a row.
With Hayek’s third place run, he captured the Foyt/Mears Award season oval championship.
Black finished fifth overall and third place in the season championship. Kristof was fourth overall for the season and Wiedemann was fifth in the point standings.
Following the summer break, the IndySlotCar drivers will return for the 30th season of the series kicking off with the Troken Cup 500 on September 8th.
HO Indy 500 fast facts
Race date: Saturday, Apr 16
Track: South Shore Superspeedway, 2.5 mile oval
Race distance: 1000 laps
Entry List: HO Indy 500
IndySlotCar Website: indyslotcar.com
2021 race winner: John Wiedemann (No. 1 Super High Intensity Team)
2021 Firestone P1 Award winner: Mike Kristof (No. 60 Michael Shank-It Racing), 7.987 seconds
Qualifying record: Mike Kristof, 7.987 seconds, 2021, Single Lap: Mike Kristof, 1.950 seconds, 2020
Race record: Mike Fitzlaff, 40 minutes, 26 seconds, 2018
YouTube Broadcast: IndySlotCar Channel
At-track schedule (all times local):
4:00 – Gates open
4:30 – Chassis distribution/Drivers meeting
4:35 – IndySlotCar Series Practice
5:00 – Qualifying for the Firestone P1 Award (single car, four lap total time qualifying in blue lane)
6:45 – Heat Races
7:15 – 29th running of the HO Indy 500
· Entering the final race of the season, Dean Strom leads Mike Lack by 15 points in the Husarsbilt Cup championship, with double points for the race and up to nine points for qualifying there are any number of combinations that could allow either Strom or Lack to take the championship.
· Bill Black’s win at the Shrine Cup has pushed him three points ahead of Mike Kristof in the fight for third place overall.
· John Wiedemann is the two-time defending HO Indy 500 winner, last year joining Matt Hayek as a back-to-winner and becoming just the second four-time winner of the 500, it is Wiedemann’s most recent win.
· Matt Hayek holds the lead in the Oval championship, 18 points ahead of Bill Black, 20 up on Joe Heitz.
· The Pole-to-Win prize fund is expected to go to 112,000 IndySlotCar bucks at the 500, the largest ever.
· STATS WATCH: Bill Black’s win at the Shrine Cup is the third of his career, moving to a tie for 20th with Joe Heitz, Tom Spehert and John Baas. Mike Kristof’s pole position was his 16th equaling Mike Fitzlaff for 11th all-time. John Wiedemann’s 74th heat win moves him into fifth on the all-time list. Brad Core and Hiro Kamikawa have moved to 32nd and 40th respectively in laps, while Joe Heitz, Core and Hiro have moved to 28th, 32nd and 41st in starts. Kristof’s DNF from the final of the Shrine Cup was the 67th of his career moving into a tie for second all-time with Ev Kamikawa.
HO INDY 500 HISTORY (28 events, 1994 - Present)
Date Race Winner Track
5/19/1994 Phil Cianciola Shrine Road Course
5/18/1995 John Shea Edgewood “The Edge” Superspeedway
5/18/1996 Dave Austin
4/26/1997 Ev Kamikawa
4/18/1998 Jim Kaehny
4/17/1999 Phil Marich
4/15/2000 Phil Cianciola
4/21/2001 Jim Kaehny
4/12/2002 Ev Kamikawa
4/13/2003 Larry Rotter
4/17/2004 Chris Spehert
4/9/2005 Dan Margetta
4/18/2006 Ev Kamikawa South Shore Superspeedway
4/14/2007 Jim Iverson
4/12/2008 Mark Walczak
4/18/2009 Chris Spehert
4/10/2010 Matt Hayek
4/9/2011 Matt Hayek
4/14/2012 Ev Kamikawa
4/13/2013 Mike Fitzlaff
4/5/2014 John Wiedemann
4/11/2015 Mike Kristof
4/9/2016 John Wiedemann
4/8/2017 Mike Lack
4/7/2018 Mike Fitzlaff
4/13/2019 Mike Lack
6/12/2020 John Wiedemann
4/17/2021 John Wiedemann
Most Wins – 4- John Wiedemann, Ev Kamikawa; 2-Mike Lack, Mike Fitzlaff, Matt Hayek, Chris Spehert, Jim Kaehny, Phil Cianciola