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Hafertepe Regrouping For Dirt Cup After Getting Upside Down In South Dakota
Bryan Hulbert - ALGER, Wash. (June 19, 2019) A top five, followed by a top ten finish sounds like a fairly good weekend for most, but for Sam Hafertepe, Jr. that included getting upside down while battling for the lead at Black Hills Speedway in Rapid City.
"It wasn't the weekend we wanted. Flipping and having to get a car pretty much rebuilt going into Dirt Cup isn't the way we envisioned starting this trip," commented Hafertepe of the overall weekend.
Starting Friday at Brown County Speedway in Aberdeen, S.D., Sam wheeled his Townline Variety No. 15h to a fourth-place finish.
"We really weren't good there last year even though we still ran third, and this year we never really got a handle on the car. It felt decent in the Heat Race, but in the Feature, we definitely over tightened the car and just couldn't rotate. That place is such a long turning track, you never really get the car straight and just missed it. Probably the worst car we've had all year honestly, but to leave there with a fourth-place finish, we were happy."
Moving to the half-mile Black Hills Speedway on Saturday night, Hafertepe was fast right out of the box. Fastest in Hot Laps, first in his Heat Race, the A-Feature began from the third starting spot with Hafertepe after leader, Scott Bogucki, as the pair hit traffic. Working on the No. 28 for the lead on Lap 12, contact by Bogucki with a slower car sent the lapped machine into the path of Hafertepe; causing Sam to flip through the second turn.
Able to make repairs in the work area, a plethora of lapped cars in the running order helped Sam rebound to an eighth-place finish, despite not being able to move the wing, and with damage to the suspension.
"The Feature, we just fell into third early and waited for traffic to play its part and it did. It was working to our advantage and we started making up a lot of time on the leader and were able to run him down. I was committed to the cushion to get around the lapped cars when he tried to slide one. He hit him, and that put him into us and took us out of a race that I feel like we would have easily won. We had a really good car, but that's part of racing."
Looking to this weekend, the Hills Racing Team will venture to Skagit Speedway in Alger, Wash. for the 48th Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup presented by the Skagit Casino/Resort on June 20, 21, and 22. A race that Hafertepe has topped twice, Sam's history at the one-third mile oval goes all the way back to victory with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car victory.
"We've always been fast at Skagit. I have a lot of fans and friends in the Skagit area and really enjoy coming up here. Getting a third win, especially for Pam and Miles would be special, and $15,000 doesn't hurt either."
Going into Dirt Cup, Sam would like to thank Greg Hamilton for the use of his shop as the team rebuilds their car, as well as thanking D'Bo and Missy for their hospitality while the team is in town.
For continued updates on Sam Hafertepe, Jr. log onto http://www.sam15.com and make sure to find him on Twitter (@samhafertepejr). For news on Hill's Racing Team, log onto https://www.facebook.com/hillsracing/ and on Twitter (@HillsRacingTeam).
2019 Season to Date:
Events: 20; Wins -5 ; Top 5 - 11; Top 10 - 14; Top 20 - 15;
June 20 - Skagit Speedway (Alger, Wash.) w/Lucas Oil ASCS
Sam Hafertepe, Jr. Online:
The Sponsors:Hill's Racing Team, Townline Variety, Heidbreder Foundation Service, Kiebler & Sons Lawn and Landscaping, Fisher Racing Engines, Super Shox, J&J Chassis, Smiley's Racing Products, Hoosier Tire, Huggins Cams, Champion Oil, The Sparks Family, Lonestar Speedway, Keizer Wheels, XYZ Machining, Simpson Racing Products, CP-Carrillo, KSE Power Steering, FK Rod Ends, BMRS, Allstar Performance, Saldana Racing Products, Vortex Wings, DMI, Wilwood Brakes, Kinsler Fuel Injection, Hwy. 79 Collision.