Hafertepe wins ASCS National Tour event at Route 66

Sam Hafertepe, Jr. in victory lane at Route 66 Raceway. (Serena Dalhamer Photo)

Sam Hafertepe, Jr. in victory lane at Route 66 Raceway. (Serena Dalhamer Photo)
Sam Hafertepe, Jr. in victory lane at Route 66 Raceway. (Serena Dalhamer Photo)
From Bryan Hulbert

Amarillo, TX — (June 11, 2016) — The return of the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series National Tour presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network to the Route 66 Motor Speedway kicked off the 2016 ASCS Sizzlin’ Summer Speedweek and Bob Westphal Memorial Cup, as packed grandstands cheered two sons of Texas with Sam Hafertepe, Jr. working the bottom side of the Amarillo oval to outlast Aaron Reutzel through slower traffic for his second National Tour triumph of the season.

Hafertepe’s sixth podium appearance of the season, the win is his ninth overall Lucas Oil ASCS score.

“The bottom was tough tonight but that was the place for us to be for sure. I was surprised to see Aaron [Reutzel] go to the top on that restart in one and two but he opened the bottom up for us. I know he saw us there a couple times, and I thought he would move back down but then we got a heck of a good run through turns one and two and were able to get by him,” said Hafertepe who now sits atop the Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour standings in a tie with Johnny Herrera.

“I knew he was there the whole time. He’s a hard racer and he wants to win just as bad as anyone else out here and I knew if I made a couple mistakes, he’d be right there and I was really worried I made to many mistakes because we got really tight on the bottom of three and four in traffic, but out on open track; we were awesome.”

Drawing the sixth starting spot for the A-Feature, Sam made quick moves to the runner-up spot on the start as Wayne Johnson jumped to the point after starting on the pole. Going after the race lead, Hafertepe was joined by Josh Baughman with the trio going three wide working the second lap with Hafertepe grabbing the lead, only to have a caution negate the pass.

Chasing the No. 2c to the green, Sam wasted little time; making the pass for the top spot on Lap 3. With Aaron Reutzel moving to second a couple laps later, the pair began a game of Cat and Mouse through slower traffic, with Reutzel finally able to roll top-shelf to the race lead.

Caution on Lap 12, the pair worked top to bottom around the three-eighths mile oval with Hafertepe patiently working the bottom groove as Reutzel moved top to one and two, and bottom to three and four.

Finding their way to the back of the field once again, Hafertepe reclaimed the lead on Lap 16. Rolling under caution for the last time on Lap 18, Reutzel made several attempts for the race lead, but would not be able to work back around the No. 15h as Sam won by 0.758 seconds.

Summarizing his race, Aaron said, “I guess the bottom was greasy there when I was making the top work but they cleaned the bottom off and got back going and, you know, It’s really disappointing to get the lead then sit on the top and end up handing it over like that but I just have to thank my guys for standing behind me. We’re finally starting to get some momentum back.”

Exchanging the third spot a half-dozen times over the course of the A-Feature, Danny Wood bested Wayne Johnson in the closing laps for the final podium step to mark Wood’s 46th career National Tour podium appearance.

“I hope the fans enjoyed that because me and Wayne; we were drawn up. It was just so hard not to make a mistake, but this was a great little racetrack. Just fun to race,” said Danny. “I got a little snookered on the start. I thought it was going to be a little stickier than that and I didn’t have my wing back far enough so, I wish we could have been a little better on the start but, you never know. I was still a good race.”

Wayne Johnson crossed fourth with Josh Baughman settling for a fifth place finish. Brad Loyet moved from 10th to sixth with Logan Forler seventh. From 11th, Blake Hahn crossed eighth with John Carney II ninth. Relegated to the 22nd starting spot after mechanical failure sidelined the No. 23 in the opening Heat, Seth Bergman clawed to a 10th place finish and an extra $400 from “The Girls”.

With a 24 car field on hand, three Heat Races went to Wes Wofford, Josh Baughman, and Brandon Long. All drivers went to the night’s A-Feature.

With the first round of the 2016 ASCS Sizzlin’ Summer Speedweek and Bob Westphal Memorial Cup in the books, the Lucas Oil ASCS presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Networks heads for the Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Texas on Tuesday, June 14. For continued updates on the Lucas Oil ASCS presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Networks, log onto http://www.ascsracing.com.

Race Results:

ASCS National & ASCS Red River
Route 66 Motor Speedway – Amarillo, Texas
Saturday, June 11, 2016
24th Sizzlin’ Summer Speedweek – Round 1

Car Count: 24

ButlerBuilt Heat Races (8 Laps, all drivers to the A-Feature.)

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 19-Wes Wofford[1]; 2. 81W-Danny Wood[4]; 3. 87-Aaron Reutzel[6]; 4. 17W-Harli White[2]; 5. 40-Howard Moore[3]; 6. 95-Matt Covington[7]; 7. 12-James Mosher[5]; 8. (DNF) 26M-Fred Mattox[8]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 17-Josh Baughman[6]; 2. 2L-Logan Forler[1]; 3. 2C-Wayne Johnson[5]; 4. 52-Blake Hahn[4]; 5. 05-Brad Loyet[7]; 6. 91-Steven Russell[3]; 7. 8M-Kade Morton[2]; 8. (DNF) 23-Seth Bergman[8]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 02-Brandon Long[4]; 2. 224-John Carney II[3]; 3. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[7]; 4. 20G-Jake Greider[1]; 5. 84-Brandon Hanks[2]; 6. 14K-Kyle Bellm[6]; 7. 45X-Johnny Herrera[5]; 8. 98-Ryan Padgett[8]

Protect the Harvest A-Feature (30 Laps)

A Feature (30 Laps): 1. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[6]; 2. 87-Aaron Reutzel[5]; 3. 81W-Danny Wood[2]; 4. 2C-Wayne Johnson[1]; 5. 17-Josh Baughman[3]; 6. 05-Brad Loyet[10]; 7. 2L-Logan Forler[9]; 8. 52-Blake Hahn[11]; 9. 224-John Carney II[8]; 10. 23-Seth Bergman[22]; 11. 45X-Johnny Herrera[20]; 12. 40-Howard Moore[15]; 13. 95-Matt Covington[14]; 14. 8M-Kade Morton[24]; 15. 20G-Jake Greider[13]; 16. 19-Wes Wofford[7]; 17. 17W-Harli White[12]; 18. 14K-Kyle Bellm[17]; 19. 91-Steven Russell[18]; 20. 84-Brandon Hanks[16]; 21. (DNF) 98-Ryan Padgett[23]; 22. (DNF) 12-James Mosher[19]; 23. (DNF) 02-Brandon Long[4]; 24. (DNF) 26M-Fred Mattox[21]

Lap Leader(s): Wayne Johnson 1-3; Aaron Reutzel 12-18; Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 4-11 / 19-30;
FSR High Point Driver: Josh Baughman
Hard Charger: Seth Bergman +12
Provisional(s): N/A

2016 ASCS National Driver Standings (Top 10): 1. Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 1,167; 2. Johnny Herrera 1,167; 3. Matt Covington 1,084; 4. Logan Forler 1,077; 5. Wayne Johnson 1,067; 6. Aaron Reutzel 1,057; 7. Blake Hahn 1,042; 8. Seth Bergman 1,003; 9. Brad Loyet 991; 10. Josh Baughman 984;

2016 Speedweek Standings (Top 10): 1. Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 150; 2. Aaron Reutzel 142; 3. Danny Wood 135; 4. Wayne Johnson 130; 5. Josh Baughman 125; 6. Brad Loyet 122; 7. Logan Forler 119; 8. Blake Hahn 116; 9. John Carney II 113; 10. Seth Bergman 110;