Infield Groove Works For Hafertepe

ASCS announcer Bryan Hurlbert interviews Friday night winner Sam Hafertepe Jr. at Creek County Speedway. (ASCS/Brad Harris photo)

SAPULPA, Okla. — Using a late-race caution flag to his advantage, Sam Hafertepe Jr. bounced his way around the infield berm to pick up his eighth victory of the season with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network in Friday’s John Christner Trucking Fall Fling at Creek County Speedway.

“It was tough conditions. They reworked the track there before that Midget main, and however we got by him, we got by him,” said Hafertepe. “It is what it is. Everyone doesn’t see it the same way, but I don’t make the rules. I just race the car and we had a really good car tonight. Ryan did a hell of a job and we did the best we could do to come out on top.”

Working through heats and qualifier to the fifth starting position in the Hwy. 79 Collision No. 15h, Hafertepe wasted no time advancing to a spot on the podium behind Blake Hahn and Wayne Johnson.

Avoiding the spinning No. 52 while the field worked the second round, Sam leapt to the lead for a moment, but the caution would fly, thus sending Hafertepe back to second behind Wayne Johnson.

Chasing Johnson into slower traffic, the City Vending No. 2c make quick work of slower cars. Putting as many as four between himself and Hafertepe at one point, the Texas shoe has his hands full at both ends as Seth Bergman made his return well known with the pair exchanging the runner-up spot on lap 10, and again on lap 12 amid traffic.

Johnson seemed to have the field covered, but a caution flag on lap 19 was the difference as Hafertepe worked the berm through turns one and two to take the lead.

While displeased with the result, Johnson crossed second and locked into Saturday’s A-Feature, stating simply. “The car was great, we just got beat in the infield,” exclaimed Johnson.

With time out of the seat due to engine woes and the birth of his daughter, Bergman returned to competition at the Creek County Speedway.

“That baby girl is probably the biggest win I’ve ever had, and we certainly can’t hang our head about a podium finish,” Bergman said. “It’s been along couple of months but to come out here with a new chassis, and new shock package on all four corners, it was different but we adapted and got a solid run out of it. Happy we can lock it in and I feel we can players here tomorrow.”

John Carney II and Johnny Herrera rounded out the top five.

The finish:

Sam Hafertepe Jr., Wayne Johnson, Seth Bergman, John Carney II, Johnny Herrera, Blake Hahn, Sean McClelland, Jason McDougal, Alex Sewell, Logan Forler, Brett Wilson, Layne Himebaugh, Chance Morton, Matt Covington, Zach Chappell, Forrest Sutherland, Kyle Clark, Waylon Weaver, Kade Morton, Brandon Hanks, Fred Mattox, Joe Wood Jr., Thomas Kennedy, Kyle Bellm.