(Wildlight Motorsports Photography)
Bryan Hulbert - ALGER, Wash. (June 27, 2018) Starting Dirt Cup off with a win, the rest of the weekend didn't go quite as planned for Sam Hafertepe, Jr., but when all was said and done the Hills Racing/Townline Variety No. 15h made up for lost time with a hair-raising run from 18th to close out the three-day event.
"For the first time all year, we are really confident with our car. We felt like we had a dominant car, the last two races and I feel like I'm back to where I was in the car last year. It's taken us about a half a season to get that confidence back, but now after this weekend with how good our car was, we're right where we need to be, and at the right time," commented Hafertepe.
Leading start to finish to open the 47th Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup presented by the Skagit Casino Resort, for his seventh win of the season, the following night saw Sam drawing the back of a Heat Race and struggling to move forward. The Friday result was a DNF in the B-Main.
With the blow to the overall weekend, the B-Feature finish on Friday landed Sam in a B-Feature on Saturday. Winning easily to advance to the 40-lap finale, Hafertepe clawed every lap before having to settle for the show position.
Of the overall weekend, Sam said, "We felt like we had the best car all weekend, just circumstances put us in a couple bad situations and just behind the eight-ball on Friday. We didn't run very well in our Heat, so that put us in a tough position in the B-Main. With all that being said, with the points, it put us in a B-Main on Saturday, but we still felt like we had a chance to win if things could have fallen our way. Of course, it went green to checkered, but we made the best of a bad situation and got as much as we could on Saturday."
Leaving the weekend second in tour standings to Seth Bergman by 42 markers, the next stop for the No. 15 team is Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Wash. for the Fred Brownfield Classic. With two wins in 2016 at the three-eighths-mile oval, Sam feels confident he can get back on track this Friday and Saturday.
"We Swept the weekend a couple years ago, and I really felt like we had a chance to do it again last year until I got the infield tire on Friday, and got into a scuffle early on Saturday, but we were still able to get to 12th without a nose wing. I feel like I actually have a better balance at Elma than I do at Skagit, so with that begin said, I'm excited to get there and get a couple wins."
Races on Friday, June 29 and Saturday, June 30 go green at 7:00 P.M. (PDT).
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).
2018 Season to Date:
Events: 32; Wins -7 ; Top 5 - 17; Top 10 - 18; Top 15 -22; Top 20 -23;
Coming Up: Fred Brownfield Classic
June 29 and 30 at Grays Harbor Raceway (Elma, Wash)
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Sam Hafertepe, Jr. Online:
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