2022-23 Round 5

Jackson 500 - Black Track - Jackson, WI

November 3, 2022

Round 5 of 17

2022 Jackson 500 presented by Butler Auto Care

Rist Returns To Victory Lane In The Jackson 500

Jackson, WI – There had been a gap of twenty-one races, but Steve Rist has again found victory lane in the IndySlotCar Series for the first time since March of 2021. It was not a night for series veterans as the newcomers were the stars of the show at the Black Track in the Jackson 500 presented by Butler Auto Care.

Brad Core, who was starting the 26th race of his IndySlotCar career, topped the speed charts and beat out drivers with almost ten times as many starts for pole position. Core’s time of 5.217 seconds in his four-lap run, including the fastest single-lap run in the session, beat out the Angry Squirrel Speedsport drivers Mike Lack and John Wiedemann. Core’s teammate Bill Black lined up fourth with Rist completing the top five. It's the second pole for Core and the first for CBD Racing this season.

The first heat race pitted first-time competitor Russell Drew against series veteran Ev Kamikawa, HO Indy 500 winner Matt Hayek and 3-time race winner Joe Heitz. Heitz quickly established himself as the top dog, sprinting away from the competition to take the heat win and a spot in the final. Matt Hayek held on, 11 laps behind at the checkers, to take second and set the provisional transfer lap total. At the back of the heat, veteran Kamikawa finished 11th on the night ahead of rookie Drew in 12th.

Heat race number two was a great battle between the race sponsor and first-time competitor Andy Black and Rist. Black held on to a six lap lead at the halfway break and stayed in a middle lane for the second half as Rist was relegated to the outside lanes for both halves. Black was able to add two more laps onto his lead as he took the checkers, but Rist held on for second and set the pace for the transfer spot. Black’s heat race win put him into the finals in his first ever IndySlotCar Series race, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since Dave Rosno in his September 1994 debut. A little further back in the pack, John Shea grabbed third place away from Mike Kristof after the two drivers were tied on laps in the first half, ending up seventh and ninth overall respectively.

The final heat race of the night was a fight to the finish as series point leader Lack took the lead early and held it into the second half of the race. Wiedemann was eight laps back at the halfway break with CBD teammates Core and Bill Black another six laps behind. The inside green lane was not kind to Lack as his teammate buzzed by to take the lead early in the second half. But, that lead for Wiedemann was fleeting as the driver on the move in the second half was Core. Core was flying, turning 36 more laps in the second half than he did in the first half and easily took the lead away and sailed to the win. Wiedemann tried to drop the hammer to get the transfer spot but ended up three laps short as time ran out. A disappointed Lack held off the co-leader in the points standings and topped track owner Bill Black at the checkers.

The fast finale was set with the drivers with the least experience set to contend for the Jackson 500 win. Andy Black (first race), Brad Core (26th start), Joe Heitz (40th start) and Steve Rist (46th start) had fewer starts combined than most of the other drivers in the race. Only Russell Drew making his first start had less experience.

The competitors would run one round in each lane with the race split into four segments of 125 laps. Andy Black led the opening round of the event running two laps ahead of Core with Rist another two laps back and Heitz another two laps back. In the second segment, Rist moved up from the bottom lane into a middle lane and his car came to life. Making up four laps and more, Rist charged to the front and took the lead by three laps over Black at the halfway break. Pitstops were quick and pretty equal for the drivers at the start of the second half but mistakes getting into pit lane meant the loss of seconds, a big issue when laps are run at under a second and a half. Not making any mistakes was key for Rist as he extended his lead at the end of the third segment to nine laps over the other three drivers who were all on the same lap. One driver that was making some hay in the third segment was Heitz. Starting the second half in third place, the Michael Shank-It Racing #60 made a charge and caught the leader but damage from crashes forced him to stop and fix a displaced front axel, losing the ground he had gained. In the final segment, Rist's Squirrel Shagged Enterprises #4 just had to stay in front of the field to capture the win, something easier said than done. While Heitz was turning laps at the speed of plaid, Rist was having issues getting through turn three. But, when Rist would come off the track, it seemed that Heitz would crash as well, as he pushed his car past the limits of physics. Rist calmed his speed through turn three and ran clean to the checkers to take the victory. Heitz held on to second place, eleven laps back and the battle for third place was captured by Black, just a lap ahead of Core.

The first five races have been won by different drivers and all five are at the top of the standings. Lack leads the point standings by eight points over Bill Black with Lack’s teammate Wiedemann another eleven points behind in third. Another Angry Squirrel, Matt Hayek, is in fourth place eight points behind third place. Rist’s win, the third of his career, lifts him to fifth place in the standings three points out of fourth. With his second place run and third final in four races, Heitz is eight points outside of fifth place even with running only four of the five events.

The series heads down to the Infield Road Course at South Shore Superspeedway for the Turkey Trot deslot race on November 17th. Mike Lack is the defending champion and the current top three drivers in the point standings all made the final last season.


Jackson 500 Fast Facts

Race date: Thursday, Nov 3

Track: The Black Track, 7/8 mile high-banked oval, Jackson, WI

Race distance: 500 laps

Twitter: @indyslotcar

IndySlotCar Website: indyslotcar.com

2021 race winner: Matt Hayek (No. 28 Angry Squirrel Speedsport Honda-Daboiler)

2021 Firestone P1 Award winner: Mike Kristof (No. 60 Michael Shank-It Racing Honda-Daboiler)

Lap record: Dean Strom 1.295 seconds – 2020, Mike Lack 1.295 seconds, 2021 (Feb)

Qualifying record: Dean Strom 5.226 seconds – 2020, Mike Lack 5.226 seconds, 2021 (Feb)

Race record (400 laps): John Wiedemann 12 minutes 7 seconds – 2019

(500 laps): Matt Hayek 14 minutes 07 seconds – 2021

YouTube Broadcast: IndySlotCar Channel

At-track schedule (all times local):

6:00 – Gates open

6:30 – Driver introductions

7:00 – Drivers’ meeting/ Chassis distribution

7:00 – IndySlotCar Series Practice

7:25 – Qualifying for the Firestone P1 Award (single car qualifying/ fastest four lap total)

7:45 – Heat races

8:30 – Jackson 500

Race Notes:

· The Jackson 500 is the second of three ovals on the schedule, the final one will be the 30th running of the HO Indy 500.

· Matt Hayek is the defending race winner at the Black Track and is coming off his first one of the 2022-23 season, taking the checkers at the Halloween Havoc.

· Hayek is the fourth different winner in four races, he also joins his two other Angry Squirrel Speedsport teammates in victory lane, with Mike Lack winning at the Fall Brawl and John Wiedemann at the West Bend GP.

· Bill Black and Mike Lack are tied atop the Husarsbilt Cup championship, with John Wiedemann 21 back in third, Matt Hayek jumps to fourth, 23 out, and Pete Dorn, fifth, 30 points behind.

· STATS NOTES: In the first four races, no driver has made more than two appearances in the finals. Mike Lack’s pole position at Quarry Heights is the 48th of his career tying series founder Phil Cianciola for second place, four behind record holder Dan Margetta. With his heat win at the Havoc, Bill Black, pulls even with Chris Spehert with 22, tied for 17th on the all-time list. While Lack tied Cianciola on the all-time Poles list, his teammate John Wiedemann moves past Cianciola on the Finals list with 119, sole fourth place. Matt Hayek’s win at Halloween happened on his 201st start, which equals defending Husarsbilt Cup champion Dean Strom’s career total, they are tied for ninth all-time.

BLACK TRACK HISTORY (6 events, 2017 - Present)

Date Race Winner Event Name Track

1/18/2018 Dan Margetta Dan Gurney Memorial 400 Black Track Version 1

1/19/2017 Ev Kamikawa Fat Tony 400 Black Track Version 1

1/17/2019 John Wiedemann Jackson 400 Black Track Version 2

1/9/2020 Dan Margetta Jackson 500 Black Track Version 3

2/18/2021 Mike Lack Jackson 500

11/4/2021 Matt Hayek Jackson 500

Black Track Map