Sam Hafertepe Jr.

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Sam Hafertepe Jr. – Second at Cotton Bowl!


Sam Hafertepe Jr

Sam Hafertepe Jr. – Second at Cotton Bowl!

Sam Hafertepe Jr. – Second at Cotton Bowl!

(Bill W) March 29, 2016 – Sam Hafertepe Jr. and the Keith Dobbs #15H race team highlighted their weekend with a second place finish Friday night at Cotton Bowl Speedway near Paige, Texas. The Sunnyvale, Texas driver also had a fast racecar by night’s end on Saturday at Bronco Speedway Park near Cleveland, Texas. This weekend sees one night of action for the Lucas Oil ASCS National Series as they will contest the Rock ‘N Roll 50 at Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Arkansas.

Friday started for Sam with a heat race run that saw him climb from sixth to third. “We were pretty good in our set of hot laps,” he says. “We just kind of worked on it for the heat race. We made a few changes. At that point, it was kind of single-file around the top and we got a good start on the outside. We were able to jump up to third there and kind of rode there the rest of the way.”

It was good enough to make the feature redraw, and he would start sixth in that event as well. “Sixth was a pretty good spot to start,” says Sam. “There were some good guys in front of us. The car was good though. We got by Wayne (Johnson) and we got by Johnny Herrera there pretty early. We had a restart and we were able to get by (Travis) Rilat to jump into third.”

Late in the race, the cushion was the place to be for everyone. “We really didn’t have anything for the front two guys (Josh Baughman and Brandon Hanks),” says Sam. “We were kind of just riding around the top. They got to battling and we reeled them in a little. One (Baughman) got into the wall there at the end and kind of gave us a free spot. On the restart, I made an attempt at (Hanks), but we just weren’t good enough and ran second.”

Following the runner-up finish, the team headed to Bronco Raceway Park Saturday. “We were in the first heat and it was really narrow,” says Sam. “Even in the later heats, the track widened, but it was still heavy. It was hard to make anything happen unless guys were messing up in front of you. As luck would have it, my row kind of messed up on the start and that set us back from where we needed to try to get anything to happen.”

Sam finished sixth in his heat, which put him inside row four of the B main. “In all honesty, our car wasn’t the best in the heat or the B,” he admits. “We were good enough to run fifth in the B, but it still wasn’t very good.”

His fifth place finish would mean a starting spot inside row eleven for the main event. “Our mindset, was we were starting towards the back and we expected some torn up equipment ahead of us,” says Sam. “We wanted to keep our nose clean, but make our moves when we could. The leader jumped out pretty quickly, and we got lapped early. That kind of ended our night. We just didn’t make enough moves early. We were being a bit cautious and that bit us.”

That didn’t mean Sam didn’t have a fast racecar. “To be honest, once we did get lapped, we were probably the second fastest car out there,” he says. “Once we got in clean air, we were really good. We had made some adjustments about halfway through on an open red. It was good enough that we were driving away from the second place car. We worked on the car all night long, and got better and better (he would checker 15th due to being a lap down). We definitely have some notes to look at when we hit some surfaces like that later in the year.”

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Twitter: @SamHafertepeJr

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Sam would like to thank Highway 79 Collision Center, the Sparks Family, Kiebler & Sons Lawn and Landscaping, Keizer Aluminum Wheels and Champion Oil.

Photo:Sam at Bronco Raceway Park (Carey Akin – Photo)

Bill W Media
Twitter: @BillWMedia
Monroe, IA USA

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