Hafertepe Perfect in Route to Second Win of the Weekend at I-96

Sam Hafertepe Jr. (T.J. Buffenbarger photo)

By T.J. Buffenbarger

LAKE ODESSA, Mi. (May 18, 2019) – Sam Hafertepe Jr. capped off a perfect weekend on Saturday at I-96 Speedway by winning his second feature of the weekend with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MAVtv and Great Lakes Super Sprints. Hafertpe won every race he contested over the two day span at I-96 including dominating the 30-lap finale.

The first people the Sunnyvale, Texas resident wanted to compliment was his race team to overcome several obstacles all while six of the last eight races on the tour were rained out.

“Hats off to my guys, they have worked their ass off the past two, three, four weeks even when we weren’t racing. Just to bring this whole team together like we have,” said Hafertepe. “We’ve made a trailer change, new truck, we’ve had to tackle a lot of obstacles. It’s all for the better and our motor program is getting better every day, our cars seem to be getting better. There’s nothing about my program I dislike right now. We might have had a few hiccups there early on, but we have a really good race car and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Matt Covington and Hafertepe started on the front row for the main event with Covington leading for two corners on the second attempt to start the main before Hafertepe drove by for the lead. After a lap one caution for an incident involving Robbie Price, Scott Bogucki, and Andrew Scheid Hafertepe pulled away while Covington and Gressman raced for second position with Gressman taking the spot on lap three.

The caution flag appeared again for Ryan Coniam and Alex Hill tangling in turn four. Following that restart Hafertepe pulled away again with Gressman trying to keep pace while Ruhl, Matt Covington and Blake Hahn diced for the fourth spot. Hahn found speed at the top of the racetrack and drove by Covington for the fourth spot and took third spot from Ruhl on lap 15.

Hahn had one look under Gressman to take second position on lap 19, but Gressman was able to sneak through slower traffic and end up with some distance between himself and Coniam.

The final caution of the event appeared on lap 25 when Zane DeVault slid off the track in turn four. Hafertepe was never really challenged following the restart to pick up the victory over Gressman, Hahn, Ruhl, and Covington.

After the race Hafertepe was complimentary about the track conditions during the weekend.

“Coming here I knew we would be good at this place, said Hafertepe. I’ve seen this dirt before, at least I’ve seen one and two before to. It was good to come (to I-96), they did a hell of a job with the race track every day. I’ve been skeptical thinking they didn’t know what they were doing, but they knew exactly what they were doing. They did a hell of a job. That’s why us as racers sometimes we second guess these racetracks, but these guys knew what they were doing tonight and gave us a hell of a racetrack.”

With the two-day program completed at I-96, Hafertepe was already looking forward to the next two day challenge for the series over Memorial Day weekend at Lake Ozark Speedway in Eldon, Missouri.

“We’ve run good there before,” said Hafertepe. “We’ve had good speed. Excited to get to Lake of the Ozarks and hopefully win a couple of more down there.”

Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MAVtv / Great Lakes Super Sprints
I-96 Speedway
Lake Odessa, MI
Saturday May 18, 2019

Heat Race #1 (8 Laps)
1. J2-John Carney II, [2]
2. 77X-Alex Hill, [1]
3. 5J-Jamie Ball, [3]
4. 21P-Robbie Price, [6]
5. 52-Blake Hahn, [8]
6. 84-Kyle Poortenga, [4]
7. 2X-Tucker Doughty, [7]
8. 27X-Jared Lamberson, [9]
9. 28M-Conner Morrell, [5]

Heat Race #2 (8 Laps)
1. 17W-Harli White, [2]
2. 14-Jordon Mallett, [4]
3. 24D-Danny Sams III, [3]
4. 18S-Micheal Summers, [1]
5. 46-Ryan Coniam, [5]
6. 10S-Jay Steinbach, [6]
7. 16W-Garrett Saunders, [7]
8. 61-Steve Irwin, [9]
9. 28-Scott Bogucki, [8]

Heat Race #3 (8 Laps)
1. 11R-Chase Ridenour, [2]
2. 27-Brad Lamberson, [1]
3. 11-Roger Crockett, [6]
4. 85-Dustin Daggett, [5]
5. 47X-Dylan Westbrook, [7]
6. 16C-Zane Devault, [8]
7. 49T-Gregg Dalman, [4]
8. 77-Andrew Scheid, [3]

Qualifier 1 (8 Laps)
1. 47X-Dylan Westbrook, [2]
2. 5J-Jamie Ball, [3]
3. 28-Scott Bogucki, [9]
4. 46-Ryan Coniam, [1]
5. 27-Brad Lamberson, [4]
6. 14-Jordon Mallett, [5]
7. 61-Steve Irwin, [8]
8. J2-John Carney II, [6]
9. 2X-Tucker Doughty, [7]

Qualifier 2 (8 Laps)
1. 10S-Jay Steinbach, [1]
2. 16C-Zane Devault, [2]
3. 17W-Harli White, [6]
4. 11-Roger Crockett, [5]
5. 21P-Robbie Price, [4]
6. 24D-Danny Sams III, [3]
7. 49T-Gregg Dalman, [8]
8. 16W-Garrett Saunders, [7]
9. 28M-Conner Morrell, [9]

Qualifier 3 (8 Laps)
1. 85-Dustin Daggett, [3]
2. 52-Blake Hahn, [4]
3. 84-Kyle Poortenga, [1]
4. 77-Andrew Scheid, [8]
5. 18S-Micheal Summers, [2]
6. 77X-Alex Hill, [5]
7. 27X-Jared Lamberson, [7]
8. 11R-Chase Ridenour, [6]

B-Main (12 Laps)
1. 77X-Alex Hill, [1]
2. 46-Ryan Coniam, [5]
3. 24D-Danny Sams III, [4]
4. 77-Andrew Scheid, [7]
5. 49T-Gregg Dalman, [10]
6. 16W-Garrett Saunders, [12]
7. 28M-Conner Morrell, [14]
8. 27X-Jared Lamberson, [11]
9. 18S-Micheal Summers, [8]
10. 61-Steve Irwin, [9]
11. J2-John Carney II, [2]
12. 84-Kyle Poortenga, [6]
13. 2X-Tucker Doughty, [13]
14. 11R-Chase Ridenour, [3]

A-Main (30 Laps)
1. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr, [2]
2. 7C-Phil Gressman, [4]
3. 52-Blake Hahn, [7]
4. 16-Ryan Ruhl, [3]
5. 95-Matt Covington, [1]
6. 17W-Harli White, [5]
7. 5J-Jamie Ball, [10]
8. 47X-Dylan Westbrook, [8]
9. 85-Dustin Daggett, [6]
10. 11-Roger Crockett, [9]
11. 14-Jordon Mallett, [12]
12. 28-Scott Bogucki, [16]
13. 49T-Gregg Dalman, [21]
14. 27-Brad Lamberson, [14]
15. 77-Andrew Scheid, [20]
16. 16W-Garrett Saunders, [22]
17. 10S-Jay Steinbach, [13]
18. 16C-Zane Devault, [11]
19. 24D-Danny Sams III, [19]
20. 46-Ryan Coniam, [18]
21. 77X-Alex Hill, [17]
22. 21P-Robbie Price, [15]
23. J2-John Carney II, [23]