From Bill Wright
February 28, 2017 – Sam Hafertepe Jr. and the Keith Dobbs #15H team are excited about this weekend’s trip to the Lone Star State by the World of Outlaws. His family’s Lonestar Speedway near Kilgore hosts the WoO Friday night. On Saturday, the series moves south to Gator Motorplex near Willis. In the meantime, the defending Lucas Oil ASCS National Sprint Car champion is looking for some crew help.
Sam picked up a win at Lonestar in 2016 and looks back on a practice session earlier in the year as a key to his ASCS championship run. “We were so quick last year at the 360 show at Lonestar,” he says. “We really feel like we have a good grasp on the track for sure. I think I have more laps than anybody there, especially since it’s been reconfigured.”
He will have the advantage of seat time on most competitors Friday night. “It helps me,” says Sam. “I’ve been able to race there in both a sprint and a modified. We’ve also done some tire testing for Hoosier there. I’ve got quite a few laps again, and hopefully, that can play into our hands with the Outlaws coming in. We need all the help we can get.”
Sam has also spun laps at the Gator Motorplex bullring. “The plan is to head down to Gator as well,” he says. “We’ve only raced there a handful of times, so I don’t have a ton of good notes for that place. I feel like we’ll have a good car there though.”
Sam is looking for a partner on his crew. “I need someone who has experience,” he says. “Someone who can do the general maintenance on the car. I need someone to help drive the truck. I definitely need someone with experience…someone who is not green. I need someone who wants to work.”
If you’re interested, you can e-mail Sam at Sammy15@sbcglobal.net!
Sam opened up his race season last weekend at the Ronald Lane Memorial “King of the 360’s” at East Bay Raceway Park near Tampa, Florida. “I’ve really never been good there,” he says. “I don’t know what it is about that place. You know, last year, we were good at some places that we hadn’t been in the past. We thought going down to East Bay, that may be the case there. But we definitely didn’t do well.”
After having practice and a chance to dial in on Wednesday washed out, it took Sam a while to get going in the three-night event. “We had some speed finally on Friday in the B,” he says. “We went from ninth to third. But we were so far back in points heading into Saturday, that we tried some other things. It was so greasy in hot laps, that we didn’t know what we had. Not having practice on Wednesday really put us behind the 8-ball. We didn’t have any good notes from the past coming in to that place. Guys like Terry McCarl and Mark Smith are always good there. They’ve got good notes, and we don’t yet.”