Hafertepe Reaches STN Pinnacle with $10,041 Score!

Sam Hafertepe Jr STN 2020 Win Photo from Lonnie Wheatley

From Lonnie Wheatley

LITTLE ROCK, AR (October 3, 2020) – Sam Hafertepe, Jr., is now officially entrenched as a part of Short Track Nationals lore.

Since making his first STN appearance in 2004, the Sunnyvale, TX, native has flirted with event glory on a number of occasions with three preliminary feature wins and three previous runner-up finishes in the championship finale.

Hafertepe, Jr., finally reached the top step of the STN podium by winning Saturday night’s 33rd Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires finale at the high-banked, I-30 Speedway clay oval.

After battling past Roger Crockett midway through the 30-lapper, Hafertepe, Jr., held the point the rest of the way aboard the Hills Racing Townline Variety/Heidbreider No. 15h Sprint Car to take the $10,041 win ahead of Derek Hagar and Crockett as he became the 19th different STN champion.

“This is a race that I’ve been wanting to win for so long, it’s eluded us forever,” Hafertepe, Jr., commented in victory lane. “It feels like we’ve always had the best car here and just never have been able to get it done.”

After getting collected a wild heat race crash on Friday night, Hafertepe, Jr., and crew put together another car only to have the pole starter move the track and run over his front end approaching the green flag in Saturday night’s heat race action.

It lit a fire that wasn’t going to be extinguished on this night, as Hafertepe, Jr., rallied from the tail of the heat race after that incident to win it and then secured a position in the Mike Pack Building Materials Pole Dash for Cash by climbing from fifth to third in his qualifier.

After winning that Dash to earn the Pole, it was fellow front row starter Roger Crockett battling into the lead at the outset and pacing the early going.

But as the leaders approached traffic ten laps into the non-stop affair, Hafertepe, Jr., closed the gap and began pressuring for the point. Hafertepe, Jr., slipped underneath Crockett on the 15th lap and edged into the lead entering turn one.

Crockett stayed right on his tailtank and nearly slipped back underneath exiting turn two on the 21st circuit only to have Hafertepe, Jr., fend off the challenge and then slip away in the final handful of circuits after putting a lapped car between himself and his chasers.

“I felt like Roger had the car to beat there early, but I knew if lapped traffic got in his way that we would be able to make a run,” Hafertepe, Jr., explained. “Then I almost gave it away and I appreciate Roger for racing me clean.”

With Hafertepe, Jr., racing to the checkered flag, Friday night winner Derek Hagar made a late pass to capture runner-up honors with Crockett settling for the show position in his first STN championship feature start.

“We were good in three and four, but we were way too free in one and two,” Hagar commented afterward. “It’s tough to pace the race when you don’t know how many laps you’ve ran. We brought it home second. That’s nothing to hang our heads about, but we’re gonna get one of these things one day.”

Crockett explained that, “I felt like Sam and I were equal. I just didn’t get the job done in traffic, I lost second because I went for the win there. At least I can go home and sleep well knowing I gave it all I had to get a victory.”

Vying to become the first to claim three STN crowns in a row, Blake Hahn settled for fourth while Canada’s Dylan Westbrook cracked the top five for the first time in his third consecutive STN championship feature start.

Brandon Anderson ranked as the top STN rookie with a sixth-place finish with fellow event rookie and Washington-state teen Devon Borden in seventh. John Carney II turned in the feature’s top passing performance by climbing from 15th to eighth with Scott Bogucki and Hayden Martin completing the top ten.

In addition to Crockett, Anderson, Borden and Martin other drivers making their first STN championship feature start included Garet Williamson (15th), Alex Hill (16th), Monty Ferriera (17th) and Kyle Clark (20th).

At the other end of the spectrum, Crawley made an STN record 23rd career championship feature start, crossing the stripe in 12th.

With 76 cars filling the pit area for the Saturday night finale, heat race wins were captured by Hagar, Bogucki, Clark, Hafertepe, Jr., Williamson, Kyle Bellm, Joey Schmidt, Jordon Mallett and Marshall Skinner with Hagar, Westbrook, Seth Bergman and Anderson topping the Qualifying races.

Connore Leoffler and Brandon Hanks topped the “C” Mains with Bogucki and Crawley winning the “B” Mains.

Ernie Ainsworth earned an extra $400 by winning the six-lap Lanny Edwards “Red Shirt Dash” for the top three non-transfers from each of the “C” Mains.

A total of 79 competitors took in the 33rd Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires with more than $70,000 in winnings distributed over the course of the two-day event.

33rd Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires – Night #2
Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour presented by MAVtv
I-30 Speedway
Little Rock, Arkansas
Saturday October 3, 2020

Heat Race #1 (8 Laps)
1. 9JR-Derek Hagar[1]
2. X3-Ayrton Gennetten[2]
3. 3-Howard Moore[3]
4. 2-Brad Bowden[4]
5. 88-Travis Reber[6]
6. X-Charlie Louden[9]
7. 44-Ronny Howard[5]
8. 38-Rick Pringle[8]
9. 0-Mike Vaculik[7]

Heat Race #2 (8 Laps)
1. 28-Scott Bogucki[3]
2. 9-Chase Randall[5]
3. 1X-Tim Crawley[6]
4. 24-Garet Williamson[7]
5. 15J-Jeremy Middleton[8]
6. 91A-Ernie Ainsworth[2]
7. 19-Colby Thornhill[1]
8. 95-Matt Covington[4]
DNS: 13-Chase Howard

Heat Race #3 (8 Laps)
1. 9$-Kyle Clark[1]
2. 21P-Robbie Price[2]
3. 8Z-Zach Pringle[3]
4. 47X-Dylan Westbrook[7]
5. 16-Koty Adams[6]
6. 84-Brandon Hanks[8]
7. 29-Pete Butler[4]
8. 12T-Joe Young[5]
9. 45-David Luckie[9]

Heat Race #4 (8 Laps)
1. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[2]
2. 88K-Kyle Offill[1]
3. 4-Danny Smith[6]
4. M1-Mark Smith[9]
5. 21K-Kevin Hinkle[3]
6. 07T-Brandon Taylor[5]
7. 47-Dale Howard[7]
8. 13M-Chance McCrary[8]
9. 12-Tony Bruce Jr[4]

Heat Race #5 (8 Laps)
1. 24W-Jeffrey West Jr[1]
2. 55B-Brandon Anderson[5]
3. J2-John Carney II[6]
4. 22-Connor Leoffler[2]
5. 17B-Ryan Bickett[4]
6. 61-Cody Howard[8]
7. 3B-Chris Banja[7]
8. 21M-Spencer Meredith[3]

Heat Race #6 (8 Laps)
1. 14E-Kyle Bellm[3]
2. 67-Hayden Martin[2]
3. G6-Cody Gardner[8]
4. 23-Seth Bergman[7]
5. 5L-Eric Lutz[6]
6. 92-Cody Hays[5]
7. 27J-Joseph Poe Jr[1]
8. 95S-Asa Swindell[4]

Heat Race #7 (8 Laps)
1. 1S-Joey Schmidt[1]
2. 17W-Harli White[2]
3. 94-Jeff Swindell[4]
4. 8-Devon Borden[8]
5. 23M-Lance Moss[3]
6. 20G-Jake Greider[7]
7. 21B-Brandon Hinkle[5]
8. 23J-Junior Jenkins[6]

Heat Race #8 (8 Laps)
1. 14-Jordon Mallett[1]
2. 11-Roger Crockett[8]
3. 45F-Monty Ferriera[6]
4. 10H-Dustin Homan[7]
5. 10B-Landon Britt[2]
6. 30-Joseph Miller[5]
7. 48-Cody Stacy[4]
8. 99-Blake Jenkins[3]

Heat Race #9 (8 Laps)
1. 26-Marshall Skinner[1]
2. 5T-Ryan Timms[2]
3. 52-Blake Hahn[8]
4. 77X-Alex Hill[7]
5. 6-Dustin Gates[4]
6. 10C-Jeremy Campbell[5]
7. 24D-Danny Sams III[6]
8. 12W-Dale Wester[3]

Qualifier #1 (8 Laps)
1. 9JR-Derek Hagar[3]
2. 11-Roger Crockett[6]
3. 24-Garet Williamson[1]
4. 1X-Tim Crawley[4]
5. 14-Jordon Mallett[2]
6. 77X-Alex Hill[7]
7. 14E-Kyle Bellm[5]
8. 2-Brad Bowden[10]
9. 17W-Harli White[8]
10. 15J-Jeremy Middleton[9]

Qualifier #2 (8 Laps)
1. 47X-Dylan Westbrook[1]
2. 26-Marshall Skinner[2]
3. 9$-Kyle Clark[3]
4. 4-Danny Smith[4]
5. G6-Cody Gardner[6]
6. 3-Howard Moore[9]
7. 9-Chase Randall[5]
8. 5T-Ryan Timms[8]
9. X3-Ayrton Gennetten[7]
10. 88-Travis Reber[10]

Qualifier #3 (8 Laps)
1. 23-Seth Bergman[1]
2. 8-Devon Borden[2]
3. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[5]
4. 52-Blake Hahn[6]
5. J2-John Carney II[4]
6. 24W-Jeffrey West Jr[3]
7. 8Z-Zach Pringle[9]
8. 21P-Robbie Price[7]
9. 16-Koty Adams[10]
10. 88K-Kyle Offill[8]

Qualifier #4 (8 Laps)
1. 55B-Brandon Anderson[2]
2. 10H-Dustin Homan[1]
3. 45F-Monty Ferriera[4]
4. 67-Hayden Martin[7]
5. 28-Scott Bogucki[6]
6. 94-Jeff Swindell[8]
7. 5L-Eric Lutz[10]
8. M1-Mark Smith[5]
9. 1S-Joey Schmidt[3]
10. X-Charlie Louden[9]

Red Shirt Dash (6 Laps)
1. 91A-Ernie Ainsworth[2]
2. 20G-Jake Greider[1]
3. 12-Tony Bruce Jr[4]
4. 99-Blake Jenkins[5]
5. 13M-Chance McCrary[3]
6. 21K-Kevin Hinkle[6]

Pack Dash (4 Laps)
1. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[1]
2. 11-Roger Crockett[2]
3. 9JR-Derek Hagar[3]
4. 55B-Brandon Anderson[4]

C-Main #1 (10 Laps)
1. 22-Connor Leoffler[1]
2. 10C-Jeremy Campbell[7]
3. 17B-Ryan Bickett[2]
4. 20G-Jake Greider[3]
5. 13M-Chance McCrary[12]
6. 99-Blake Jenkins[16]
7. 07T-Brandon Taylor[5]
8. 12T-Joe Young[14]
9. 95S-Asa Swindell[15]
10. 27J-Joseph Poe Jr[13]
11. 21B-Brandon Hinkle[10]
12. 0-Mike Vaculik[17]
13. 92-Cody Hays[6]
14. 23M-Lance Moss[4]
15. 44-Ronny Howard[9]
16. 48-Cody Stacy[11]
17. 45-David Luckie[18]
18. 47-Dale Howard[8]

C-Main #2 (10 Laps)
1. 84-Brandon Hanks[1]
2. 10B-Landon Britt[4]
3. 95-Matt Covington[14]
4. 91A-Ernie Ainsworth[7]
5. 12-Tony Bruce Jr[17]
6. 21K-Kevin Hinkle[3]
7. 24D-Danny Sams III[8]
8. 6-Dustin Gates[2]
9. 19-Colby Thornhill[12]
10. 61-Cody Howard[5]
11. 23J-Junior Jenkins[13]
12. 12W-Dale Wester[16]
13. 30-Joseph Miller[6]
14. 21M-Spencer Meredith[15]
15. 3B-Chris Banja[9]
16. 29-Pete Butler[10]
17. 38-Rick Pringle[11]
18. 13-Chase Howard[18]

B-Main #1 (12 Laps)
1. 28-Scott Bogucki[1]
2. J2-John Carney II[4]
3. 3-Howard Moore[5]
4. 9-Chase Randall[7]
5. 8Z-Zach Pringle[8]
6. 17W-Harli White[11]
7. 22-Connor Leoffler[15]
8. 14E-Kyle Bellm[6]
9. 10H-Dustin Homan[2]
10. 10C-Jeremy Campbell[16]
11. 88K-Kyle Offill[13]
12. 17B-Ryan Bickett[17]
13. 5L-Eric Lutz[9]
14. 21P-Robbie Price[10]
15. 4-Danny Smith[3]
16. X3-Ayrton Gennetten[12]
17. X-Charlie Louden[14]

B-Main #2 (12 Laps)
1. 1X-Tim Crawley[2]
2. 9$-Kyle Clark[1]
3. 24-Garet Williamson[3]
4. 14-Jordon Mallett[4]
5. 94-Jeff Swindell[5]
6. M1-Mark Smith[8]
7. 2-Brad Bowden[10]
8. 77X-Alex Hill[6]
9. 15J-Jeremy Middleton[13]
10. 16-Koty Adams[12]
11. 24W-Jeffrey West Jr[7]
12. 95-Matt Covington[17]
13. 1S-Joey Schmidt[11]
14. 5T-Ryan Timms[9]
15. 10B-Landon Britt[16]
16. 84-Brandon Hanks[15]
17. 88-Travis Reber[14]

A-Main (41 Laps)
1. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[1]
2. 9JR-Derek Hagar[3]
3. 11-Roger Crockett[2]
4. 52-Blake Hahn[5]
5. 47X-Dylan Westbrook[6]
6. 55B-Brandon Anderson[4]
7. 8-Devon Borden[9]
8. J2-John Carney II[15]
9. 28-Scott Bogucki[13]
10. 67-Hayden Martin[12]
11. 3-Howard Moore[17]
12. 1X-Tim Crawley[14]
13. 26-Marshall Skinner[8]
14. G6-Cody Gardner[11]
15. 24-Garet Williamson[18]
16. 77X-Alex Hill[19]
17. 45F-Monty Ferriera[10]
18. 23-Seth Bergman[7]
19. M1-Mark Smith[20]
20. 9$-Kyle Clark[16]

Note: 77x-Alex Hill and m1-Mark Smith were awarded the 19th and 20th “A” Main starting positions as the top two drivers in accumulated passing/finishing points from heat races and qualifiers over Friday and Saturday that had not already secured feature starting berths.

Lap Leaders: Roger Crockett 1-14, Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 15-30.