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Kristof Shocks Halloween Havoc
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(Wauwatosa, WI) -- The 2018-19 IndySlotCar season is shaping up as one full of surprises, the latest shocker: Mike Kristof wins for the first time in three and half years and on a road course for the first time in his career at the Bridgestone Halloween Havoc at Quarry Heights Raceway in Wauwatosa. This follows Tom Spehert winning the season opener, plus the fact that we are now going into the sixth race of the season without Mike Lack even coming close to victory lane yet.
Early on it looked like once again home cooking was going to take Matt Hayek to the front, with a record breaking qualifying run, his Alter Ego Racing teammate, Dean Strom, lined up right along side on the front row.
With the fast three grouped in the opening heat, pitching the AER boys against Team FYI's Dan Margetta, it soon became clear Hayek had put all his set up into qualifying as the car could not handle well enough, eventually crashing out early, sending many of the paying crowd home early. Eventually Strom took over and the #13 GoDaddy car would have to wait to see if Margetta's lap total would hold on to transfer to the final.
Mike Lack was looking to turn things around in a field that lacked the top two in points, his Angry Squirrel Speedsport teammate John Wiedemann and PenskeHO's Ev Kamikawa. While qualifying in the middle of the field, it looked like he would have an easy time moving on to the final, but Mike Kristof had other plans and took off to a solid lead through the first half over Lack's #1 SealMaster A.S.S. car and that other hometown hero, Alex Hayek. The second half was more of a struggle for Kristof, while Lack would take the heat win, Kristof would score enough laps to replace Margetta in the transfer spot, while Hayek would finish one spot ahead of his dad in sixth.
The final heat was a struggle for all three competitors, Steve Rist, unlike his final-four debut appearance at Lack Track was much more rookie like, with a tough run to ninth, Pete Dorn never looked settled and ended the night in eighth while Mike Fitzlaff was an example of the old axiom, someone had to win.
The final shaped up as a three way fight between Lack, Kristof and Strom because Fitzlaff would crash out just two laps into the 20 minute final. Strom took to the point early on with Kristof and Lack fighting it out for second. Strom would hold the lead at half way, with Kristof in second, and after equal nine-second pit stops, Strom continued to keep a one lap gap until a couple of spins would allow Kristof to catch up and with his #60 SiriusXM Michael Shank-It Racing Dallara-Honda handling perfectly, would pass Strom's #64 Manitowoc Dallara-Honda and eventually open up a comfortable two lap gap and hold on for his fourth career win and the first on a road course.
With Wiedemann and Kamikawa out of the field the Husarsbilt Cup points standings took quite a shake-up as Kristof jumps to second just one point behind Lack, whose third place, remarkably, is his best finish of the season. Wiedemann, sits just five markers behind his teammate despite missing the race, in third.
In two weeks, another of the classic events on the calendar, the Turkey Trot at the Infield Road Course at South Shore Superspeedway, where a Butterball awaits the winner.