2023-24 Round 15

March Madness - Bermuda Raceway - Wauwatosa, WI

March 21, 2024

Round 15 of 17

2024 March Madness

Heitz Goes Back-to-Back Again

(Wauwatosa, WI) -- For the second time this season, Joe Heitz has won back-to-back events, taking the March Madness title at Bermuda Raceway, following a win at the Deckertring one week ago. This follows his back-to-back wins early in the season at Halloween Havoc and Jackson 500. Heitz's win in the March Madness final over Husarsbilt Cup championship points leader John Wiedemann shaves seven point off the gap. Heitz's win is his fifth, the most of any driver for the '23-'24 season.

Weidemann fired the first shot of the night with a blistering qualifying session and setting a new track single lap qualifying record. Heitz was more than two tenths of a second slower in his qualy lap for the second seed in the tournament and his Michael Shank-It Racing teammate Mike Kristof was only .007 of a second slower for the third seed. Wiedemann's FAST teammate took the fourth seed.

In the opening round of the special head-to-head tournament style event, eighth seed Brad Core was bested by ninth seed Dan Margetta, seventh seed Pete Dorn moved on with a victory over tenth seed James Spehert and the upset of the first round saw FAST's Steve Rist take his #98 eleventh seed Honda-Daboiler past CBD Racing's Bill Black sixth seed #7 Chevrolet-Daboiler.

With those races setting up the quarter-finals, top seed Wiedemann took on CBD Racing's Margetta and easily moved on to the semi finals. Each quarter-final victory is scored as a heat win for championship points. Third seed Kristof, moved on with a win over Dorn to advance as did his MSR teammate Heitz, but not without plenty of drama. as the #06 Honda-Daboiler barely held of a hard charging Rist in the second half, the three lap lead of the opening period shrunk down to one lap at the finish. FAST teammates, fourth seed, Matt Hayek and fifth seed, Dean Strom battled for the semis with Strom able to move on.

That left the final four, which featured teammate vs teammate. Wiedemann again Strom and Heitz vs Kristof. The opening semi-final saw the best battle but eventually "JW" would take the win, while Kristof attempted an unorthodox strategy, running from the outside red lane in the opening half, a lane the #60 pilot felt he had an advantage in, but the lead the Heitz would build in the opening half was too large to force the #06 into a mistake as the top two seeds would face off in the final.

The final saw Wiedemann open a solid three lap lead in the opening half, but a few too many mistakes in the second half by Wiedemann and smooth running by Heitz allowed the defending Husarsbilt Cup champion to move ahead and flip the lead to three laps for himself and take his fifth win of the season, following up his Deckertring Grand Prix win a week earlier. With Wiedemann taking pole, and most laps in a heat win, the current point leader added  four points on top of his 40 for a second place finish, minimized the damage against Heitz's 51 point haul. This shrinks the gap by only seven, down to 71 with two events remaining in the 31st IndySlotCar season.

The series moves from the semi-tropics of Bermuda to the desert of the Shrine Desert Road Course for the penultimate round of the season for the Shrine Cup.

March Madness Fast Facts

Race date: Thursday, Mar 21


Track: Bermuda Raceway, 1.8 mile Natural Terrain Road Course in Wauwatosa, WI


Race distance:  8 minutes

Twitter:  @indyslotcar

IndySlotCar Website: indyslotcar.com

2023 race winner: Dean Strom (No. 1 Squirrel Shagged Enterprises Chevrolet-Daboiler)


2023 Firestone P1 Award winner: Joe Heitz (No. 06 Michael Shank-It Racing Honda-Daboiler)

Track qualifying record: Dan Margetta, 2.293 seconds, 2019

YouTube Broadcast: IndySlotCar Channel


At-track schedule (all times local):

6:00 – Gates open

6:30 – Driver introductions

7:00 – Drivers meeting/ Chassis distribution

7:05 – IndySlotCar Series Practice

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

7:45 – First Round of bracket racing

8:45 – Head to head final (8 minutes)


Race Notes:

·         Once again, the IndySlotCar Series uses the special match-style format for the race that coincides with the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament.

·         Dean Strom cut down the nets last season, when the tournament was held at Raven Raceway.

·         This season the tournament returns to the site of the renewed March Madness, Bermuda Raceway, John Wiedemann took the trophy in 2020.

·         Since returning to the schedule on a regular basis in 2020, there have not been any repeat winners.               

·         Joe Heitz’s win at the Deckertring helped shrink his gap to Husarsbilt Cup championship points leader John Wiedemann to 78 markers with just three rounds left including March Madness.

·         STAT WATCH: Mike Lack’s pole position at the Deckertring Grand Prix pulled him into a tie for the series record for pole positions with 54, a total also held by Dan Margetta. If John Wiedemann wins all the heats in all three remaining events he could tie the series record for heat wins in a season and/or if he makes the finals in all three, he could set a new series record of 15 finals in a season.  Joe Heitz’s victory at the Deckertring was the 13th of his career moving him into a tie with Mike Fitzlaff at 14th on the wins list. Steve Rist’s final four appearance was his 19th, moving into a 22nd place tie with Tony Perkins. Bill Black and John Shea each move up a position in the series starts list, Black to 18th with 118 and Shea to 20th with 112.


Bracket events HISTORY (9 events, 1996 – 1998, 2003, 2015, 2020 – Present)

Year               Race Winner                    Event Title                                                                                        Track

2/15/1996        Phil Cianciola                   In Style Valentine's Challenge                                    Shrine Road Course

2/13/1997        Phil Cianciola                   In-Style Pro Shop Valentine's Challenge                  Shrine Road Course

2/12/1998        Jim Kaehny                       Dean Foods Valentine's Challenge                                            Shrine Road Course

2/13/2003        Jim Kaehny                       Palermo's Valentine's 200                                           Shrine Road Course

3/19/2015        Mike Lack                         March Madness                                                             Badger Raceway

3/19/2020        John Wiedemann           March Madness                                                             Bermuda Raceway

3/18/2021        Steve Rist                         March Madness                                                             Rapids Oval

3/17/2022        Joe Heitz                           March Madness                                                             Black Track (oval)

3/23/2023        Dean Strom                      March Madness                                                             Raven Raceway