By Lonnie Wheatley,Tim Aylwin photo
MESQUITE, Texas (March 26, 2011) – Sam Hafertepe, Jr., became the sixth different winner in as many nights of 2011 Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters National action by taking top honors in Saturday night’s 38th Annual Devil’s Bowl Spring Nationals 30-lap championship finale.
After pacing the initial pair of circuits, Hafertepe rallied past both Danny Lasoski and leader Brian Brown on a lap 17 restart en route to the $6,000 triumph, his second career ASCS National victory aboard the Fisher-powered Lone Star Speedway No. 15h Maxim.
Struggling with a faulty wing slider, the Sunnyvale, TX, shoe slipped back as far as fifth at the race’s midway point before rallying for the win in front of current Lucas Oil Sprint Car points leader Shane Stewart from eleventh and defending series champion Jason Johnson in third after winning Friday night’s preliminary feature.
“I’d written myself off, the wing was stuck all the way back and I couldn’t get going,” Hafertepe explained. “It finally got where I could keep my momentum up though and we were able to get back up front.”
Starting from the pole position, Hafertepe outgunned Brian Brown for the lead at the drop of the green flag and led just two laps before Brown and fifth-starter Lasoski raced by on the third circuit.
Brown kept the FVP No. 21 Maxim in front of Missouri relative Lasoski over the ensuing rounds, with sixth-starting Brady Bacon putting the top side of turns one and two to good use to race around Hafertepe for third on the ninth circuit and then take second from Lasoski by the midway point as Wayne Johnson relegated Hafertepe to fifth.
A seemingly innocuous caution for Eric Baldaccini’s race-ending excursion off turn three after 16 laps changed the complexion of the race though, as Wayne Johnson clipped an infield tire in turn two and slid to a stop with front end damage on the restart with Bacon falling victim to a failed fuel line on the next try.
Up to third behind Brown and Lasoski after the misfortune of Johnson and Bacon, Hafertepe hustled past them both for the lead and checked out in short order with 2009 series champion Shane Stewart taking over second by the 19th round.
After a final caution for Dustin Morgan in turn two on the 24th lap, Hafertepe checked out again only to reach traffic again before the white flag flew. Stewart tried to move in, but was unable to mount a challenge on the 25-year-old.
Stewart settled for runner-up honors in Paul Silva’s Wesmar-powered Rockstar Energy Drink No. 57 A.R.T., holding off the late charges of Friday night preliminary winner Jason Johnson in the Don Ott-powered Haynes No. 41 Maxim.
Lasoski crossed the stripe fourth, with Brown rounding out the top five after pacing 13 early rounds. In just his second National start since suffering severe burns last July, Travis Rilat charged from the 17th starting position to claim sixth with 15th-starter Danny Wood, 14th-starter Matt Covington, “Texan” Gary Wright and Missouri’s Kyle Bellm completing the top ten.
Covington, Wood, Johnny Herrera, Tim Crawley, Stewart and Brown won Saturday night’s heat races. Rilat made a lap 12 move around Zach Chappell to win the first “B” Main, while Channin Tankersley’s last corner pass of Dustin Morgan netted the win in an enthralling second “B” Main.
A total of 54 different drivers took part in the Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters portion of the 38th Annual Devil’s Bowl Spring Nationals without the red flag ever flying over the course of two full nights.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters
38th Annual Devil’s Bowl Spring Nationals Championship Finale
Devil’s Bowl Speedway – Mesquite, TX
Locked in from Friday Night’s Preliminary Feature:
41-Jason Johnson, 15h-Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 99-Brady Bacon, 33-Danny Lasoski.
Heat Races (Top 12 in Passing Points, including the six heat race winners, to “A” Main; Balance to Two “B” Main):
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 95-Matt Covington, 2. 71-Channin Tankersley, 3. 74x-Joshua Hodges, 4. 12$-Michelle Decker, 5. 29-Travis Rilat, 6. 21T-Ray Allen Kulhanek, 7. 21v-Taylor Velasquez, 8. 28x-Mitch Runge.
Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 81-Danny Wood, 2. 8-John Carney II, 3. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 4. 2-Dustin Morgan, 5. 1j-Danny Jennings, 6. 11-Jeffrey Newell, 7. 15T-Travis Elliott, 8. 51-Beau Smith.
Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 2. 14k-Kyle Bellm, 3. 38-Wayne Johnson, 4. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 5. 4-Eric Baldaccini, 6. 2x-Logan Payne, 7. 31-Brandon Berryman, 8. 53-Jack Dover.
Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 88-Tim Crawley, 2. 0-Zach Chappell, 3. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 4. 15d-Brady Demeree, 5. 74e-Claud Estes, 6. 31x-Mark Pace, 7. 35-Rick Wright, Jr., 8. 17-Bruce Griffith, Jr.
Heat Five (8 Laps): 1. 57-Shane Stewart, 2. 10-George White, 3. 2L-Logan Forler, 4. 44w-Austen Wheatley, 5. 3x-Michael Dupuy, 6. 45-Martin Edwards, 7. 54-Evan Pardo, 8. 23-Seth Bergman.
Heat Six (8 Laps): 1. 21-Brian Brown, 2. 28-Jeff Swindell, 3. 01-Gary Wright, 4. 14-Michael Lang, 5. 23x-Darryl Wills, 6. 35g-Barry Gifford, 7. 1x-Garry Lee Maier, 8. 9-Brian Parker.
“B” Main (Top 3 from Each Advance to “A” Main):
First “B” Feature (15 Laps): 1. 29-Travis Rilat, 2. 8-John Carney II, 3. 0-Zach Chappell, 4. 74x-Joshua Hodges, 5. 21T-Ray Allen Kulhanek, 6. 12$-Michelle Decker, 7. 74e-Claud Estes, 8. 35g-Barry Gifford, 9. 31x-Mark Pace, 10. 15T-Travis Elliott, 11. 45-Martin Edwards, 12. 15d-Brady Demeree, 13. 17-Bruce Griffith, Jr., 14. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 15. 9-Brian Parker. DNS: 44w-Austen Wheatley, 31-Brandon Berryman, 53-Jack Dover.
Second “B” Feature (15 Laps): 1. 71-Channin Tankersley, 2. 2-Dustin Morgan, 3. 4-Eric Baldaccini, 4. 28-Jeff Swindell, 5. 1x-Garry Lee Maier, 6. 11-Jeffrey Newell, 7. 1j-Danny Jennings, 8. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 9. 3x-Michael Dupuy, 10. 54-Evan Pardo, 11. 35-Rick Wright, Jr., 12. 23x-Darryl Wills, 13. 21v-Taylor Velasquez, 14. 51-Beau Smith, 15. 28x-Mitch Runge, 16. 2x-Logan Payne. DNS: 14-Michael Lang, 23-Seth Bergman.
38th Annual Devil’s Bowl Spring Nationals Championship “A” Main:
“A” Feature (25 Laps): 1. 15h-Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 2. 57-Shane Stewart, 3. 41-Jason Johnson, 4. 33-Danny Lasoski, 5. 21-Brian Brown, 6. 29-Travis Rilat, 7. 81-Danny Wood, 8. 95-Matt Covington, 9. 01-Gary Wright, 10. 14k-Kyle Bellm, 11. 88-Tim Crawley, 12. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 13. 71-Channin Tankersley, 14. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 15. 28-Jeff Swindell, 16. 0-Zach Chappell, 17. 2L-Logan Forler, 18. 8-John Carney II, 19. 10-George White, 20. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 21. 2-Dustin Morgan, 22. 99-Brady Bacon, 23. 38-Wayne Johnson, 24. 4-Eric Baldaccini.
Lap Leaders: Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 1-2, Brian Brown 3-16, Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 17-30.
Note: Jeff Swindell and Aaron Reutzel both utilized their first provisionals of 2011 to start the main event.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters Driver Points (Top 15): 1. Shane Stewart 800, 2. Johnny Herrera 743, 3. Tim Crawley 665, 4. Jeff Swindell 664, 5. Brady Bacon 654, 6. Aaron Reutzel 627, 7. Tony Bruce, Jr. 604, 8. Seth Bergman 600, 9. Gary Wright 596, 10. Logan Forler 553, 11. Zach Chappell 543, 12. Dustin Morgan 501, 13. (tie) Mason Moore and Trey Starks 391, 15. Jack Dover 387.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters Owner Points (Top 15): 1. Jason Johnson Racing #41 – 837, 2. Paul Silva #57 – 800, 3. Herrera/Main #45x – 743, 4. Mike Ward #88 – 665, 5. Swindell Group #28 – 664, 6. Bacon/Tel-Star #99 – 654, 7. Kenny Reutzel #87 – 627, 8. Bruce Racing #18 – 604, 9. Petersen Motorsports #23 – 600, 10. Cooper/Sperry #01/51 – 596, 11. Steve Forler #2L – 553, 12. Randy Washburn #0 – 543, 13. M&M Motorsports #2 – 501, 14. (tie) Harley Van Dyke #5h and Terry Starks #55 – 391.