Willy ‘Magic Slippers’ Custer made short work of an outstanding field of retro racers Sat., Oct. 12 at Ray McGlone’s REM Raceway in Mentor, Ohio, as the young Akron, OH charger set fast time and picked up victories in both the Formula One/Indy and Can-Am classes in race number two of the new Buckeye Retro Series (BRS) tour.


Formula One/Indy

1. Greg Fox 2. Brian McPherson 3. Dan Myers


1. Brian McPherson 2. Mike Garrett 3. Bud Bartos


Custer left little doubt as to who was the quickest in the 25-car F1/Indy field as he blistered the 155’ Ogilvie Hill Climb with a fast lap of 4.898 in qualifying, besting New Jersey invader Jay Kisling who registered a lap of 5.019. Bartos (5.026) was third quick, ahead of Mike Peskar (5.037) and Ron Hershman (5.041).

1. Willy Custer - 4.898
2. Jay Kisling – 5.019
3. Bud Bartos – 5.026
4. Mike Peskar – 5.037
5. Ron Hershman – 5.041
6. Ricky Bennardo Jr – 5.120
7. Al Rutti – 5.128
8. Greg Fox – 5.162
9. Marc Picione – 5.167
10. Tom Lauterbach – 5.181
11. Mike Panko – 5.185
12. Rick Stagen – 5.244
13. Brian McPherson – 5.2449
14. Brian Cox – 5.254
15. Jay Sabala – 5.268
16. Jeff Lauterbach – 5.279
17. Rick Bennardo Sr – 5.317
18. Dan Myers – 5.365
19. Den Krivacek – 5.368
20. Kevin Cosgrove 5.538
21. George Katzakis – 5.555
22. Larry Mattingly – 5.572
23. Ken Kanyok – 5.669
24. Ron Vincek – 5.772
25. Frankie Schaffier – 5.847



Rick Bennardo Sr picked up where he left off at The SUMMIT race at Rt. 93 two months ago by cruising to his second main event win of the season. ‘Mr. R-Geo’ jumped on top in the first segment to lead Ron Vincek, George Katzakis, Larry Mattingly and Den Krivacek. After two heats Bennardo increased his lead to two-laps over the lead pack, minus Mattingly who broke a lead wire early in the heat. Due to the nine-man round robin format the standings were scrambled throughout the contest, but Bennardo was clearly in control, as he consistently turned equal, or higher lap totals over the rest of the field on every lane. Vincek dropped out of the hunt when his motor worked loose during the seventh heat. At the finish it was Bennardo over Krivacek by two-laps. Dan Myers, who steadily moved through the field after an early sit-out, was third, over Katzakis, Kevin Cosgrove, Ken Kanyok, Vincek, Mattingly and Frankie Schaffier, who battled several mechanical ills throughout the race.


It was no contest in the B-Main, as veteran racer PA Tom Lauterbach chased early pace setters Marc Picione and Brian Cox for the first two heats, until taking command in heat three. Once in the lead Lauterbach never looked back, as he maintained the top spot for the five remaining segments. The battle then became for runner-up honors between Cox, Picione and Jeff Lauterbach. The trio ran in a virtual dead heat throughout the remainder of the race. Picione and J. Lauterbach were tied going into the final heat, with Cox, Mike Panko, and Rick Stagen all close enough to be in contention. Picione and J. Lauterbach started the final heat beside each other on yellow and purple respectively. At the checker J. Lauterbach had the edge by a lap to garner the second slot. Cox finished two-laps behind Picione for fourth, while Stagen turned 34-laps on blue to propel himself to fifth over Panko. Jay Sabala and Brian McPherson finished seventh and eighth. T. Lauterbach finished five laps in front of son, Jeff, with a total of 268-laps, which eventually was good enough to place him fourth overall in the final run down.


Based on qualifying it appeared Willy Custer would have an easy run for the overall F1/Indy honors. But, that wasn’t the case, as Mike Peskar, Jay Kisling, and Custer were tied for the lead after the first heat with 34-laps, while Ron Hershman, Al Rutti and Bud Bartos were one-lap back with 32 markers. Kisling surged ahead with a 35-lap run in white to go one up over Hershman and Custer for the top three positions at the end of the second segment. Custer came back to lead the next round by sections over Kisling, while Peskar, Bartos and Hershman dropped two-laps off the pace. Custer assumed the front spot for good at the half-way point of the race, moving in front of Bartos and Kisling by a lap. Heat five found Custer still atop the standings by two-laps over Peskar, with Bartos and Hershman three laps down. Kisling encountered mechanical problems, which caused him to drop nine-laps off of the lead. Peskar returned to contention at the close of heat six, as he trailed Custer by only lap sections after turning 34-laps in white to Custer’s 32-lap effort in yellow. Bartos and Hershman were down by two-laps to the lead pair. Custer regained his form on orange during the penultimate heat by turning in a 35-lap effort compared to Peskar’s 34-laps on the red lane to give him a one-lap margin going into the final heat. Both Custer and Peskar registered 34-laps in heat eight to give Custer a hard fought victory. Peskar was two-laps up on Bartos, while Hershman finished three-laps further back for the fourth position. Ricky Bennardo Jr was fifth, trailed by Al Rutti, Greg Fox and Kisling.


1. Willy Custer – 273+20
2. Mike Peskar – 272
3. Bud Bartos – 270
4. Tom Lauterbach – 268
5. Ron Hershman – 267
6. Ricky Bennardo Jr – 264
7. Al Rutti – 263+23
8. Jeff Lauterbach – 263+12
9. Marc Picione – 262
10. Brian Cox – 260
11. Rick Stagen – 259
12. Mike Panko – 256
13. Greg Fox – 255
14. Jay Sabala – 254
15. Jay Kisling - 252
16. Brian McPherson – 250+16
17. Rick Bennardo Sr – 250+14
18. Den Krivacek – 248
19. Dan Myers – 246
20. George Katzakis – 242
21. Kevin Cosgrove – 238
22. Ken Kanyok – 234
23. Ron Vincek – 209
24. Larry Mattingly – 199
25. Frankie Schaffier – 190


1. Willy Custer:
Chassis: built by Mark Kitto / MMW (114.6 g) … Gear Ratio: 7/28 … Front tires: SK…
Rear tires: Alpha … Body: O/S McLaren M-9 … Controller: Difalco

2. Mike Peskar
No data listed…

3. Bud Bartos
Chassis: built by Bartos Chassis / R-Geo (114.7 g) … Gear Ratio: 7/28 … Front tires: Bartos… Rear tires: JK … Body: Parma Matra … Controller: Third Eye

4. Tom Lauterbach
Chassis: built by T. Lauterbach / TL (117.5 g) … Gear Ratio: 7/28 … Front tires: TL …
Rear tires: Alpha … Body: O/S Lotus 49 … Controller: Third Eye

5. Ron Hershman
Chassis: built by RPM / JK (113.4 g) … Gear ratio: 7/28 … Front tires: Sonic …
Rear tires: Alpha … Body: O/S McLaren M7C … Controller: Difalco


Willy Custer picked up where he left off in F1/Indy, by turning in a quick lap of 4.816 to just nip Ricky Bennardo’s 4.838 in Can-Am time trials. Bud Bartos was a close third with a time of 4.884, followed by: Mike Peskar (4.899) and Ron Hershman (4.903). Nine drivers were under the 5.0 standard in qualifying.

1. Willy Custer – 4.816
2. Ricky Bennardo Jr – 4.838
3. Bud Bartos – 4.884
4. Mike Peskar – 4.899
5. Ron Hershman – 4.903
6. Brian McPherson – 4.953
7. Marc Picione – 4.969
8. Tom Lauterbach – 4.975
9. Jay Kisling – 4.978
10. Rick Stagen – 5.027
11. Mike Garrett – 5.052
12. Rick Bennardo Sr – 5.086
13. Al Rutti – 5.103
14. Greg Fox – 5.123
15. Jeff Lauterbach - 5.141
16. Mike Panko – 5.173
17. Den Krivacek – 5.183
18. Larry Kowicki – 5.197
19. George Katzakis – 5.218
20. Brian Cox – 5.248
21. Brian Meharry – 5.274
22. Jay Sabala – 5.361
23. Kevin Cosgrove – 5.364
24. Dan Myers – 5.386
25. Ken Kanyok – 5.389
26. Frankie Schaffier – 5.506
27. Larry Mattingly – 5.635
28. Ron Vincek – 5.700



The Can-Am C-Main turned out to be a race of attrition that saw two early leaders fall by the wayside with mechanical problems, before George Katzakis laid claim to win. Illinois racer Brian Meharry jumped into the early lead after the first heat, followed closely by Dan Myers and Brian Cox. Meharry was able to keep a one lap margin over his closest competitors, until disaster struck in the fourth segment when his car lost a rear axle bearing. This gave the top spot to Cox, who pulled out to a five lap lead over Myers. Cox was on cruise control, increasing his lead over Myers until he also was forced to drop out of the race with mechanical problems early into the eighth heat. Katzakis had cycled through the sit outs in the round robin format and inherited the lead over Cox by four laps going into the final segment. Cox failed to an answer the bell for heat nine, giving Katzakis an easy 11-lap win over second place Jay Sabala. Myers was further back in third, ahead of Kevin Cosgrove and Larry Mattingly. Cox, Ken Kanyok, Frankie Schaffier and Meharry rounded out the field.


This race proved to be the most exciting of the day as Greg Fox and Mike ‘Raisin’ Garrett raced side by side for the win during the final heat, with Fox winning the day by track position. The remainder of the field was also within striking distance, as only nine-laps separated the nine car field. Garrett and Larry Kowicki were the leaders after one, with Mike Panko, Rick Bennardo Sr, Greg Fox and Jeff Lauterbach only one-lap off the pace. Garrett continued in control of the race, with Fox and Kolwicki running close behind at the half way mark. Den Krivacek moved into the picture, running third during the sixth round, and was actually in the technical lead going into the final heat of the race, but was forced to serve his sit out. In the final round Garrett was able to make up a full lap on Fox to pull even at the mid-point of the segment, but dumped it on the donut to give the victory to Fox. Lauterbach was two-laps down in third, while Kowicki finished ahead of Bennardo by track position for fourth. Krivacek ended up sixth, trailed bt Al Rutti, Rick Stagen and Panko.


The much anticipated A-Main showdown turned into a barn burner between Will Custer, Bud Bartos and Mike Peskar, with Custer annexing his second win of the day by track position over Bartos. With Custer sitting out the first heat in the nine-man round robin race, Bartos jumped on top early, with Marc Picione in close pursuit. Ron Hershman asserted himself in the second segment to lead Peskar and Bartos. Peskar went to the front after the third heat, and remained the leader through the eighth heat, with 278-laps.Going into the final heat Peskar was forced to watch the action from his sit out position, as Custer and Bartos started the last segment with 244 laps, while Hershman was further back with 243-laps. Custer and Bartos put on a driving clinic, with both finishing with 35-laps. Custer was awarded the win, being 17 sections in front at the finish. Peskar was third, one-lap down to the high flying duo, with Hershman edging Jay Kisling for the fourth slot. Picione, Tom Lauterbach, Ricky Bennardo Jr and Brian McPherson finished sixth through ninth.


1. Willy Custer – 279+18
2. Bud Bartos – 279+1
3. Mike Peskar – 278
4. Ron Hershman – 276
5. Jay Kisling – 275
6. Marc Picione – 270+5
7. Tom Lauterbach – 270+1
8. Greg Fox – 265+7
9. Mike Garrett – 265+2
10. Jeff Lauterbach – 263+19
11. Ricky Bennardo Jr – 263+13
12. Larry Kowicki – 262-17
13. Rick Bennardo Sr – 262+16
14. Den Krivacek – 261
15. Al Rutti – 260
16. Brian McPherson – 259
17. Rick Stagen – 258+11
18. George Katzakis – 258+3
19. Mike Panko – 256
20. Jay Sabala – 247
21. Dan Myers – 244
22. Kevin Cosgrove – 239
23. Larry Mattingly – 233
24. Brian Cox – 223
25. Ken Kanyok – 222
26. Frankie Schaffier – 212
27. Brian Meharry – 97
28. Ron Vincek - DNS


1. Willy Custer
Chassis: built by Dave Gardner / Scratchbuilt (109.5 g) … Gear ratio: 7/28 … Front tires: JK
Rear tires: Alpha … Body: O/S Ti-22 476 … Controller: Difalco

2. Bud Bartos
Chassis: built by Bartos Chassis / JK (108.6 g) … Gear ratio: 7/28 … Front tires: Bartos …
Rear tires: JK … Body: Parma Ti-22 … Controller: Third Eye

3. Mike Peskar
No data listed…

4. Ron Hershman
Chassis: built by RPM / JK (114.8 g) … Gear ratio: 7/28 … Front tires: Sonic
Rear tires: Alpha … Body: O/S Ti-22 NN short … Controller: Difalco

5. Jay Kisling
Chassis: built by J-Tech / JK (110.1 g) … Gear ratio: 7/28 … Front tires: Samson
Rear tires: Alpha … Body: O/S Ti-22 NN short … Controller: Pro 3 Kopriwa Micek


In the final race of the day Bud Bartos and Mike Peskar traded be lead back-and-forth for the entire 16-minute contest, with Bartos gaining the upper hand in the final heat to win by track position. Greg Fox was third, in front of: George Katzakis, Larry Kowicki, Dan Myers and Frankie Schaffier.

1. Bud Bartos – 197+6
2. Mike Peskar – 197+2
3. Greg Fox – 189
4. George Katzakis – 185
5. Larry Kowicki – 172
6. Dan Myers – 171
7. Frankie Schaffier – 149


Hats off to REM Raceway owner Ray McGlone and manager Brian McPherson for hosting round two of the BRS North series. Ray and Brian had the 155’ Ogilvie Hill Climb in perfect condition, as track records were broken across the board. Racers also appreciated the fact that REM provided FREE soda, water, coffee and snacks throughout the weekend. A great lunch was provided by Brian’s wife, Sandy, which also put a smile on everyone’s face … Willy Custer had a day to remember, sweeping both the F1/Indy and Can-Am races, as well as setting fast time in both classes. If that wasn’t enough ‘Magic Slippers’ also broke all of the REM Retro track records in the process. Fast Willy beat Bud Bartos’ previous fast time of 4.993 with a run of 4.898 in F1/Indy, and went 20 sections further than Cap Henry’s old 273 mark in the main. In Can-Am Custer nipped Bartos’ former record of 4.875, with a run of 4.816 in qualifying. Custer capped the day by smashing the total lap record in Can-Am by finishing with 279+18 laps to erase the old record of 275+10 held by Bartos. For his effort Custer was rewarded with a Pro Slot Puppy Dog motor by REM’s Ray McGone… After taking a year off from racing, Flying Slot Factory (FSF) owner Brian Cox returned to action. Brian is recovering from knee replacement surgery, and is scheduled to go under the knife again in late December to have a second knee replaced… Brian Russo was forced to miss the REM event, as his doctors told him to stick close to home following some minor heart surgery in September … Bob Dempsey was on hand to practice on Friday afternoon, but was unable to return for the race on Saturday, as he opted to spend time with his terminally ill brother … Everyone on hand was happy to see Mark Peskar score three podium finishes on Saturday. Mike is currently battling grave health issues, but you wouldn’t know it judging by his on-track performance … the BRS series is attracting some long distance travelers of late. Brian Meharry made the trip from Chicago, IL, and veteran NJ racer Jay Kisling, the former manager of SpeedZone, also made the long haul to Ohio… Thazier Raceway (South Bend, IN) hot shoe Rick Stagen was another welcome visiting fireman to REM … Thanks to Dallas Slot Cars Shontel Howard for keeping everyone up to date by posting the REM race results on the internet as the action unfolded Saturday … REM may have the largest race monitor in all of slot car racing, as it has a 70 inch flat screen TV screen mounted on the wall across from the drivers panel.

NEXT RACE: Sat. Oct. 26 … HMS Speedways & Hobbies, Bellevue, OH