SALINA, Kan. — Earning his fifth win of the season and 42nd overall with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network, Sam Hafertepe Jr. picked up his first victory at Salina Speedway Saturday night.
Hafertepe also secured his second career ASCS Sizzlin’ Summer Speedweek title.
Getting the outside of the front row for Saturday’s 30-lap affair, Hafertepe, trailed into the first two turns as Blake Hahn led the way. Slight contact battling for the top spot into the third turn, Hafertepe was able to edge out the Sage Fruit, Co. No. 52 to lead the opening lap.
“I knew I had to get to the lead early and get to the bottom and I ended up getting into Blake down the backstretch, and I didn’t mean too. Just trying to get to the bottom otherwise, we could have easily ended up second or third all night,” said Hafertepe.
Finding traffic by lap eight, the driver of the Townline Variety No. 15 picked off several slower cars to open his advantage to well over a straightaway as Blake Hahn battled for the runner-up spot with John Carney II. Caution on lap 19 for Tanner Berryhill, who spun in the fourth turn, Hafertepe’s lead was 5.396 seconds.
Restarting with four lapped cars in the mix, Hafertepe bolted as John Carney II worked around Blake Hahn for second. Taking the slower cars down to two before the caution flew again on lap 23 for Grady Chandler who rolled to a stop after contact with Alex Hill, the restart saw Carney drive deep into the first turn, clearing the remaining slower machine and pulling almost even with Hafertepe. Racing hard into turn three, Hafertepe held point before yellow lights flashed again; this time for Fred Mattox and Matt Covington.
With no slower cars between himself and Sam Hafertepe Jr., the lap-24 restart saw Carney swap up his attack with a high side run to pull his Mesilla Valley Transportation No. J2 side by side again with Hafertepe. Able to run deep and swing to the center through turns three and four, Hafertepe was able to put distance over Carney.
One final chance to battle of the lead as the field set up for a green, white, checkered finish after Robbie Price and Fred Mattox came together off the second turn, Carney couldn’t mount the charge as Hafertepe grabbed the win by 2.033 seconds.
John Carney II’s 13th podium appearance with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network, Jordon Mallett used the race’s last restart to work past Blake Hahn for his first career National Tour podium finish. Hahn in fourth was trailed to the line by Harli White.
Feature (30 Laps): 1. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr, ; 2. J2-John Carney II, ; 3. 14-Jordon Mallett, ; 4. 52-Blake Hahn, ; 5. 17W-Harli White, ; 6. 28-Scott Bogucki, ; 7. 11-Roger Crockett, ; 8. 23X-Grady Chandler, ; 9. 22-Sean McClelland, ; 10. 47-Tanner Berryhill, ; 11. 95-Matt Covington, ; 12. 2X-Tucker Doughty, ; 13. 20G-Jake Greider, ; 14. 26M-Fred Mattox, ; 15. 94L-Layne Himebaugh, ; 16. 90-Lance Norick, ; 17. 91-Jeff Stasa, ; 18. (DNF) 21P-Robbie Price, ; 19. (DNF) 9$-Kyle Clark, ; 20. (DNF) 98-J.D. Johnson, ; 21. (DNF) 77X-Alex Hill,