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News

Sam Hafertepe, Jr. Charges To Top Five Finish At Short Track Nationals

10/8/2019
Sam Hafertepe, Jr. Charges To Top Five Finish At Short Track Nationals

Image Credit: Michael Diers

Bryan Hulbert – LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (October 7, 2019) Posting his fourth career top-five finish at the COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tire, Sam Hafertepe, Jr. had an overall very successful weekend at I-30 Speedway.

Looking at Friday, Hafertepe showed a lot of speed throughout the night with a Heat Race win, followed by a third in his Qualifier to lock into the eighth starting spot in the A-Feature. Trying to make moves early, the track had already progressed to the bottom line where Sam was unable to push forward without risking a DNF or worse. Rolling out a J&J Chassis for the first time since Sam’s visit to I-30 Speedway in March, the focus, beyond winning, on Friday was getting the car balanced and ready for Saturday.

“That’s just part of it,” stated Hafertepe. “It was the first time since the start of the year that we were back in a J&J Chassis so we were just trying to get the car balance back out and I feel like the more we kept turning on it, once we got to Saturday night we really got it where we wanted to come Feature time.”

Drawing the pole of his Heat Race on Saturday night, the win was followed by a third in the Qualifier. Missing the transfer into the 41-lap A-Feature, Sam had to fight his way in through the B-Feature with the win locking him 13th on the A-Feature grid.

“That’s the way the format goes sometimes. You never want to, or at least I don’t, ever want to draw the pole of a Heat Race because it just kills you on the points you can earn. A lot of guys like to draw that because it does help them, but for us, we want to start in the first two to three rows of the feature and drawing the pole, it doesn’t matter how you do in the Qualifier, you’re still going to have a hard time starting up front in the ‘A’.”

Racing through the field with reds and cautions playing to his favor, Sam was able to fight his way to a fourth-place finish.

“The track was a little heavier than what would make perfect racing conditions, so it makes everyone fast. It just took longer to get by some guys and we did get messed up a couple of times with traffic and one guy blowing an engine right in front of us. Just a lot of different things happening, but I felt like we had to have one of the fastest cars on the track just because we were able to get through the field so well.”

Back with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network this weekend, the destination is the John Christner Trucking Fall Fling presented by James Hodge Ford at Creek County Speedway in Sapulpa, Okla. on Friday, October 11 and Saturday, October 12.

The defending champion of the Fall Fling, Hafertepe also has a prelim win as well as never finishing off the podium.

“We’ve seemed to hit on something there the past four years, and it has worked for us at Creek. It’s just a matter of making the right changes and I think we’re going to have a really good car there where we can build on what we learned last weekend to get our balance right.”

More information on this weekend's race can be found at http://www.creekcountyspeedway.co.

For continued updates on Sam Hafertepe, Jr. log onto http://www.sam15.com and make sure to find him on Twitter (@samhafertepejr). For news on Hill's Racing Team, log onto https://www.facebook.com/hillsracing/ and on Twitter (@HillsRacingTeam).

2019 Season to Date:

Events: 49; Wins -10; Top 5 – 23; Top 10 – 31; Top 20 – 36;

Coming Up:

TBD

Sam Hafertepe, Jr. Online:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011628097506
Website: http://www.sam15.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/samhafertepejr

The Sponsors:

Hill’s Racing Team, Townline Variety, Heidbreder Foundation Service, Kiebler & Sons Lawn and Landscaping, Fisher Racing Engines, Super Shox, J&J Chassis, Smiley’s Racing Products, Hoosier Tire, Huggins Cams, Champion Oil, The Sparks Family, Lonestar Speedway, Keizer Wheels, XYZ Machining, Simpson Racing Products, CP-Carrillo, KSE Power Steering, FK Rod Ends, BMRS, Allstar Performance, Saldana Racing Products, Vortex Wings, DMI, Wilwood Brakes, Kinsler Fuel Injection, Hwy. 79 Collision.