2022-23 Round 16

The Shrine Cup - Shrine Desert Road Course - Wauwatosa, WI

March 30, 2023

Round 16 of 17

2023 Shrine Cup

Black Repeats Shrine Victory To Remain In Championship Fight

Wauwatosa, WI – Trying to stay in the Husarsbilt Cup championship conversation, Bill Black did all he could to have a say at the season-ending HO Indy 500 by winning the penultimate round of the 2022-23 season at the Shrine Desert Road Course, taking home the Shrine Cup for the second year in a row. Unfortunately, the two drivers ahead of the CBD Racing #7 pilot in the standings finished right behind him, John Wiedemann in second and Joe Heitz, third, allowing only a 14-point reduction in the gap to Heitz to 64. With double points on offer at the 500, there's still a mathematical chance to take the championship.

Coming in as the defending champion of the Shrine Cup was a confidence builder for Black and it showed immediately in qualifying as he ran a blistering lap in his session to try to get the pole.  Unfortunately, Cheap Ganassi Racing’s Dan Margetta was just a bit quicker, five thousandths of a second to be exact.  Margetta scored his first pole of the season with a 4.357 second trip around the natural terrain road course.  Margetta continues to top the All-Time Series statistics with 53 pole wins.  Following Black in qualifying was Angry Squirrel Speedsport drivers John Wiedemann and Mike Lack.  Current season point leader Heitz was fifth in his Michael Shank-It Racing Honda-Daboiler. 


With the heat races lined up in a last to first order from qualifying, CBD Racing drivers Pete Dorn and Brad Core took to the track to battle each other as well as Squirrel Shagged Enterprises Steve Rist.  While Rist seemed to have the race under control in the first half, he was never able to break away.  The field stayed together throughout the half with all drivers on the lead lap and a few exchanges of the lead.  It was the second half that Rist decided to quit messing around and pulled away from the field.  Stretching the lead to six laps at the finish, Rist picked up his third trip to the finals this season.  Behind him the battle of the teammates went to Core finishing just ahead of Dorn for ninth and tenth on the night respectively. 


The second heat again featured a teammate war with Heitz taking on Michael Shank-It teammate Mike Kristof as well as Team PenskeHO’s Ev Kamikawa.  With Heitz out front but tailed closely by Kamikawa throughout the first half, it looked like the point leader might have his work cut out for him to make the final.  But the second half lane switch proved to be problematic to Kamikawa with the final turn becoming his nemesis.  With multiple lane jumps coming on to the front straight slowing him down, Kamikawa lost sight of the leader as Heitz left him behind.  At the end, Heitz cruised to a two lap victory and a spot in the finals.  Just three laps ahead of a charging Kristof, Kamikawa finished in second and held the provisional transfer spot with 115 laps. 


The four top qualifiers took to the track in the last heat race and the battle was on at the drop of the green.  Lack had the early lead over Wiedemann with Black and Margetta sorting out early race struggles.  Wiedemann was able to pass his teammate for the lead, but now his worries shifted to Black who had found the pace in the red lane that he had in qualifying and was eating up the gap quickly.  Black took the lead into the halfway break by a lap over Wiedemann.  The lane switch put Wiedemann in the lane Black was giving up and he quickly took advantage to the new groove getting his lap back and then taking the lead back from Black.  Wiedemann was able to cruise to the finish with Black scoring the “transfer” to the final, finishing seven laps better than Kamikawa’s run. 


The final was set with Rist and the top three in the championship fight: Heitz, Wiedemann and Black.  With Black the highest qualifier in the group, he chose his coveted red lane and made it work for him immediately.  The CBD Chevy-Daboiler took the lead and never looked back.  Wiedemann tried to stay on pace but the speed Black was running was too much.  At the halfway break Black had a three-lap lead.  Another five laps back were Heitz with Rist in fourth.  The driver’s pitstops to start the second half were all routine with the exception of the one for the point leader.  A miscue during the stop meant more time in the box for Heitz as well as an extra penalty for speeding on pit lane.  Any hope Heitz had to make up his eight-lap deficit was crushed.  Rist returned to form in the red lane and was making up time with the quickest lap of the race, but then he was too quick.  Too quick for track limits as he pushed past them and crashed out of the race.  That left the championship contenders and they finished in the opposite order of the current standings.  Black took the win followed by Wiedemann three laps behind and Heitz another five laps back, the same gaps they had at the halfway break. 


Black’s victory was the second of the season and the fifth of his IndySlotCar career.  With the win, Black maintained third place in the standings and closed to within 48 points of second place Wiedemann.  Heitz heads into the season finale on top of the standings with a 16 point lead over Wiedemann.  Lack holds fourth place with a 22 point lead over Rist with A.S.S driver Matt Hayek a point behind Rist in seventh place.  Margetta is three points behind Hayek in eighth place.  So, the battle for fifth place is between four drivers with eight points between them, plus a shot at fourth place with the double-points HO Indy 500 giving them the possibility. 


Up in two weeks is the season finale, the 30th running of the HO Indy 500 on April 15th.  Defending Series Champ Dean Strom is also the defending Champ of the 500.  SSE teammate Steve Rist is the defending pole sitter.  Three drivers have a shot at the season championship and with double-points anything can happen. 


Shrine Cup  fast facts 

Race date: Thursday, Mar 30


Track: Shrine Desert Road Course, 4-mile road course in Wauwatosa, WI


Race distance:  20 minutes

Twitter:  @indyslotcar

IndySlotCar Website: indyslotcar.com

2022 race winner: Bill Black (No. 7 CBD Racing Chevrolet-Daboiler)


2022 P1 Award winner: Mike Kristof (No. 60 Michael Shank-It Racing Honda-Daboiler)

Single lap qualifying record: Mike Lack, 4.150 seconds; 2020


Race record: Mike Lack, 247 laps; 2020

YouTube Broadcast: IndySlotCar Channel


At-track schedule (all times local):

6:00 – Gates open

6:30 – Driver introductions

7:00 – Chassis distribution/Drivers’ Meeting

7:05 – IndySlotCar Series Practice

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

8:00 – Heat races

8:45 – Shrine Cup


Race Notes:

·         While Joe Heitz had his record-tying four race winning streak snapped at March Madness, he managed to finish one position ahead of John Wiedemann, widening his Husarsbilt Cup championship lead to 21 as the penultimate round of the 30th season approaches. Meanwhile, Bill Black has fallen off the back of the top two, now 57 points behind Wiedemann, but seems to have safely locked in third place, 96 points up on fourth place Matt Hayek.

·       The Shrine Cup will decide the Road Course title for ‘22-’23 for the Andretti/Mansell Award, Wiedemann currently holds a five point edge over Heitz, no one else is close enough to catch the top two, depending on where they finish, whoever has the better finish of the two could decide it.

·         Dean Strom’s second win of the season at March Madness moves him to tenth overall, but first amongst the true part-timers,

·         STATS WATCH: Strom’s March Madness victory is the 20th of his career and moves into a tie with former teammate Matt Hayek for ninth on the all-time list. Heitz’s pole position at Raven Raceway is the third of the season, eighth of his career, good for 16th all-time, and his “heat” win, as all final four drivers were credited, is his 19th, pulling equal to Pete Dorn, they’re tied for 19th. Mike Kristof’s appearance in the final four at March Madness is the 47th time, tying Tom Spehert at 15th on that all-time list. And Pete Dorn’s DNF at Raven was the 14th of his career, matching Joe Heitz and Andy Spehert at 21st. March Madness was Joe Heitz’s 50th career start.



THE SHRINE CUP HISTORY (17 events, 1993 – 1996; 2002 – 2005; 2013 – 2016, 2018 – present)

Date                   Race Winner                          Track                                                Event Name

8/26/1993        Pat Jarvis                          The Shrine Track                                      The Shrine Cup

9/8/1994          Phil Cianciola                   The Shrine Track                        The Shrine Cup presented by Hank's Beloit Speedway

9/7/1995           Dave Austin                     The Shrine Track                                      The Shrine Cup

9/5/1996           Jim Kaehny                       The Shrine Track                                      The Shrine Cup

4/4/2002           Larry Rotter                     Shrine Desert Road Course               Leinenkugel’s 400

3/30/2003        Larry Rotter                     Shrine Desert Road Course               Leinenkugel’s 200

4/8/2004           Jim Iverson                       Shrine Desert Road Course               Leinenkugel’s 200

3/31/2005        Jim Iverson                       Shrine Desert Road Course               Leinenkugel’s 200*

2/28/2013        Mark Walczak                 Shrine Desert Road Course                   The Shrine Cup

3/13/2014        Mike Lack                         Shrine Desert Road Course                   The Shrine Cup

3/5/2015           Matt Hayek                      Shrine Desert Road Course                   The Shrine Cup

3/17/2016        Mike Lack                         Shrine Desert Road Course         Miller Lite Shamrock Shrine Cup

3/15/2018        Mike Lack                         Shrine Desert Road Course                   The Shrine Cup

3/21/2019        Dean Strom                      Shrine Desert Road Course           Jack Daniel’s Shrine Cup       

5/28/2020        Mike Lack                         Shrine Desert Road Course                     The Shrine Cup

4/1/2021           Mike Lack                         Shrine Desert Road Course                         The Shrine Cup

3/30/2022        Bill Black                           Shrine Desert Road Course                         The Shrine Cup


Multiple winners: Mike Lack – 5, Jim Iverson, Larry Rotter – 2

*Last race held at Phil Cianciola’s house


Shrine Desert Road Course Track Map