Hafertepe wins the Dirt Cup

(Lisa Dynes Photo)
(Lisa Dynes Photo)
From Bryan Hulbert

Alger, WA — (June 25, 2016) — Sam Hafertepe, Jr. turned in a dominating performance with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network, leading start to finish at the Skagit Speedway for a $15,000 score in the 45th annual Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup presented by Jack in the Box.
Hafertepe’s 11th career Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour triumph, the win is Sam’s fourth National Tour triumph of the season, and marks his 10th podium appearance of 2016.

Putting the win into words, Sam stated, “You know, this is pretty awesome. I know a lot of these fans know that Rudeen gave me my first opportunity up here so I was able to get a lot of laps around here. We won an Outlaw show here, and tried the Dirt Cup a few times with those guys and just never got it done, so to come here tonight, and get Dirt Cup in my car; I just really have to thank Rudeen for everything they’ve done for me through the years because this it’s just awesome.”

Gridding the lineup second, the driver of the Keith Dobbs Motorsports No. 15h outgunned defending race winner, Jason Solwold into the first two turns to begin building a comfortable advantage.

Working the cushion at both ends of the Skagit Speedway, traffic became a major factor as the race worked to the tenth lap, forcing Sam to begin searching the bottom.

Allowing the Mike Anderson owned No. 18 to shave a few seconds off Hafertepe’s advantage, the Texas native stayed out of danger, delivering slide jobs to the slower cars in almost every corner.

Asked of his level of concern, Sam said, “I was definitely concerned. When you see the No. 87 rolling up on the board, and the No. 23, both are tough competitors and I knew if they were able to get by Jason [Solwold] they were going to be pretty tough so I burned the tires off just giving everything I could give it. We were blistered on every block because I was not conserving tires, I was trying to get a far ahead of them guys as I could.”

Out of that concern, Hafertepe pulled to a nearly five second advantage as the race rolled just past the half-way point before the caution flew on Lap 22 for Travis Jacobson. With several lapped cars in the lineup, Sam again pulled to a comfortable advantage; leaving Solwold to contend with the hard charging No. 23 of Seth Bergman.

Working to second on the 24th revolution, Bergman began closing the gap on Hafertepe as Aaron Reutzel went to work on Jason Solwold for the third spot. Trading the final podium step several times, the Dissolvalloy No. 87 finally grabbed the spot on Lap 33 with Blake Hahn moving to fourth two laps later.

With the track still under green flag conditions, Hafertepe was elbows up through traffic, lapping to 11th place en-route to the night’s $15,000 score.

Close quarters racing with Seth Bergman in the closing laps that saw the pair tap tires more than once, Aaron Reutzel from 10th gabbed the runner-up spot on Lap 39. The silver medal performance is the second time in as many years for Reutzel.

“I felt like I gave this one away last night. If I’d just finished top four, I think we might have won this thing. We by far had one of the fastest racecars. We had one caution and drove up through there but on that one restart, there were probably six lapped cars we had to go through before we even got to Sam but this is nothing to hang our heads about. We’ve had such a tough year, we needed this as a team. Me and Marty needed this to build up a little confidence.”
Despite a massive fuel leak on the Corridor Electric No. 23 during the closing laps, Washington’s Seth Bergman held on to finish third.

“It seems like no matter where me and the No. 87 car are on the track, whether it’s for the lead, or 10th place, we always seem to race hard, but hats off to Sam and those guys, they did a great job,” commented Seth gave another tip of the hat to Aaron for the close, but clean race.

“This is a good top three in my opinion. I had a run on Sam there late in the race, and I really thought I was going to have something for him but I got the wing a little far back and got tight in traffic, and you can’t make those mistakes with Aaron behind you but really, I’m just happy we didn’t catch on fire. I had a fuel line come off with six to go and I was soaked so I was just trying to hold on and finish in once piece. I’m grateful to be standing here on the podium after that and after the way our weekend started last night.”

Jason Solwold was shuffled to fifth, but would end up fourth after Blake Hahn was disqualified for failing to report to the scales. Johnny Herrera moved up one to complete the top-five.

Wayne Johnson from ninth was sixth with Chase Goetz charging from 19th to seventh. Friday’s winner, Marc Duperron, was eighth with Logan Forler and Cam Smith making up the top-ten.

Five Heat Races on Saturday night went to Seth Bergman, Eric Fisher, Wayne Johnson, Travis Jacobson, and Colton Heath. Qualifier wins were scored by Matt Covington, Aaron Reutzel, and Logan Forler. B-Main wins went to Travis Rilat and Skylar Gee. In all, 44 drivers took part in the rain shortened 2016 Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup presented by Jack in the Box.

Up next, the Lucas Oil ASCS presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network heads for Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Wash. for the Fred Brownfield Classic on Friday, July 1 and Saturday, July 2.

For continued updates on the American Sprint Car Series, log onto http://www.ascsracing.com

Race Results:

ASCS National
Skagit Speedway – Alger, Wash.
45th Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup
Saturday, June 25, 2016

Night Car Count: 39
Event Car Count: 44

ButlerBuilt Heat Races (8 Laps, Top 30 in Passing Point advance to Qualifiers)

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 23-Seth Bergman[1]; 2. 99-Skylar Gee[3]; 3. 39C-Travis Rilat[5]; 4. 95-Matt Covington[6]; 5. 44-Jake Helsel[2]; 6. 9R-Reece Goetz[4]; 7. 56-Justin Youngquist[7]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 59-Eric Fisher[2]; 2. 51F-Jared Peterson[4]; 3. 96-Greg Hamilton[5]; 4. 37-Trever Kirkland[7]; 5. 96X-Mack Brown[6]; 6. 3C-Daniel Cernich[3]; (DNS) 44NZ-Daniel Anderson

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 2C-Wayne Johnson[2]; 2. 87-Aaron Reutzel[1]; 3. 12-Jared Ridge[4]; 4. 2L-Logan Forler[5]; 5. 91-Chase Goetz[3]; 6. 97R-Jason Reed[6]; 7. 70-Roger Oudman[7]

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 20-Travis Jacobson[3]; 2. 45X-Johnny Herrera[6]; 3. 17-Cameron (Cam) Smith[5]; 4. 5R-Steve Reeves[2]; 5. 9A-Luke Didiuk[4]; 6. 33S-Lance Sargent[7]; 7. (DNF) 55-Trey Starks[1]

Heat 5 (8 Laps): 1. 33-Colton Heath[4]; 2. 51-Bricen James[3]; 3. 97-Matthew Dusseault[2]; 4. 4B-Cale Brooke[1]; 5. 22C-Trevor Cook[7]; 6. 57-Bud Ashe[6]; 7. N8-Nate Vaughn[5]

Hoosier Tire Qualifiers (8 Laps, Top 12 in combined Passing Points advance to the A-Feature)

Qualifier 1 (8 Laps): 1. 95-Matt Covington[1]; 2. 23-Seth Bergman[4]; 3. 59-Eric Fisher[5]; 4. 39C-Travis Rilat[3]; 5. 91-Chase Goetz[9]; 6. 33-Colton Heath[6]; 7. 37-Trever Kirkland[2]; 8. 57-Bud Ashe[10]; 9. 22C-Trevor Cook[7]; 10. 4B-Cale Brooke[8]

Qualifier 2 (8 Laps): 1. 87-Aaron Reutzel[2]; 2. 96-Greg Hamilton[3]; 3. 2C-Wayne Johnson[5]; 4. 45X-Johnny Herrera[6]; 5. 99-Skylar Gee[4]; 6. 96X-Mack Brown[7]; 7. 97-Matthew Dusseault[1]; 8. 9R-Reece Goetz[10]; 9. (DNF) 9A-Luke Didiuk[8]; 10. (DNF) 44-Jake Helsel[9]

Qualifier 3 (8 Laps): 1. 2L-Logan Forler[1]; 2. 17-Cameron (Cam) Smith[3]; 3. 20-Travis Jacobson[6]; 4. 51F-Jared Peterson[5]; 5. 12-Jared Ridge[2]; 6. 51-Bricen James[4]; 7. 33S-Lance Sargent[8]; 8. 97R-Jason Reed[9]; 9. 3C-Daniel Cernich[10]; 10. (DNF) 5R-Steve Reeves[7]

BMRS B-Feature(s) (12 laps, top 3 advance to the A-Feature)

B Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 39C-Travis Rilat[1]; 2. 91-Chase Goetz[2]; 3. 37-Trever Kirkland[4]; 4. 12-Jared Ridge[3]; 5. 33S-Lance Sargent[5]; 6. 22C-Trevor Cook[6]; 7. 56-Justin Youngquist[10]; 8. N8-Nate Vaughn[11]; 9. 97R-Jason Reed[7]; 10. 3C-Daniel Cernich[8]; (DNS) 5R-Steve Reeves; (DNS) 55-Trey Starks

B Feature 2 (12 Laps): 1. 99-Skylar Gee[1]; 2. 51-Bricen James[2]; 3. 96X-Mack Brown[3]; 4. 9R-Reece Goetz[6]; 5. 97-Matthew Dusseault[4]; 6. 44-Jake Helsel[9]; 7. 57-Bud Ashe[5]; 8. 9A-Luke Didiuk[7]; 9. 44NZ-Daniel Anderson[11]; 10. 4B-Cale Brooke[8]; 11. (DNF) 70-Roger Oudman[10]

Protect the Harvest A-Feature (40 Laps)

A Feature (40 Laps): 1. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[2]; 2. 87-Aaron Reutzel[10]; 3. 23-Seth Bergman[6]; 4. 52-Blake Hahn[3]; 5. 18-Jason Solwold[1]; 6. 45X-Johnny Herrera[7]; 7. 2C-Wayne Johnson[9]; 8. 91-Chase Goetz[19]; 9. 11EH-Marc Duperron[4]; 10. 2L-Logan Forler[15]; 11. 17-Cameron (Cam) Smith[12]; 12. 39C-Travis Rilat[17]; 13. 96-Greg Hamilton[11]; 14. 20-Travis Jacobson[5]; 15. 95-Matt Covington[13]; 16. 51F-Jared Peterson[14]; 17. 59-Eric Fisher[8]; 18. 33-Colton Heath[16]; 19. 96X-Mack Brown[22]; 20. 51-Bricen James[20]; 21. 99-Skylar Gee[18]; 22. 37-Trever Kirkland[21]

Lap Leader(s): Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 1-40
FSR High Point Driver: Travis Jacobson
Hard Charger: Chase Goetz +11
Provisional(s): N/A