From Daryl Tuford
SUNNYVALE, TX – Sam Hafertepe Jr. and The Plumbfast Racing Team struggled this past weekend with The World of Outlaws (WoO). The team missed the setup both nights at feature time to ultimately finish 18th at Junction Motor Speedway on Friday night and 17th at Lakeside Speedway following contact with the turn 2 wall.
Friday night at Junction Motor Speedway saw the team miss the setup badly in qualifying which resulted in a disappointing 17th place time trial effort.
Hafertepe was able to work his way from 6th to 4th in the heat and pressured eventual race winner throughout the heat for 3rd but could never quite work his way past the Australian.
Sam and the team made several changes to The Lone Star Speedway #15H Maxim-Fisher but ultimately could not come up with a combination that was successful for the feature.
The early laps of the 30 lapper saw Sam make some nice moves to work his way forward in the field but ultimately the Sunnyvale, Texas racer could not carry his ill-handling car and dropped through the field.
A late race yellow afforded Sam an opportunity to have crew members Mike Schure and Daryl Turford make some adjustments to improve the handling of the car which would result in Sam gaining a few positions on the restart and salvage an 18th place finish.
The following evening at Lakeside Speedway started off much better for Sam as he timed in 7th fastest and cruised to his WoO leading 9th heat race win of the season.
For the first time this season the Dash invert worked in Sam’s favor and put the youngster on the pole for the Dash. Unfortunately as the track slowed down so did Sam as the team struggled to come to grips with the surface. Hafertepe dropped to a disappointing 5th place finish and had it not been for some skillful driving to hold off Lucas Wolfe he surely should have finished 6th.
The early part of the feature saw Sam hold the 6th position solidly but following an early yellow Hafertepe began to struggle and ultimately fell to 10th. Sam appeared to be on his way to a 10th place finish when he slapped the wall coming out of turn 2 and damaged his right rear wheel.
A quick stop at the work area saw Schure and Turford replace the wheel without incident.
Following the yellow the car wasn’t good and rather than tear up his equipment Sam pulled off to finish 17th.
“We are as fast as anyone as long as we are at a place where we can carry speed,” explained Sam. “Unfortunately as the track slows down and we can’t carry as much speed we are really struggling at making the car comfortable for me. It was really bad this past weekend and made it really hard to hit my lines let alone to try to be fast. We’ll head to Slater, MO this week though and together we’ll work through this and hopefully we will put on a good show at Sedalia on Tuesday night.”