Blake Hahn wins opening night of the Grizzly Nationals

Blake Hahn with a bear in victory lane. (ASCS/Diamond D Photo)
Blake Hahn with a bear in victory lane. (ASCS/Diamond D Photo)
From Bryan Hulbert

Belgrade, MT — (July 8, 2016) — While Mother Nature tried to rain on Blake Hahn’s parade, the skies dried and Blake Hahn led start to finish for his first Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network A-Feature win of 2016.

Topping the opening night of the Randash Auto Center Grizzly Nationals, Hahn was greeted in Victory Lane by the race’s mascot, a 900lbs Grizzly Bear named Adam who presented Blake his trophy.

On the subject of the Bear, Hahn said simply, “I don’t know what to say about the Bear other than it’s awesome. Talk about a once in a lifetime experience.”

“Oh man, I just have to thank these fans for sticking it out and staying for this great race,” said Hahn to a packed house at the Gallatin Speedway who stayed through three rain delays. “We love racing up here. These tracks are really racey and just seem to fit our driving style. We were really excited to come here. This track just looked really fun, and it was fun.”

Having to all be rebuild the car after the Fred Brownfield Classic, Hahn gave a lot of praise to his crew.

“We basically changed everything but the engine in the car. We changed so much, I’m not sure what fixed it, but it’s fixed for now and I just have to thank Dalton and my Dad for busting their butt and staying out here.”

Winning the dash into the first turns, Hahn found traffic by Lap 6, giving the No. 15h a shot at the lead, only to see it squashed by a caution on Lap 10.

On Hahn’s back bumper on the restart, the pair again raced into slower traffic in a matter of laps. With slower cars stacked three wide, the traffic jam allowed Wayne Johnson to make it a three dog fight for the lead. Weaving through traffic, the caution flew again Lap 17 for a car spun in the second turn.

Taking the final green of the feature event, Hahn was able to get some breathing room, but with two to go, the No. 52 shoved through the cushion in turn four. Able to recover, the bobble brought Hafertepe to Hahn’s back bumper, but it wasn’t enough as Blake crossed 0.312 seconds ahead of the No. 15h.

“We blew a motor there before Hot Laps, and barely made it out of the Heat so to come from where we came from with all the bad things we had going there, it’s great to get out here on the front stretch with a top-three finish,” said Hafertepe of his 13th podium finish of the season. “We didn’t have enough time to get the Motor dialed in like we wanted and couldn’t take off on those starts, and that’s where Blake got me.”

Working to third on the final restart, Matt Covington crossed third in the A-Rock Material No. 95.

“We were in a tough spot having to get out of the last lock in spot,” commented Covington who worked third with five to go. “I have to thank Tyler Tessemaker, we brought him on this week, and he did a great job on the car, and fell like I did a okay job driving it. Picked the wrong spot a few times in lapped traffic, but that’s just how it goes sometimes but the track was excellent. Even though the rain slowed us down, it came out great.”

Making the pass in the closing laps, Logan Forler took the final transfer into Saturday’s championship A-Feature. In the hunt for the win before the last caution, Wayne Johnson slipped back to fifth as the right rear struggled to hold air.

Seth Bergman rolled to a sixth place finish with Kelly Miller scoring the highest finish for the drivers of the Brodix ASCS Frontier Region. Johnny Herrera moved from 13th to eighth with Trever Krikland hard charging eight spots to ninth. Canada’s Skylar Gee completed the top-ten.

The opening night of the Randash Auto Center Grizzly Nationals saw 29 drivers check in. Four Heat Races went to Seth Bergman, Blake Hahn, Aaron Reutzel, and Logan Forler. The night’s B-Feature went to Trever Kirkland. No Provisionals were utilized.

The Randash Auto Center Grizzly National continues on Saturday, July 9 with racing getting underway at 7:00 P.M. (MDT). For continued updates on the Lucas Oil ASCS presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network, log onto

Race Results:

ASCS National / ASCS Frontier
Gallatin Speedway – Belgrade, Mont.
Grizzly Nationals
Friday, July 8, 2016

Car Count: 29

ButlerBuilt Heat Races (8 Laps, Top 16 in Passing Point advance to the A-Main)

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 23-Seth Bergman[2]; 2. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[3]; 3. 2C-Wayne Johnson[6]; 4. 37-Trever Kirkland[1]; 5. 27DD-David Hoiness[5]; 6. 35M-Cody Masse[4]; (DNS) 35-Charles (Chip) Roe; (DNS) 4-Adam Speckman

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 52-Blake Hahn[2]; 2. 95-Matt Covington[5]; 3. 45X-Johnny Herrera[3]; 4. 75-D.J. Brink[7]; 5. 3-Jordan Milne[1]; 6. 00-Roger Cummings[6]; 7. 77-Damon McCune[4]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 87-Aaron Reutzel[1]; 2. 98-Joe Ramaker[3]; 3. 2JR-Kelly Miller[6]; 4. 12-Josh Ostermiller[2]; 5. 0J-Jeremy McCune[4]; 6. 2-Shad Peterson[5]; 7. 14-Ben Holmberg[7]

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 2L-Logan Forler[2]; 2. 74U-Chauncey Filler[1]; 3. 15-James Sires[3]; 4. 99-Skylar Gee[7]; 5. 1-Bill Boyce[6]; 6. 38B-Bryan Brown[5]; 7. 7-Mike Sires[4]

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

B Feature (12 Laps): 1. 37-Trever Kirkland[2]; 2. 12-Josh Ostermiller[1]; 3. 0J-Jeremy McCune[3]; 4. 38B-Bryan Brown[7]; 5. 3-Jordan Milne[4]; 6. 00-Roger Cummings[5]; 7. 77-Damon McCune[10]; 8. 7-Mike Sires[11]; 9. 2-Shad Peterson[6]; 10. 14-Ben Holmberg[9]; 11. 4-Adam Speckman[13]; 12. 35M-Cody Masse[8]; 13. 35-Charles (Chip) Roe[12]

Protect the Harvest A-Feature (25 Laps)

A Feature (25 Laps): 1. 52-Blake Hahn[1]; 2. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[2]; 3. 95-Matt Covington[4]; 4. 2L-Logan Forler[8]; 5. 2C-Wayne Johnson[6]; 6. 23-Seth Bergman[3]; 7. 2JR-Kelly Miller[5]; 8. 45X-Johnny Herrera[13]; 9. 37-Trever Kirkland[17]; 10. 99-Skylar Gee[11]; 11. 27DD-David Hoiness[15]; 12. 75-D.J. Brink[10]; 13. 12-Josh Ostermiller[18]; 14. 98-Joe Ramaker[9]; 15. 1-Bill Boyce[16]; 16. 38B-Bryan Brown[20]; 17. 15-James Sires[14]; 18. 74U-Chauncey Filler[12]; 19. 00-Roger Cummings[22]; 20. 87-Aaron Reutzel[7]; 21. 0J-Jeremy McCune[19]; 22. 3-Jordan Milne[21]

Lap Leader(s): Blake Hahn 1-25
FSR High Point Driver: Matt Covington
Hard Charger: Trever Kirkland +8
Provisional(s): N/A

2016 ASCS National Driver Standings (Top 10): 1. Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 2,435; 2. Johnny Herrera 2,290; 3. Wayne Johnson 2,122; 4. Logan Forler 2,109; 5. Blake Hahn 2,092; 6. Matt Covington 2,033; 7. Seth Bergman 2,028; 8. Aaron Reutzel 2,007; 9. Brad Loyet 1,498; 10. Josh Baughman 1,380;