January 3, 2017 – Sam Hafertepe Jr. will kick off the 2017 season at next week’s Chili Bowl for midgets at the Tulsa Expo Center in Oklahoma. The 2016 Lucas Oil ASCS National champion is ready to go thanks to new partner, the Youth Racing League. The Sunnyvale, Texas native has made two B mains in his short Chili Bowl Career.
Until recently, Sam wasn’t sure he’d be running the Chili Bowl this year. “It’s been kind of a scramble really,” he says. “We didn’t think we’d be racing, but I met up with the folks from the Youth Racing League in Oklahoma at PRI (in Indianapolis). They are sponsoring a motor for us for the Chili Bowl. It’s supposed to arrive tomorrow. I don’t like to rush, but we’ll do what we have to do to race next week.”
He’s still looking to qualify for his first final. “Our best result was a few years ago when we ran ninth in the B main,” says Sam. “We missed the show by three spots. The best we’ve felt in the car was two years ago. We were on the pole of our preliminary feature and we got taken out. We were really good in the heat and Qualifier.”
Over the years, Sam has improved his setup and feel for the midget. “We’d figured a lot of stuff out on the car, and then unfortunately, last year, we blew up,” he says. “That didn’t help anything. We’ve got a really good car though. We’ve made improvements on it every year. This year, we probably weren’t going to run, so we’re really thankful for the help we got from the Youth Racing League.”
The team will be busy this week getting ready for Tulsa. “We’ll be hard at work the rest of this week and get ready,” says Sam. “We’ll find out what day we’re going next week and give it our best!”