ELDON, Mo. — Keeping pace through a myriad of restarts at the ultra-fast Lake Ozark Speedway, Canadian Robbie Price held off multiple challenges from Sam Hafertepe Jr. to secure the opening night of the 10th annual Lake Ozark Speedway 360 Nationals presented by Champion Racing Oil.
Price’s second victory of the season with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network came 11 starts after his Dirt Cup score at Skagit Speedway.
“Feels good to be No. 1 tonight,” said Price. “Really have to say thank you to everyone at this track for getting this race in. Most places would have canceled, but they got it done.”
Gaining the advantage over Sam Hafertepe Jr. on the start, the first of several cautions came on lap two for Danny Sams who biked his No. 24d into the wall. Charging the bottom on the restart, Hafertepe couldn’t clear for the lead as Harli White nearly sent sailing over the right-side tires of Blake Hahn while racing for third.
Slowed again on lap five right as the leaders found the back of the field, the restart was short-lived as White flipped in the second turn.
Looking for the slide again, Hafertepe was kept at bay as Price leaned hard on the cushion of the Lake Ozark Speedway. Challenged again on the lap-nine restart, Hafertepe would get two more shots at sliding the Skagit Speedway No. 21p on lap 13 and lap 17 with Robbie running by him as the pair hit the exit of the second turn.
Making his longest run in traffic after the caution on lap 17, Price was unphased as he opened his advantage to 2.610 seconds at the checkered flag.
“We had a lot of cautions right when I needed them going into lapped traffic,” stated Price. “We were really good in clean air, but it would have been interesting to see how things would have gone had we been able to stay in lapped traffic, but fortunately we didn’t have too but I have to give a shout out to Shark Racing Engines because I tortured this thing tonight. I was basically wide open for 25 laps.”
Hafertepe was followed by Paul Nienhiser, who picked up three positions for his first podium finish against the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series. Taking advantage of a misstep by Blake Hahn on lap 13 that nearly sent the No. 52 into the fence, Matt Covington raced by for fourth with Blake Hahn recovering to finish fifth.
Feature (25 Laps): 1. 21P-Robbie Price, ; 2. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr, ; 3. 9X-Paul Nienhiser, ; 4. 95-Matt Covington, ; 5. 52-Blake Hahn, ; 6. 23-Seth Bergman, ; 7. 35M-Jonathan Cornell, ; 8. 33-Austin Alumbaugh, ; 9. 14K-Kyle Bellm, ; 10. 75-Tyler Blank, ; 11. 14-Jordon Mallett, ; 12. 11-Roger Crockett, ; 13. 3-Ayrton Gennetten, ; 14. 2X-Tucker Doughty, ; 15. 76-Jay Russell, ; 16. J2-John Carney II, ; 17. (DNF) 24-Garet Williamson, ; 18. (DNF) 21-Miles Paulus, ; 19. (DNF) 6-Bryan Grimes, ; 20. (DNF) 7B-Ben Brown, ; 21. (DNF) 24N-Nathan Mills, ; 22. (DNF) 17W-Harli White, ; 23. (DNF) 4-Evan Martin, ; 24. (DNF) 24D-Danny Sams III, ; 25. (DNF) 28-Scott Bogucki,