2023-24 Round 10

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

January 18, 2024

Round 10 of 17

2024 Corvette Connection Grand Prix

Heitz Rakes In The Dough

Butler, WI -- At every race for the past several events the question was asked, would this finally be the race where a Firestone P1 Award winner would take the checkered flag and collect the Pole-to-Win prize fund? It had been growing throughout the 2023-24 season toward a record level. Since February of 2023, round 12 of last season, no driver had taken the win from pole, until January 18, 2024 when Joe Heitz set a new track record in qualifying and would hold off Dan Margetta to do, what he was the last to do 11 months ago, and take home a record 177,000 IndySlotCar bucks.

The qualifying record for Heitz lowered the fastest lap at Corevette Connection Raceway to 7.103 seconds on the massive track, more than a tenth of a second below the previous record set last season. Heitz's front row competitor John Wiedemann was also below the track record, Wiedemann's FAST teammate Dean Strom lined up third and Heitz's Michael Shank-It Racing teammate Mike Kristof, fourth and CBD Racing's Dan Margetta fifth.

The opening heat featured three FAST drivers, Strom, Steve Rist and Mike Lack along with Team Spehert's Chris Spehert. The teammates had to sort it out early on with the three FASTees trading the lead until Rist would open a gap over Strom and Lack who would fight it out for second in the heat, settling for sixth and seventh on the night and Spehert eighth. 

The second heat would see the top two in points and on the grid, along with CBD Racing's Pete Dorn and Bill Black. It became clear early on that Heitz would gap the field and the battle would be for the possible transfer spot between Wiedemann and Dorn. Dorn was a surprise to many after qualifying 11th, but the #5 had a solid first half and stayed close to Wiedemann throughout the second half, settling for a solid fifth on the night, while Wiedemann's lap total would allow him a rematch with Heitz in the final.

The closing heat saw CBD Racing teammates Dan Margetta and Brad Core along with MSR's Mike Kristof and Team Spehert's James Spehert, however the rookie in the #77 would make a fast exit as the high speeds of Corevette Connection Raceway would catch him out and end his race after just 12 circuits, the first DNF of his career. Early on Dan Margetta took the lead with Kristof and Core struggling with handling, the winner was never in doubt as Margetta's #66 would finish a full four laps ahead of Kristof, ninth for the event and Core 11th.

The finals appeared to have the makings of a good race, the two fastest cars and fifth and sixth. Heitz used his speed to open an early lead but Wiedemann and Margetta stayed close to keep the #06 honest and Wiedemann even took the lead briefly at points, however in the second half the #29 FAST car would struggle with handling and now it was Margetta that started to draw closer. As the last couple of minutes ticked down Margetta grew closer in Heitz's mirrors and a couple of late mistakes put the #66 back on the lead lap, but the big track worked to Heitz's advantage and the #06 would hold on for a big pay day and his second straight win at the track, keeping Michael Shank-It Racing the only team to win the Corvette Connection Grand Prix. 

With Wiedemann finishing third, landing in the final for the eighth straight race, the points lead would only shrink by 19, from 87 to 68 with seven races left in the season.

The series heads back to Tosa and Quarry Heights for the always popular Quarryfest Deslotmania in two weeks time.

Corvette Connection Grand Prix Fast Facts
Race date: Thursday, Jan 18


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


Race distance:  20 minutes

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2023 race winner: Joe Heitz (No. 06 Michael Shank-It Racing Honda-Daboiler)


2023 Firestone P1 Award winner: Bill Black (No. 7 CBD Racing Chevrolet-Daboiler)

One-lap qualifying record: Bill Black, 7.280 seconds, 2023


Race record: Joe Heitz, 140 laps, 2023

YouTube Broadcast: IndySlotCar Channel


At-track schedule (all times local):

5:30 – 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:

·         Corevette Connection Raceway has been dominated by Michael Shank-It Racing in the two runnings of the Corvette Connection Grand Prix, Mike Kristof took the #60 to the win in the inaugural running, followed by Joe Heitz last season, the opening of a series’ record-tying four race winning streak.

·         Bill Black has been the only Firestone P1 Award winner at CCR, the CDB Racing #7 pilot holds the track record lap of 7.280 seconds.

·         John Wiedemann holds a sizable 87 point lead over defending Husarsbilt Cup champion Joe Heitz. Mike Lack sits another 18 markers back of Heitz.

·         Wiedemann is riding a seven race final-four appearance streak, series founder and HOFer Phil Cianciola holds the record of 11 straight finals, a feat he managed twice in his illustrious career.

·         (SPEHERT) STATS WATCH: James Spehert moved to 46th on the all-time laps list with his appearance in a heat race at the Raven 250. Rookie Spehert also moved to solo 39th in race appearances with his sixth start. Papa Spehert moved up to 19th on the DNF list when Chris crashed out early at Raven.


Date                   Race Winner

2/1/2022           Mike Kristof

2/2/2023           Joe Heitz