2023-24 Round 1
Trokan Cup 500 - Mini Milwaukee Mile - Greendale, WI
September 7, 2023
Round 1 of 17
Hayek FAST to Trokan Cup 500 Victory
Greendale, WI -- As part of a new super-team in IndySlotCar, Matt Hayek worked his way up from the Last Chance Qualifier to take home the Trokan Cup at Mini Milwaukee Mile to open the 2023-24 season. The Trokan Cup 500 was Hayek's 21st career victory and the first since the #27 AutoNation Honda-Daboiler pilot took the checkers at Halloween Havoc last year.
Hayek, one of the five members of F.A.S.T., in the #27 AutoNation Honda-Daboiler, struggled in the four-lap qualifying session to line up eleventh and had to work his way from the LCQ, which included FAST teammate Steve Rist, and both members of Team Spehert, Chris and James Spehert. Only James Spehert was unable to advance from that opening heat race. This allowed Hayek to move on to the second heat race.
Another pair of FAST drivers lined up in the opening heat, former champions John Wiedemann and Dean Strom, Michael Shank-It Racing's Mike Kristof and the first DNF of the season, #98 FAST driver Steve Rist, who exited the race early with a crash on the 200th lap. Of the three FAST teammates, only Wiedemann's #29 Honda-Daboiler would move on to the final with a solid win over Strom.
CBD Racing's Brad Core moved out to an early lead in the second heat, but handling issues in the second half allowed Hayek to take the point, while fellow CBDer Pete Dorn struggled to finish ninth on the night. With Hayek advancing to the final, he would face Core again, who held on to the transfer position to make a final for the first time since the Jackson 500 last season.
Dan Margetta was making his first appearance as a member of CBD Racing, although in a car with an illegal livery that the series allowed to be raced, showed speed and solid handling to hang on to the lead over fellow IndySlotCar Hall of Famer Ev Kamikawa, while defending Husarsbilt Cup champion Joe Heitz struggled with a car that was down on power and missing the front wing after the crew broke it on load in for the event.
The final set up a battle between FAST members Hayek and Wiedemann and CBD Racing's Core and Margetta. Perhaps surprisingly, considering his qualifying position, Hayek quickly went to the lead, with Wiedemann attempting to keep in contact, Margetta was ahead of his new teammate just past halfway when he crashed hard and was out of the race on lap 297, elevating Core to the podium, while Hayek's #27 created a sizable buffer and held on to an 18 lap lead in front of "JW's" #29. In fifteen starts it is Wiedemann's best finish at the Mini Mile.
From hoisting the Blatz can bedazzled Trokan Cup the series moves on to the Road Course at Badger Raceway for the Fall Brawl in two weeks.
Trokan Cup 500 Fast Facts
Race date: Thursday, Sep 7