It’s A Hafertepe Rout In Michigan

Sam Hafertepe Jr. swept the two-night ASCS show at Michigan's I-96 Speedway. (Jim DenHamer photo)

LAKE ODESSA, Mich. — A dominant run for Sam Hafertepe Jr. to close the two-day appearance in Michigan, the three-time and defending champion of the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network was untouchable at I-96 Speedway.

Hafertepe won Saturday’s 30-lap feature by 6.105 seconds.

“The car was great. I’m very fortunate to have car owners like Miles and Pam and to have the crew we have, they make it where I can just focus on driving the car,” said Hafertepe. “Last night, I wasn’t taking any prisoners but tonight I calmed down and just focused on the racing. Both nights, this crew gave us a great track to race on. They did a hell of a job.”

Trailing the A-Rock Materials No. 95 of Matt Covington into the first two turns, that would be the only time Hafertepe rolled second as the run into turns three and four netted the race lead. Caution on lap two for a three-car incident that involved Bogucki, Price, and Scheid in the second turn, the green lights blinked on for two more laps before Alex Hill and Ryan Coniam came together off the fourth turn.

Moving past Matt Covington on the opening lap restart, Phil Gressman was on Hafertepe as the field went back to green but would not be able to keep pace as Hafertepe started to pull away. Leaving Gressman to himself, the pair were chased by Ryan Ruhl.

Coming under fire on lap 14, the No. 16 was not able to keep Blake Hahn at bay as the Sage Fruit, Co. No. 52 shot to the show position on lap 15. Chasing down Phil Gressman as the pair picked through traffic, Hahn pulled to the back bumper of the No. 7c, but would not get the chance to pass as the caution flew on lap 24.

Erasing a 5.869-second lead, Hafertepe amassed several lapped cars between himself and Gressman. Lapping up to ninth place before the caution, the restart was a walk in the park.

Holding off Hahn in the closing laps, Gressman grabbed second with Hahn holding onto third. Ruhl ended up fourth with Covington slipping to fifth.

The finish:

Feature (30 Laps): 1. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr., [2]; 2. 7C-Phil Gressman, [4]; 3. 52-Blake Hahn, [7]; 4. 16-Ryan Ruhl, [3]; 5. 95-Matt Covington, [1]; 6. 17W-Harli White, [5]; 7. 5J-Jamie Ball, [10]; 8. 47X-Dylan Westbrook, [8]; 9. 85-Dustin Daggett, [6]; 10. 11-Roger Crockett, [9]; 11. 14-Jordon Mallett, [12]; 12. 28-Scott Bogucki, [16]; 13. 49T-Gregg Dalman, [21]; 14. 27-Brad Lamberson, [14]; 15. 77-Andrew Scheid, [20]; 16. 16W-Garrett Saunders, [22]; 17. (DNF) 10S-Jay Steinbach, [13]; 18. (DNF) 16C-Zane Devault, [11]; 19. (DNF) 24D-Danny Sams III, [19]; 20. (DNF) 46-Ryan Coniam, [18]; 21. (DNF) 77X-Alex Hill, [17]; 22. (DNF) 21P-Robbie Price, [15]; 23. (DNF) J2-John Carney II, [23]