2022-23 Round 3
West Bend Grand Prix - Lack Track - West Bend, WI
October 6, 2022
Round 3 of 17
Wiedemann Wins At West Bend
West Bend, WI – There were a number of “returns” at the IndySlotCar Series event at the Lack Track in West Bend. John Shea made his return to the series for the first time since September 11, 2011, a span of 11 years, for his 100th start. Ev Kamikawa made his first start of the season. Joe Heitz won his first pole since 2019 and John Wiedemann returned to victory lane after going winless last season. The only non-return was the defending champ of both the race and the season as Dean Strom was designated for assignment and unable to attend.
Heitz’s pole winning run at 3.995 seconds bested his Michael Shank-It Racing teammate Mike Kristof by just .004 seconds and put them both on the front row, leading to talk about someone opening the flood-gates somewhere. Bill Black posted a top 3 qualifying run for the second time this season and was followed by Wiedemann and Kamikawa for the top five in qualifying.
Heat 1 had Heitz battling CBD Racing teammates Black and Pete Dorn as well as PenskeHO’s Kamikawa. It was a tight battle throughout the race but Heitz was able to hold off Dorn by a lap and Black by two at the end.
Rodent filled Heat 2 was a bit of a snoozer as Wiedemann left the field of Angry Squirrel teammate Matt Hayek and Squirrel Shagged Steve Rist behind as he cruised to the victory by 13 laps.
All the drama was saved for the final heat with home town hero Mike Lack challenged by Kristof, old newcomer Shea and CBD’s Brad Core. Kristof held an early lead by three laps over Shea and Lack at the halfway break and looked to be running away with the win in the second half. But, with hardly any time left on the clock, the open flood-gates must have closed and Kristof’s ride unexpectedly flew off the table and ended his night. Shea, who had been battling closely with the leader, became the recipient of the lead and powered to the win. Lack raced into second but finished just a lap behind the transfer pace set by Dorn. Kristof held on to third with Core rounding out the field.
In the final, the battle for the early lead was contested between Heitz and Wiedemann. Quickly, Heitz was able to pull away and take control throughout the first half. At the stoppage, Heitz had built up a five lap lead over Wiedemann with Shea following another seven laps back. All that would change in the second half when Heitz was stuck with a lengthy pitstop and Wiedemann was in-and-out quickly. The two emerged from the pitstop round on the same lap and battling side by side for the lead. The following minutes were a heated struggle for the top spot as it seemed that neither could take and hold the lead. But, as the laps built up, the handling seemed to drift away from Heitz’s machine and Wiedemann was finally able to take the top spot and then lap Heitz as he struggled to keep the pin in the slot. In the end, it was a four lap difference between the two and Wiedemann let out a sigh of relief at being able to win in the series again. Back behind the madness at the front, Dorn scrapped his way back from three laps down at the half to take the third spot away from Shea and claim his spot on the podium for the second race in a row.
With three races complete, Lack continues his hold on the points lead with a ten point lead over Black. Wiedemann jumped up from tenth to the third spot, 16 points behind Black. Dorn, with his two podium finishes, is just a point back in fourth and Heitz sits eight points back in fifth after racing in only two of the three events but making the final both times.
Up next is the spooky Halloween Havoc at Quarry Heights Raceway on Thursday, October 20th. Points leader Mike Lack is the defending champion of the Havoc.
West Bend Grand Prix Fast Facts
Race date: Thursday, Oct 6
Track: Lack Track, 1.8 mile road course in West Bend, WI
Race distance: 20 minutes
IndySlotCar website: indyslotcar.com
2021 race winner: Dean Strom (No. 1 Squirrel Shagged Enterprises)
2021 Firestone P1 Award winner: Dean Strom (No. 1 Squirrel Shagged Enterprises)
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
7:00 – Drivers Meeting/ Chassis distribution
7:05 – IndySlotCar Series Practice
7:35 – Qualifying for the Firestone P1 Award (group qualifying/ fastest single lap)
8:00 – Heat races
8:45 – West Bend Grand Prix (20 minutes)
· Dean Strom is the defending race winner, it was the second of his championship season, so far Strom has not made a final, a fact we’re sure he’s looking to change.
· Mike Lack is coming off his first win of the season at Strom’s home track, could Strom return the favor at Lack’s home circuit?
· Lack took over the Husarsbilt Cup championship points lead, being the only driver to make the final at both of the first two events. Bill Black is second, twelve points back. That also means seven different drivers have appeared in the finals of the first two races.
· STATS WATCH: Mike Lack’s Fall Brawl win extends his record total to 52. Steve Rist made his eleventh final appearance, moving ahead of Phil Marich and into 25th all-time. Brad Core made his 23rd start of his career, good for 31st on the all-time list, passing Arnie Lueders and Mike Kristof’s DNF at the Road Course at Badger Raceway takes him into second all-time passing Ev Kamikawa with 68, just 15 behind record holder Dan Margetta.
LACK TRACK HISTORY (12 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
10/22/2020 Steve Rist *-Halloween Havoc
10/7/2021 Dean Strom
Multiple wins: Mike Lack – 4, John Wiedemann – 3, Matt Hayek – 2
*-all races are West Bend Grand Prix, except Halloween Havoc 2020