By Daryl Turford
Sam Hafertepe Jr and the rest of The World of Outlaws are once again returning to Pennsylvania to take on The Pennsylvania Posse at the always prestigious National Open held at Williams Grove Speedway this weekend. Hafertepe and The Plumbfast Racing Team have been one of the strongest WoO teams at Williams Grove over the past 2 years and they hope to continue to build on their strong performances this weekend.
“We didn’t really get the performance we wanted last weekend at Eldora and Lernerville,” explained Sam. “We were really fast at times, but Guy (Forbrook) and the rest of the team are working on getting us fast throughout the night. I know based on our past experience here if we get the car good we can pull off a huge upset this weekend.”
While winning The National Open would be an upset in the eyes of most fans astute observers have surely noticed that Sam has been fast at Williams Grove.
“In all honesty the race in the spring was mine and I just screwed up,” recalled Sam. “I used up my tires too early and when we got down to those final laps with Rahmer, Leppo and Pittman I just didn’t have the tires left to race with those guys. If I’d have just run the middle of the race a little more conservatively I don’t think anyone could have hung with us at the end.”
While the spring race at The Grove was certainly Hafertepe’s most high profile run there have been several other strong runs against The Posse over the last 2 years including a top 10 run in the summer.
“We think we’ve found a handle on The Grove,” explained Sam. “It took me a few races here but I feel like I’ve figured out how to run this place. It’s a really neat track, you have to be so patient to run the bottom but at the same time you better be ready to get your elbows up when it comes time to rip the top. You really have to be on your toes and be very versatile if you really want to be a consistently good runner here.”
Of course if Sam has any intentions of putting his Lone Star Speedway Maxim-Fisher in victory lane he’s going to have to deal with some pretty tough locals.
“I don’t care what anybody says The Pennsylvania Posse are the toughest locals in the country,” said Sam emphatically. “These guys have the same equipment we do, professional level crews and more of them, elite owners, they see the place every week and the way the schedule is right now they actually probably race more than we do. If you come here and even want to make this show you better be on the top of your game and you better be on kill. If you aren’t it will show up in the results and the fans on Beer Hill won’t hesitate to remind you.”
Hafertepe will also have a little more ammo than usual with new crew chief Guy Forbrook turning the wrenches at a track where he has had so much success in the past.
“Ever since we hired Guy I’ve been looking forward to running The Grove,” said Sam. “I think together we can be really tough. I know Guy, Kirk and Daryl will have this car ready to go and I know when we roll off the trailer that the car will be fast. It’s just up to me now to get the job done.”