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Spehert Conquers Mini Mile To Open Season
Greendale. WI – The 29th season of the IndySlotCar Series kicked off at the Mini-Milwaukee Mile with the racers battling for the Troken Cup.
New owner of the track, Chris Spehert, proved that there is no place like home by besting the field to take the win. Spehert’s victory was
his second win at the Mini-Mile, previously winning thirteen seasons prior in 2007.
With thirteen drivers competing in the season opener, the paddock was full at the short challenging bullring. Adding another twist to the
event was the introduction of the Daboiler body, a new 3D printed body with features matching the full size IndyCar Series bodies. With no
organized off-season practice to figure out the new configuration,drivers and fans were excited to see how Daboiler performed in
After a brief practice session, qualifying got underway with Spehert leading off the session. Spehert, running a part time schedule for
Angry Squirrel Speedsport, did not disappoint by setting a quick time that held all the way to the middle of the session when CBD’s Bill Black
dropped the hammer and beat Spehert’s four lap time by almost four tenths of a second. Black captured the Firestone Pole Award for the
third time in his career. Black was followed on the speed chart by Spehert and oval ace Dan Margetta.
With more entered drivers than spots available in the three heat races, a new sprint race to make the field was added to the schedules this
season. The bottom four drivers in qualifying will race to fill the 12 car heat race field. In tonight’s event three spots were available and
the bottom four included CBD’s Brad Core going up against three drivers from Angry Squirrel Speedsport: Mike Lack, Matt Hayek and John
The three teammates showed their experience over last season’s Rookie of the Year Core and all three moved on to the heat races led by defending
Series Champion Lack.
The opening heat featured a great battle between Margetta and new member of Michael Shank-It Racing Joe Heitz. The two chased each other around
the short oval and distanced themselves from CBD’s Pete Dorn and Lack in the first half with Margetta up by two laps. The second half was a
different story as Margetta struggled with handling and Heitz took control. At the end of the half, Heitz cruised to a sixteen lap victory
over Lack who had taken over second place and held the provisional transfer spot.
Polesitter Spehert took on PenskeHO’s Ev Kamikawa, Hayek and Squirrel Shagged Enterprises Steve Rist in the second heat race. Spehert quickly
distanced himself from the pack and finished with an eleven lap win over Kamikawa who took the transfer spot away from Lack by just three laps.
The final heat race featured fourth place qualifier Squirrel Shagged Dean Strom, Michael Shank-It’s Mike Kristof, Black and Wiedemann.
Throughout the first half, the battle for the lead was Kristof holding off Wiedemann. Shortly into the second half, Wiedemann took over the
point as Kristof struggled. Black made a charge for the lead but came up six laps short when the checkers fell.
The 500 lap final was set with heat race winners Spehert, Heitz, Wiedemann and transfer driver Kamikawa. Each driver would take a turn
in each lane with the race run in 125 lap segments.
Spehert took the lead early and was challenged by Kamikawa. At the end of the first run, it was Spehert in the lead by six laps over Kamikawa
with Wiedemann and Heitz another four laps back. Spehert kept the point position in the second segment but Heitz was on the charge. By the end
of the first half Spehert was still leading but Heitz had made up ten laps to move into second place just 9 laps behind the leader. Pit stops
opened the second half and most had great stops but Wiedemann had a slow stop plus a ten lap penalty to drive with the opposite hand, putting him
further laps behind the pack. In that third segment Spehert was able to move away from the pack putting 17 laps between himself and second place
Heitz. Kamikawa also picked up the pace in third and was just ten laps behind second place. Just about halfway through the final segment,
Kamikawa lost control and crashed off the course, ending his night. Heitz suffered power loss but was able to hang on to second place over
Wiedemann. None of that mattered to race leader Spehert as he pulled away to easily take the win while leading the entire race.
The victory was the fifth in Spehert’s IndySlotCar career moving him into a tie for 16th on the all-time list with Kristof.
In two weeks, the series heads to the Road Course at Badger Raceway for the Fall Brawl at Badger Raceway on September 23rd. Trak owner Dean
Strom is the defending race winner.