Sam Hafertepe Jr.

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Hafertepe Turns in Solid Performance North of the


Sam Hafertepe Jr

Hafertepe Turns in Solid Performance North of the

Sam Hafertepe and The Rudeen Racing Team made a last second decision to race with The World of Outlaws (WoO) in Canada pay off as they earned 2nd and 3rd place finishes this past weekend at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Hafertepe was able to charge from 10th to 3rd on Friday night and and led much of the Saturday night finale before being passed late for the win.

"I actually didn't plan on running in Canada at all the week before," said Sam. "We talked to The SLS guys at McCool and then we got a call from The Rudeen Racing Team asking if I wanted to go so I figured we'd head down there and see what we could do."

The opening night of The Castrol Cup saw Sam time trial 7th fastest to earn an outside front row starting position in his heat.

It took 2 attempts to get Sam's heat race underway but in each attempt Sam was able to out-gun fellow front row starter Cody Darrah into the lead. Sam dominated the heat and cruised to the victory.

Unfortunately Sam backed up in The Dash from his 7th starting position to a 10th place finish which was where he would start the A Main.

Early in the event it was clear that Sam had a pretty good car under him as he was able to move forward a few positions however it wasn't until late in the race that Sam really began to charge.

"We were running the top all of the way around," explained Sam. "Every now and then though I would see the guys behind me were starting to get a good run off the bottom so I figured I'd try down there and we were really good."

Several late-race cautions bunched the field and gave Sam the opportunity to capitalize. Hafertepe charged to the 3rd position and was clearly catching Joey Saldana for 2nd but he ran out of laps and had to settle for the final position on the podium.

"I felt like we definitely had Joey covered," said Sam after the race. "I don't think Craig knew how good the bottom was so if we got to him we may have had an advantage on him but clearly for him to be leading like he was he had to be operating. We're definitely pleased with 3rd though."

Sam and the team carried their momentum into the Saturday night finale as he laid down the 4th fastest lap in time trials and raced is way through his heat without incident.

The luck of the draw placed Sam on the pole of The Dash which Sam won to earn the right to start on the pole position for the A Main.

WoO points leader Craig Dollansky got the jump on Sam from his outside front row starting position but Hafertepe was able to stay within striking distance of "The Crowd Pleaser" and took advantage of an opportunity in lapped traffic to blast into the lead. Hafertepe would dominate much of the feature but a failing bleeder would do him in costing him the feature late.

"Late in the race I was having trouble keeping air in the right rear tire," said Sam. "It made running the curb really difficult and in the last few laps I was trying to hang on. I would have been fine if the race would have stayed green but we had a late race caution. I couldn't get through the curb like I needed to and it opened the door for Sammy (Swindell) late. He got a run on me and passed me. I tried to slide him on the next lap but we couldn't get it done and ended up 2nd."

Sam trailed Swindell to the line ahead of Steve Kinser and Joey Saldana.

"I was really pleased with the night," said Sam. "I think I must have come off more upset with Sammy than I was. Sammy drove me hard and I had to hammer the brakes and got into the fence a little but he didn't do anything I wouldn't have. I mean you get frustrated losing like that but those are the moves you have to make to win races. It sucks being on the losing end of them but sometimes it happens."

Sam and The Rudeen Racing Team will now head back to The US where they will compete with The Outlaws at Elma on Wednesday and then Sam will try to defend his first career WoO win on Friday and Saturday night at Skagit Speedway.

"It's going to be nice to get back to Skagit," said Sam. "It's The Rudeen Team's home track and obviously having picked up my first career win there it's got a special place in my heart. If we keep rolling like we have been I think we've got as good of a shot as anyone to get it done. It's just really too bad we had The Dirt Cup cancelled on us though because we had a front row starting spot and the way we're running right now I feel like we had a shot at $45,000 this weekend instead of $20,000."

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