By Bill Wright
Knoxville, IA, January 17, 2019 – Sam Hafertepe, Jr., of Sunnyvale, Texas, was voted the 2018 “Driver of the Year” by the North American 360 Sprint Car Poll voting panel of media members, promoters, sanctioning officials and manufacturers for the second year in a row. Hafertepe, the two-time and defending American Sprint Car Series (ASCS) national tour champion, earned ten (10) of the first-place ballots cast in the year-end poll. Hill’s Racing, owner for Hafertepe’s #15H earned the “Team of the Year” award as well.
Those drivers ranked second through fifth, respectively, are Seth Bergman of Washington, Wayne Johnson of Oklahoma, Mark Smith of Pennsylvania and USCS Champion Jordon Mallett (one first place vote) of Arkansas. Rounding out the ‘top ten’ for the season are Terry Gray, SCCT champion Kyle Hirst, Blake Hahn, Sammy Swindell and Andy Forsberg.
Mason Daniel of California earned the North American 360 Sprint Car Poll “Rookie of the Year” title in his first full season of winged 360-cubic-inch sprint car competition. Jack & Bonnie Elam of J&J Auto Racing (for the thirteenth time) and Mark Smith of Mach-1 Chassis (second award) will share “Builder/Manufacturer of the Year” honors for the second year in a row.
In addition, Lonnie Wheatley (Dodge County Raceway Park/SprintCarMania.com) will receive the “Media Member of the Year” award for the fifth time. Emmett Hahn of the American Sprint Car Series received “Promoter of the Year” honors for the fifth time, and Gio Scelzi will receive the “Wild Card Award” in 2018 for his exciting performances in 360 sprint car racing.
The North American 360 Sprint Car Poll is an annual awards program of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum Foundation, Inc., of Knoxville, Iowa. All awards will be distributed in 2019 at tracks throughout North America. The awards were announced at the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
360 Sprint Car Poll Top 20
Position. Name, Hometown, Points (First Place Votes)
1. Sam Hafertepe Jr., Sunnyvale, TX, 1049 (10)
2. Seth Bergman, Snohomish, WA, 440
3. Wayne Johnson, Oklahoma City, OK, 272
4. Mark Smith, Sunbury, PA, 220
5. Jordon Mallett, Greenbrier, AR, 210 (1)
6. Terry Gray, Bartlett, TN, 163
7. Kyle Hirst, Sacramento, CA, 148
8. Blake Hahn, Sapulpa, OK, 136
9. Sammy Swindell, Germantown, TN, 114
10. Andy Forsberg, Auburn, CA, 106
(tie) Josh Weller, Mertztown, PA, 106
12. Steve Poirier, St. Mathieu De Beloeil, QC, Can., 101
13. Davie Franek, Wantage, NJ, 100 (1)
14. Chuck Hebing, Ontario, NY, 97
15. Clint Garner, Sioux Falls, SD, 91
16. Justin Sanders, Aromas, CA, 84
17. Dylan Westbrook, Scotland, ONT, Can., 72
18. Curt Michael, Ocean View, DE, 68
19. Morgan Turpen, Cordova, TN, 67
20. Jack Dover, Springfield, NE, 52
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