2023-24 Round 5

Jackson 500 - Black Track - Jackson, WI

November 2, 2023

Round 5 of 17

2023 Jackson 500

Floodgates 2023-24: Open!

Jackson, WI -- The catch phrase for Joe Heitz's championship last season was "flood gates" as the fifth year driver scored wins and appeared in finals in a deluge. The question was had the water all rushed out from behind the dam for the new season? The answer seems to be no, as the Michael Shank-It Racing driver followed up his win at the Halloween Havoc with a solid victory at the high-speed oval that is the Black Track. Heitz was nearly 50 laps clear of his closest competitor when the checkers flew for the Jackson 500.

The night opened with Steve Rist showing remarkable speed in qualifying, the #98 FAST pilot setting a new track record with a 5.051 second total for the four laps and next to him on the front row, Ev Kamikawa, who set a new track record for a single lap around the high banks, the #12 Team PenskeHO Chevrolet-Daboiler turning a stunning 1.204 second lap. Rist's FAST teammates Matt Hayek and Mike Lack lined up in the second row and Heitz rounded out the top five.

The opening heat race saw John Wiedemann destroy his opponents as he racked up a 36 lap lead at the end of the 10-minute session over CBD Racing's Brad Core, Mike Kristof was even further back, and making it a book-end night for Michael Shank-It Racing as his teammate won and Kristof's #60 finished last.

Joe Heitz would have to battle two members of CBD Racing in the second heat, as hometown hero Bill Black and Pete Dorn would attempt to put the Pete-down on the #06 Honda-Daboiler. But, Heitz was able to open and early lead and stay out of trouble, while the CBD boys woould battle for second place. Eventually, Dorn would put his #5 Chevy-Daboiler ahead of his teammate and rack up enough laps to capture the transfer spot to the final. Black would have to settle for handing the winner his trophy, taking sixth on the night.

In the last heat race three FAST team members would gang up on Kamikawa, It Mike Lack's #26 and Rist all battling for the win, all within a lap or two of each other past halfway, but Kamikawa could not maintain the handle, Rist kept it close, but ultimately Lack prevailed for his third final appearance in a row. Rist would settle for fifth, Kamikawa seventh and Matt Hayek's #27 in eighth.

With the final four comprised of driver's who all qualified in the middle to back of the field it appeared to be anyone's race. However, it quickly became clear that Heitz had found something special and pulled clear of the other three in the first quarter of the race and would never trail. The battle would be for second and it would be a close fight as Wiedemann established himself there, but Lack wasn't going away and Dorn was still close enough to challenge. At the halfway mark JW was 12 laps ahead of Lack and he three laps ahead of Dorn. By three-quarters distance Lack and Dorn were just a lap apart for third put had pulled a couple laps closer to Wiedemann's #29, however, down the stretch they could not close the gap as the two of them traded third place right to the finish as Heitz hit 500, Wiedemann was only at 453, and Dorn moved into the podium spot with 443 laps and Lack at 439. It was back-to-back wins for Heitz and the talk of "flood gates" again was bandied about. For the first time the MSR pilot held the point lead in his championship defense. But the gap was a narrow five as Wiedemann finished right behind in second place for the second race in a row. It was Pete Dorn's second podium of the season.

The series moves on to the Turkey Trot and the challenge of the de-slot format at the Infield Road Course at South Shore Superspeedway, one week before Thanksgiving.


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

2022 race winner: Steve Rist (No. 4 Squirrel Shagged Enterprises Chevrolet-Daboiler)


2022 Firestone P1 Award winner: Brad Core (No. 6 CBD Racing Chevrolet-Daboiler)

Lap record: Brad Core 1.285 seconds – 2022


Qualifying record: Brad Core 5.217 seconds – 2022


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 31st running of the HO Indy 500. Matt Hayek won the first oval event of the season at the Mini Milwaukee Mile.

·         Steve Rist is the defending race winner at the Black Track, the third win of his career.

·         Joe Heitz win at the most recent round of the 23-24 season makes him the fourth different winner in four races.

·         After the first four rounds of the Husarsbilt Cup championship, John Wiedemann holds a two point lead over Ev Kamikawa, neither driver has a win this season. Joe Heitz jumps from fifth to third, 16 markers back, followed by the rest of the season’s winners: Matt Hayek, Mike Lack and Dan Margetta.

·         STATS NOTES: In addition to four different winners, there have been four different Firestone P1 Award winners. While Wiedemann doesn’t have a win, he is the only driver to appear in three finals this season. Matt Hayek replaces his FAST teammate with a two race DNF streak. Heitz’s win at Quarry Heights is the tenth of his career making him solo 15th all-time, breaking the tie he had with Chad Sorce. Heitz’s heat win moves him into a tie with Chris Spehert for 18th all-time with 22. Bill Black moves ahead of HOFer James Iverson for starts with 112, he sits 19th on the list and James Spehert’s fourth career start moves him to solo 42nd on that list.





BLACK TRACK HISTORY (7 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

11/3/2022        Steve Rist                         Jackson 500