2023-24 Round 11

Quarryfest Deslotmania - Quarry Heights Raceway - Wauwatosa, WI

February 1, 2024

Round 11 of 17

2024 Quarryfest Deslotmania

Deslot to De Lack

Wauwatosa, WI -- While the drivers claim that they dislike the "deslot" format, it makes for interesting racing for the fans and jumbles the field to find different drivers at the front. This phenomenon played out in a lot of ways at Quarry Heights Raceway for Quarryfest Deslotmania when, although the all-time series leader in victories, Mike Lack extended that record, he had to compete against names we don't always see in the final, including an appearance by Brad Core for just the second time this season. 

Qualifying was filled with drama as surprising names were being pushed into the Last Chance Qualifier, while a rookie would have his best start of his career. In his first three rotations in qualifying, rookie James Spehert was sitting somewhere between 11th and 14th, then, on the final rotation he shocked the entire paddock and crowd by jumping to sixth and cementing home town hero Matt Hayek, both Team PenskeHO drivers Ev Kamikawa and John Shea, along with 31 season veteran Dan Margetta in the LCQ to duke it out for the last two positions on the grid. Margetta and Kamikawa would advance, while the paying customers would start heading for the exits as Hayek would be sent home early.

The opening heat race featured Husarsbilt Cup championship points leader John Wiedemann, the aforementioned and two-time champion Ev Kamikawa, CBD Racing's Pete Dorn and Wiedemann's FAST teammate Steve Rist. The deslots took their toll quickly, first Kamikawa was out, and even while the TV cameras were trained on his lengthy post-DNF interview, two other drivers, first Dorn and then Wiedemann would also score their three deslots just before half the time of the race, leaving Steve Rist a little shocked as the last man standing to advance to the final. It is only the second time all season that Wiedemann missed the final and his worst finish of the season, tenth. This also ends a streak of eight straight final four appearances. Dorn would finish 11th and Kamikawa 12th.

The second heat saw a little less carnage but far more drama. The second and third fastest qualifiers, Dean Strom and Mike Kristof, respectively, with the surprising James Spehert and Dan Margetta coming from the LCQ. But it was Margetta who benefitted from good lane choice that opened a lead over both Strom and Kristof, battling for second, Spehert stayed out of trouble. Kristof did not stay out of trouble in the second half as he would notch his first deslot late in the first half but then in attempting to catch a quicker Strom and Margetta would not only deslot, but crash clear off the track to end his night in eighth. That left the battle to Margetta's #66 CBD Racing entry against Strom's FAST #28, and Strom was very quick, catching the 66 with about 10 seconds left and on his last deslot, but the 27 car overcooked a corner, throwing the car out of the slot, Margetta came by and punted him for good measure, Strom out. His more than healthy 124-lap total would have put him in the final if he had taken the checkers, instead, without comment to the media, he packed up his helmet and gloves and left the paddock, finishing seventh for the event, behind James Spehert's 100 laps who, through the quirk of the Deslot rules, finishing drivers are placed ahead of DNF drivers, no matter that the DNF driver had a higher lap total.

In the third heat, the drivers knew that the transfer bar was set low, since James Spehert was the only driver eligible to take the transfer from the first two heats, with just 100 laps. Firestone P1 Award winner Mike Lack lined up with second-in-points, Joe Heitz, Team Spehert's Chris Spehert and CBD Racing's Brad Core. The surprises of the night continued as Core was challenging Lack for the lead at the halfway point and just nine laps later, Heitz, running a distant fourth scored his final deslot, finishing the night ninth, on the same lap as Wiedemann, scoring just two more points as the championship leader, shrinking the lead from 68 to 66 markers going into the final six events. Meanwhile, Lack opened up a healthy lead over Core, Chris Spehert running a smooth race and like his son in the earlier heat, stayed out of trouble, took the checkers with 109 laps, third in the heat, but fifth on the night. Core, also kept it clean and solidly into the transfer position to make his second final of the season. 

The final started out with Mike Lack's #26 FAST car opening up a large lead over Margetta and Rist, Core well back. As the race moved to the second half Core would DNF, while both Margetta and Rist beginning to close in on the leader, however, as Margetta's #66 tried to press the issue, he racked up his final deslots and finished third, while Rist's #98 took up the chase running better laps that Lack, but again, like Margetta, he would deslot out, ending the race just less than two minutes from the complete time, Lack would have his third win of the season. 

With Lack racking up as many wins as Wiedemann and Heitz, it is his missing a race and a last place at the Turkey Trot that keeps him 82 points behind the Husarsbilt Cup points leader, just 16 arears of Heitz. The victory is the series record extending 55th of Lack's career.

Next up is the Rapids Grand Prix, the only street race on the schedule. 

Quarryfest Deslotmania Fast Facts
Race date: Thursday, Feb 1


Track: Quarry Heights Raceway, 2 mile natural terrain road course, Wauwatosa, WI


Race distance:  20 minutes

Twitter:  @indyslotcar

IndySlotCar Website: indyslotcar.com

2023 race winner: Pete Dorn (No. 5 CBD Racing Chevrolet-Daboiler)


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

One-lap qualifying record: Matt Hayek, 3.590 seconds, 2020


Race record: Matt Hayek, 265 laps, 2020

YouTube Broadcast: IndySlotCar Channel


At-track schedule (all times local):

6:00 – Gates open

6:30 – Driver introductions

6:55 – Drivers meeting/Chassis distribution

7:00 – IndySlotCar Series Practice

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

8:15 – Heat races

9:00 – Quarryfest Deslotmania


Race Notes:

·         Pete Dorn is the defending race winner of Quarryfest Deslotmania, his second career victory. However, Matt Hayek really enjoys the home cooking at Quarry Heights Raceway, the #27 FAST driver has won the event four times, including two of the last three runnings.

·         Joe Heitz scored his third win of the season at the Corvette Connection Grand Prix, two weeks ago, it was the richest in series history, the Pole-to-Win victory netted the #06 Michael Shank-It Racing pilot 177,000 IndySlotCar bucks, surpassing the previous record of 150,000.

·         With Heitz’s victory he pulls to within 68 points of Husarsbilt Cup championship leader John Wiedemann, Wiedemann’s FAST teammate Mike Lack sits third, 104 points back.

·         STATS WATCH: Joe Heitz pole at Corevettee Connection Raceway, the first of the season, makes him the eighth different Firestone P1 Award winner of the season; while his heat win was the 27th of his career, equaling Bill Black and Hall of Famer Dave Austin, all tied for 16th on the all-time list. Steve Rist made his 17th final four appearance at CCR, tying John Baas for 23rd all-time. James Spehert made his seventh career start, pulling equal to Dick Alpert, tied for 38th and his first DNF makes him the 44th driver in series history to suffer a race ending crash.


QUARRYFEST DESLOTMANIA HISTORY (10 event, 2013 – 2020, 2022 – present)

Date                   Race Winner

1/30/2013        Mark Walczak

2/13/2014        Matt Hayek

2/19/2015        Dan Margetta

2/18/2016        Matt Hayek

2/16/2017        Mike Lack

2/22/2018        John Wiedemann

1/31/2019        John Wiedemann

2/6/2020           Matt Hayek

2/24/2022        Matt Hayek

1/19/2023        Pete Dorn


Multiple Race Winners: Matt Hayek-4, John Wiedemann-2

Quarry Heights Raceway