Following Rough Speedweek, Hafertepe Ready to Defend Dirt Cup Title

Wednesday, June 20, 2018
(Casey Cochran Photo)(Casey Cochran Photo) Bryan Hulbert - ALGER, Wash. (June 20, 2018) Shifting gears from Speedweek to Dirt Cup, Sam Hafertepe, Jr. is looking to rebound and capture his third victory in the Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup at Skagit Speedway.

"We're really excited to be back, and hearing that the track has been racy this year, we're looking forward to this weekend. We have a lot of confidence and have a lot of great people around Skagit that help us out with a place to park and a shop. With the friends I have up here from racing over the years, it just adds to it all and makes it really comfortable," stated Hafertepe, who extended a special thanks to Greg Hamilton and Debo for their hospitality.
"Driving 30 hours to your next race, you really don't want to be on edge, so having all these people around us this week just makes it that much better. You combine all of that with the speed and balance we've had in the car, and we're really pumped to go win a third Dirt Cup."

With a win and a sixth to start Speedweek, the week continued on Tuesday, June 12 at Devil's Bowl Speedway with a fourth-place finish.

"Speedweek was rough this year. We started off with a win, and obviously, that's what we set our minds on, and really thought the whole week would go that way. We had the speed, just didn't have luck on our side. At Devil's Bowl, we were quick, just had an electrical issue there with four or five to go that really cost us a chance of winning."

Moving to Lawton Speedway the following night, things ended with a DNF after contact with another car sent the No. 15h into the wall with a broken front suspension. Rebounding Thursday at Creek County Speedway, Hafertepe battled throughout the mid-point of the race for the lead before settling with a runner-up finish.

"I really figured we'd fall into about third at Lawton before we got taken out, so that cost us. The next night at Creek, we were really good. I'd say probably not quite as good as Sammy after we got the Jacobs Ladder knocked out of the car, but we were able to run him down and race with him."

Capping the week at Salina Speedway, the No. 15h would again suffer a DNF.

"We ended up losing the brakes on the car and weren't running too bad. I felt like we were going to get up to maybe third, but once we lost the brakes, I was just trying to limp her home and couldn't get slowed down enough. Ended up getting under Blake's left rear tire and got the front end knocked out, but all-in-all we had good speed each night. It may not look like that on paper, but we had a car that could contend each night."

Racing June 21, 22, and 23, the 47th Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup presented by the Skagit Casino Resort at Skagit Speedway goes green at 7:00 P.M. (PDT) each night.

For continued updates on Sam Hafertepe, Jr. log onto and make sure to find him on Twitter (@samhafertepejr). For news on Hill's Racing Team, log onto and on Twitter (@HillsRacingTeam).

2018 Season to Date:

Events: 29; Wins -6 ; Top 5 - 15; Top 10 - 16; Top 15 -20; Top 20 -21;

Coming Up: Dirt Cup

June 21, 22, and 23 at Skagit Speedway (Alger, Wash.)

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