Sam in heavy traffic with Sammy Swindell (3), Austin Mundie (4) and Wayne Johnson (2c) at RPM Speedway (Alan Messick/RPM Speedway Photo)
(Bill W) May 30, 2017 – Sam Hafertepe Jr. cashed in his third win of the season at the Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Texas Saturday night. The event was sanctioned by the ASCS Gulf South region. He also scored a runner-up finish with the series Friday night at the RPM Speedway near Crandall, Texas. He missed out on a $2,000 bonus for winning two features over the weekend when Sunday’s stop at Lonestar Speedway near Kilgore was washed out. The ASCS Gulf South will be back in action in Texas this weekend at Heart O’ Texas Speedway near Waco Friday and Cotton Bowl Speedway near Paige Saturday.
At RPM, Sam drove from sixth to second in his heat and started sixth in the feature. “We weren’t that good Friday to be honest,” he says. “We fell back to around eighth place at one time. Really, we could only move forward on the restarts. Fortunately, we had a few of those. We ran the bottom of one and two on those and we were able to get a position or two.”
Still he was able to dig out of his hole. “Under green, we had to get back to the top and run,” says Sam. “We were so tight that I felt like I was almost stopping the car and almost hitting the wall a couple times. We were just way over-tight. We were trying a few things, and that was a big part of the issue. We learned a lot of things not to do.”
Sam would checker second despite his tight racecar. “Luckily, we were able to salvage a second,” he says. “That sounds terrible, but honestly, I had a really hard racecar to drive. It was at the point where it was just too tight. We need to go back to the drawing board on a track like that and get better next time.”
After sweeping Lucas Oil ASCS National Series action at Devil’s Bowl Speedway back in March, Sam was eager for Saturday. “We were pretty good,” he says. “We were able to move around a little bit and grabbed fifth in the heat (after starting ninth) coming for the checkers. That was good for us, because it got us in the redraw.”
He would start outside row two in the main event. “I thought we had a good shot at winning the race starting fourth,” says Sam. “The guy that was starting second flipped and actually put us on the front row to start the race. We were able to get the lead right away and just took off. We were able to lead the whole way. It may have been even a better car than we had earlier in the spring there. I was happy with some of the gains we made.”
One of the changes for Sam has come in his components. “We switched over to Vortex wings and I think that really helped us Saturday,” he says. “The car really rotated through three and four nice. We were able to get out front and run away from the field. We’re looking forward to getting back on the track again this weekend.”
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Sam would like to thank Highway 79 Collision Center, the Sparks Family, Kiebler & Sons Lawn and Landscaping, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, Champion Oil, NAPA Auto Parts of Franklin and Sherwin Williams, FK Rod Ends, 21R Youth Racing League, Huggins Cams, CP Carrillo, Callie’s, Vortex Wings, Simpson Racing Products, Kinsler Injection, Barnes Oil Systems, DMI, Fisher Racing Engines, Moose Blocks, J&J Auto Racing, KSE, Smiley’s Racing Products, Hoosier Tire, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions.
Photo: Sam in heavy traffic with Sammy Swindell (3), Austin Mundie (4) and Wayne Johnson (2c) at RPM Speedway (Alan Messick/RPM Speedway Photo)
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