2021-22 Round 3

West Bend Grand Prix - Lack Track - West Bend, WI

October 7, 2021

Round 3 of 16

2021 West Bend Grand Prix

Strom Storms Back To WBGP Checkers

West Bend, WI – Until about 30 seconds left in the West Bend Grand Prix, it appeared there would be a third different winner for the third race of the 21-22 IndySlotCar season, however Mike Kristof's late crash while leading allowed Dean Strom to retake the lead and score his second win in a row at the Lack Track.

The night began with Strom scoring his first Firestone P1 Award of the season with Bill Black again qualifying in the top three in each of the first three races.

Heat races grouped the drivers and cars by qualifying speed, with the three slowest qualifiers running in the first heat, Pete Dorn quickly developed problems when he hit the wall and broke a spring, the CBD Racing crew went to work on the car while Mike Kristof zoomed out to the lead and Matt Hayek struggled with a lack of power in his #28 Angry Squirrel Speedsport Honda-Daboiler. CBD Racing would get the #7 back out on track but many laps down and Dorn would finish eleventh on the night, Hayek only managed nine more laps that Dorn and wound up tenth. Kristof's #60 Honda-Daboiler cruised to an easy heat victory to advance to the final.

The second heat saw the two other Angry Squirrel Speedsport drivers, points leader John Wiedemann and Mike Lack line up with the #86 of Brad Core and the second Michael Shank-It Racing #06 of Joe Heitz. The Lack Track crowd was shocked to watch Brad Core's CBD Racing Chevrolet-Daboiler move out to the lead, the first time the second year driver had led a heat race, Core would hold onto the point into the second half, that's when the A.S.S. drivers moved out front with Wiedemann taking the lead and Lack chasing, while Heitz attempted to get past Core, but in the end, Wiedemann's #29 Honda-Daboiler would take the win and Lack moved into the transfer spot, but a pleased Core held off Heitz and the two would finish fifth and sixth respectively for the event.

In the final heat the fastest four qualifiers faced off and the pole sitter Dean Strom of Squirrel Shagged Racing streaked off to the lead while is teammate Steve Rist in the #4 Chevy-Daboiler, Ev Kamikawa in the PenskeHO Racing #12 and Bill Black in the third CBD Racing entry gave chase. Black would move to second place ahead of Kamikawa, while Rist, who won the Halloween race on the Lack Track last season, struggled with handling finished ninth. Strom's #1 car would take the win with Black coming just shy of the transfer position lap total set by Lack in the earlier heat for a seventh place finish a lap ahead of Kamikawa in eighth.

The final featured two drivers who have dominated the West Bend Grand Prix, Lack with four previous victories and Wiedemann with three, Strom has made regular appearances in the final, but Kristof never had. Early on in the 20 minute contest it looked like it was again going to be Lack hoisting the Duck trophy, but Strom stayed within striking distance and Kristof wasn't going away, while Wiedemann struggled in the outside red lane. All four drivers had solid, if unspectacular pitstops and Strom's lead continued to build, but with about three minutes left Kristof's #60 Michael Shank-It Honda-Daboiler worked his way past the defending Husarsbilt Cup champion on his home track and set his sights on Strom at the lead. With just more than a minute left Strom stuggled with handling and Kristof moved to the lead and appeared to be opeing up a gap, but, as the clock went below 30 seconds left in the contest Kristof made a mistake in the quick right-left combo of turns before the pit straight, crashing and Strom was collected in the melee but the Squirrel Shagged Enterprises #1 car was underway before the 60 and with too little time to catch Strom, Kristof would finish on the lead lap but have to be satifisfied with second, his best finish of the season. Meanwhile, Lack would finish on the podium three laps back and Wiedemann was closing on third place, but ran out of time.

Strom's second win in a row makes this the fourth multi-win season of his career and moves him ahead of Wiedemann for the Husarsbilt Cup championship by 16 points. Kristof was not only the Biggest Mover of the night with the charge from ninth to second, but zooms from tenth in the championship to fifth, just five points behind his fourth place Michael Shank-It Racing teammate Joe Heitz. The WBGP was Lack's first final of the season after two fifth place finishes holding a solid third in the champioship sitting 13 points behind his Angry Squirrel Speedsport teammate JW.

The series returns to a track it hasn't seen in two full years, Quarry Heights Raceway, after Covid restrictions kept the track off the end of the 19-20 season and both events of the 20-21 calendar it will be good to return to the traditional home of the Halloween Havoc in two weeks.

West Bend Grand Prix Fast Facts

Race date: Thursday, Oct 7

Track: Lack Track, 1.8 mile road course in West Bend, WI

Race distance: 20 minutes

IndySlotCar Website: indyslotcar.com

2020 race winner: Matt Hayek (No. 10 Super High Intensity Team)

2020 Firestone P1 Award winner: Dean Strom (No. 14 Squirrel Shagged Enterprises)

One-lap qualifying record: John Wiedemann, 3.791 seconds, 2018

Race record: John Wiedemann, 261 laps, 2018

YouTube Broadcast: IndySlotCar Channel

At-track schedule (all times local):

6:00 – Gates open

6:30 – Driver introductions

7:00 – Drivers Meeting/ Chassis distribution

7:10 – IndySlotCar Series Practice

7:30 – Qualifying for the Firestone P1 Award (group qualifying/ fastest single lap)

7:50 – Heat races

8:30 – West Bend Grand Prix (20 minutes)

Race Notes:

· Matt Hayek has won the last two West Bend GPs

· Three of Angry Squirrel Speedsport’s drivers account for nine of the ten victories at the WBGP.

· A.S.S.’s John Wiedemann is the only driver to appear in both finals this season, the #29 driver takes the Husarsbilt Cup points lead into round three by three points over Dean Strom.

· Dean Strom’s win at the Fall Brawl was his 14th career victory moving him into 13th on the all-time wins list.

· Strom has now had 185 starts in his career (no cake) and with Matt Hayek missing the Fall Brawl, Strom moves into solo tenth on the all-time starts list and moves into 13th on the laps totem passing previous race winner Chris Spehert.

· Pete Dorn’s heat win pulls him into a tie with Amy Butler and Chad Sorce with 15, 19th in the all-time standings and breaks his tie with John Baas for 21st in all-time finals with 18.

· Speaking of Amy Butler, her first start in two years at the Fall Brawl was the 156th of her career, equaling Hall of Famer Jim Kaehny’s total, they are tied at 13th all-time.

· Steve Rist moves ahead of Ned Wicker on the laps tally with 5,054, good for 26th.

· Brad Core’s seventh career start equals Dick “Bluskovsky” Alpert’s total of seven, 37th on the all-time list.

LACK TRACK HISTORY (10 events, 2011 - Present)

Date Race Winner

10/8/2011 Ev Kamikawa

10/13/2012 Mike Lack

9/28/2013 John Wiedemann

10/4/2014 Mike Lack

10/1/2015 Mike Lack

9/29/2016 John Wiedemann

9/21/2017 Mike Lack

10/4/2018 John Wiedemann

10/10/2019 Matt Hayek

10/8/2020 Matt Hayek

Multiple wins: Mike Lack – 4, John Wiedemann – 3, Matt Hayek – 2