Lack Captures Fifth Shrine Cup Win
April 1, 2021
Wauwatosa, WI – It may have been April 1st but Mike Lack wasn’t fooling around as he won The Shrine Cup, his third win of the 2020/2021 IndySlotCar Series season and his fifth win of the event. Speaking of winning, with this victory Lack has tied Dan Margetta as the All-time series leader in wins and has all but etched his name as the champion on the Husarsbuilt Cup for the seventh time in his amazing career.
Qualifying resulted in a bit of a surprise as series veteran Ev Kamikawa topped the field with a 4.243 second lap and won the pole for the first time since the opening race of the 2018/2019 season on September 6, 2018. Dean Strom was second, just over five hundredths of a second behind and was followed by Margetta and Pete Dorn. Eleven drivers qualified for the event.
Heats were set by drivers choice from last to first in qualifying order and fast guys Kamikawa, Dorn and Margetta were up first. Dorn took control early in the race and looked to have the race in hand as Kamikawa and Margetta struggled with spins early. Kamikawa got it together and in the second half, raced past Dorn who started to struggle with handling. Kamikawa took the heat win and first slot in the final. Dorn finished second, two laps behind.
The next race featured drivers who had all scored a finals win this season. Lack, Bill Black, Steve Rist and the return of Matt Hayek. Lack led early over Black while Rist and Hayek battled for third at the halfway break. Black picked up the pace in the second half and got back on the lead lap to challenge leader Lack but couldn’t get past him when time ran out. Lack won the heat with Black second and holding the transfer spot. Hayek shook off the rust and grabbed third over Rist.
The final heat pitted drivers battling for second in the point standings, Dean Strom and John Wiedemann against veteran racer Mike Kristof and rookie Brad Core. Wiedemann was able to pull away to a four lap lead over Kristof at the break and held on as Kristof struggled with power issues in the second half of the race. Dean recovered from first half power issues to take second over Kristof who was able to hold off Core by three laps at the finish.
The final started out with a battle for the lead between Lack and Kamikawa, but Lack would distance himself from his challenger and had a six lap lead by the break. That left Kamikawa to the challenge of Black who caught up and finished first half on the same lap as the second place runner. Back another eleven laps was Wiedemann who had the same struggle with power that his competitors in the heat race had. Lack and Kamikawa had great pitstops under 10 seconds but bad luck struck Black as issues kept him in the pits for thirty seconds. A quick six second stop by Wiedemann had him just five laps behind Black for third place when stops were completed. Trying to make up as many laps as possible and turning the quickest laps of the race, Wiedemann pushed past the edge of control and crashed his ride off the track, ending his night in fourth. Minutes later, second place runner Kamikawa also flew off the track and out of the race. In the meantime, Lack cruised to the checkers with a eight lap lead and a historic win. Black was able to surpass Kamiakwa’s lap total and take the runner up spot on the podium.
Lack’s third victory of the season has given him enough of a point lead in that, depending on car count, all he needs to do is show up for the season finale HO Indy 500 and a seventh season championship will be his. He currently has a 74 point lead over his teammate Wiedemann. Wiedemann is just 17 points ahead of Strom who is also 17 points ahead of Black. Rist holds down fifth place in the standings, 23 points behind Black. The standings between second place and seventh are likely to be mixed up following the 500 which is a double points race.
The HO Indy 500 is scheduled for April 29th. Wiedemann is the defending champion of the race.