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News

Hafertepe Ready to Defend Home Turf

4/8/2009
Hafertepe Ready to Defend Home Turf

(Daryl Turford)

Sunnyvale, Texas- Every sprint car driver dreams about the opportunity to win a race at their home track in front of all of their friends and family. For World of Outlaws (WoO) gun Sam Hafertepe Jr. much more is at stake as for the first time in his career he will not only be racing at his home track, he will be racing at his OWN track.

Towards the end of the 2008 WoO season Sam’s father purchased Lone Star Speedway (www.lonstarspeedway.com) in nearby Kilgore, Texas. Sam and his father have dedicated much of their offseason to restoring the facility and preparing for their April 10th WoO race date. The track had been left to sit for 4 years and thieves had stolen all of the copper from the facility.

The Hafertepe’s have re-worked the tracks surface, cleaned up the stands, infield and parking areas, while breathing new life into the race track. They also decided to re-name the facility Lone Star Speedway and have gone through and restored all of the concession stands and bathrooms in an effort to give fans a pleasurable racing experience.

Unfortunately for Sam, his racing season has not been nearly as successful in 2009 as he had hoped for and the team is looking at the Lone Star race as an opportunity to turn their fortunes around.

“Our year started off terribly in Florida, we lost 3 motors in 4 nights, we cut a tire in Vegas and then crashed twice in California,” stated the driver of the Fusion Energy Boost #15H. “Fortunately we picked up a new crew member while we were in California and he seems to be working out really well for us”.

The team has also recently acquired some veteran stability and leadership in the form of new crew chief Chris Straight.

“I’m really happy with the team we have assembled here,” said Sam enthusiastically while preparing his shocks at his Sunnyvale-based shop. “We have a brand new team heading into my home race and it would mean so much for me to win at Lone Star. So many of the people who have helped me and supported me will be in the stands that night and it would mean everything to be standing in Victory Lane with the Fusion Energy Boost J&J. Chris brings such a wealth of experience and I think he may be just what we need to get it done”.

The next 2 weeks will be very busy for the Hafertepe’s as they take care of the final details in preparation for the race. It will truly be a balancing act as Sam tries to also prepare for what could be his first career WoO win.

“Out here everything has to be perfect. These guys are so good and so fast that you can’t make any mistakes. I’m going to give it everything I have and I’m going to have my elbows up and my foot to the floor because I know that not a single one of them cares what this race means to me,” stated the 3rd year WoO racer. “I know we are capable of winning this show and I’m going to do everything in my power to see that we get it done”.

FAST FACT-Sam made his 410 debut at Lone Star Speedway in 2004. Sam remembers the race fondly.

“I don’t know what we were thinking. Lone Star is a big, fast, high-banked half-mile and it’s really not the place where you should try to run a 410 for your first time”. He later added, “I’ll never forget my first time trial run. I remember sailing it into the corner so fast that I couldn’t even watch what I was doing, I closed my eyes on the entrance of the corner, it was all so overwhelming”.

That night Sam missed the A Main by 1 position after Dean Jacobs made a late charge to take the final transfer spot in the B Main.

Support the people who support Sam: Fusion Energy Boost, G-H Plumbing, Smiley’s Race Products, Keizer Aluminum Wheels