2022-23 Round 11

Corvette Connection Grand Prix - Corevette Connection Raceway - Butler, WI

February 2, 2023

Round 11 of 17

2023 Corvette Connection Grand Prix

Heitz Tops Contenders At CCR With Second Win Of The Season 

Butler, WI – Joe Heitz won his second race of the season and tightened up the IndySlotCar Series point standings in the process. Winning at Corevette Connection Raceway, the Michael Shank-It Racing driver kept the Corvette Connection Grand Prix trophy in the team’s clutches backing up teammate Mike Kristof’s win in the inaugural event last season.

Bill Black opened the racing action by winning the pole for the second race in a row this season and bested his pole win at CCR last season with a new track record lap of 7.28 seconds in his CBD Racing Daboiler-Chevrolet. The repaving of the track in the off-season proved to be successful with Black’s time .753 seconds quicker than his pole run last season. Seven of the twelve drivers outpaced last year’s pole run. Heitz captured the second position with a lap .192 seconds off Black’s run. Point leader John Wiedemann lapped the track third quickest with Squirrel Shagged Enterprises Dean Strom fourth and Cheap Ganassi Racing’s Dan Margetta fifth.

Heat races were determined by a random lineup, the first heat had defending race winner Mike Kristof, Angry Squirrel Speedsport's Matt Hayek, PenskeHO Racing's Ev Kamikawa and Dan Margetta. Margetta led early and often going from green to checkers with the lead and the win to put himself into the final for the second race in a row. Hayek struggled early but found his pace in the second half, unfortunately, he came up four laps short to Kamikawa while Kristof finished off the race by finishing off a beer, finishing dead last on the night, going from the penthouse to the outhouse at this event.

Heat two pitted the Squirrel Shagged Enterprises drivers Strom and Steve Rist against the Angry Squirrel Speedsport drivers Mike Lack and Wiedemann. The Angry drivers exchanged the lead in the first half with Wiedemann struggling to keep the pin in and Lack on point at the end of the first half. Rist was two laps behind the Shaggers with his teammate back a bit further. In the second half, issues for Lack opened the door for Wiedemann to take the lead and get to the finish first. Lack was able to take the provisional transfer away from Kamikawa by two laps and the Shagged boys of Rist and Strom finishing ninth and tenth respectively for the night.

Championship contenders Heitz and Black faced off in the final heat with CBD Racing's Pete Dorn and Brad Core trying to steal the spotlight. Heitz was on the throttle immediately and led from start to finish, to make his eighth appearance in a final in the ten events he's started. The rest of the CBD team tried to keep pace and Black was the closest, ending up two laps back at the finish but taking the transfer position away from Lack to get a spot in the final. Core had a strong showing to seventh for the hometown crowd while the winner of the last race, Dorn wrapped up the race in 11th.

Leaving no doubt that this is now a Michael Shank-It Racing track, Joe Heitz was really never challenged in the final. Running the preferred lane in the first half, Heitz sped to the lead by three laps over Wiedemann at the halfway break with Black struggling another six laps behind second place and Margetta four laps more behind in fourth. The second half wasn’t much different. Any chance Wiedemann thought he had was erased when the other drivers had solid pit stops but a 20 second stop coupled with a stall on pit lane and then an unimaginable infraction for speeding in pit lane had the point leader back in the pits for a five-second stop-and-go penalty. Wiedemann was able to get back to pace and set the quickest lap of the race, but he still finished five laps behind winner Heitz when time ran out. The rest of the order remained unchanged as well with Black holding off Margetta by two laps to finish in the third position.

Heitz’s victory made him the second multiple-race winner this season with 11 of 17 races now in the books. The #06 Daboierl-Honda pilot was also able to close the points gap to just two behind second-place Black. Wiedemann maintains his lead in the standings by 38 points over Black. Lack with his second fifth-place finish in a row holds down fourth place in the points, 40 behind Heitz. Hayek is 36 points back in fifth place.

A quick turnaround has the IndySlotCar Series drivers, teams and haulers on the road again next week on February 9th in the Rapids Grand Prix at Rapids International Raceway in Milwaukee. Heitz is the defending champion of the only street course on the schedule with Margetta the polesitter last season.


Corvette Connection Grand Prix Fast Facts

Race date: Thursday, Feb 2


Track: Corevette Connection Raceway, 5.5 mile road course in Butler, WI


Race distance:  20 minutes

Twitter:  @indyslotcar

IndySlotCar Website: indyslotcar.com

2022 race winner: Mike Kristof (No. 60 Michael Shank-It Racing Honda-Daboiler)


2022 Firestone P1 Award winner: Bill Black (No. 7 CBD Racing Chevrolet-Daboiler)

One-lap qualifying record: Bill Black, 8.033 seconds, 2022


Race record: Mike Kristof, 121 laps, 2022

YouTube Broadcast: IndySlotCar Channel


At-track schedule (all times local):

6:00 – Gates open

6:30 – Driver introductions

7:00 – IndySlotCar Series Practice

7:40 – Qualifying for the Firestone P1 Award (group qualifying/ fastest single lap)

8:15 – Heat Races

9:00 – Corvette Connection Grand Prix (20 minutes)


Race Notes:

·         For the second running of the Corvette Connection Grand Prix, Corevette Connection Raceway management has done major repaving on sections of the track along with other improvements around the circuit.

·         A phrase rarely written about any event: Mike Kristof is the defending race winner of the Corvette Connection Grand Prix, the veteran driver took his sixth career victory as Michael Shank-It Racing chalked up back to back wins last season, following on the heels of teammate Joe Heitz’s win at Rapids.

·         Pete Dorn became the eighth different winner of the 22-23 season two weeks ago at the Quarryfest Deslotmania, this matches the 20-21 season total, but there are still seven events left on the calendar. The record is ten.

·         John Wiedemann widened his Husarsbilt Cup championship lead with a second place finish at Quarry Heights and Bill Black finishing ninth, the gap is now 33 points, Joe Heitz moved into third, 50 markers in arears of Wiedemann.

·         STATS WATCH: Pete Dorn’s win was the second of his career, that pulls him even with Arnie Lueders and Pat Jarvis 25th all-time. Bill Black’s pole position is his sixth, tied with Joe Heitz and Chad Sorce for 16th. John Wiedemann’s heat win was his 79th, equaling founder and Hall of Famer Phil Cianciola for fourth on the all-time list. Joe Heitz moved up to 22nd and 21st on the Heat Wins and Finals appearance list respectively, with 14 and 19. Pete Dorn moves to 19th on the all-time laps turned list. Bill Black ties John Shea’s starts total of 103, 20th on the all-time list.


Date                   Race Winner

2/1/2023           Mike Kristof