Hafertepe Dances With A Grizzly Bear

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Sam Hafertepe Jr. and Adam the Grizzly Bear. (ASCS photo)
Sam Hafertepe Jr. and Adam the Grizzly Bear. (ASCS photo)

BELGRADE, Mont. — Several times denied by as much as a single lap at the NAPA of Montana Grizzly Nationals, Sam Hafertepe Jr. made sure there was no question who was going to win Friday night ‘s Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports feature at Gallatin Speedway.

Hafertepe’s sixth win on the season was his first at the Gallatin Speedway. The triumph is also Sam’s first with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network in the state of Montana.

Hafertepe was all smiles posing with Adam the Grizzly Bear.

“This is the one race all year that Pam [Hill] wanted us to win so this win is for her, but we had an awesome car. Really, the best car we’ve had all year,” stated Hafertepe.

Battling early with Kelly Miller for the lead, the two traded lines but not positions on the opening laps, which was barely completed when the red lights came on for Scott Bogucki who flipped wildly over the wall in the fourth turn after contact with Harli White while racing for fifth. Bogucki was unharmed, but not able to continue.

Adjusting his line to the cushion on the restart, Hafertepe pulled the field as Miller held off the advance of Matt Covington for the silver position. Finding traffic by lap seven, Hafertepe methodically picked his way around the backmarkers, while continuing to put distance between himself and the Prevost Racing No. 2jr.

Racing to second on lap 10 with the help of slower traffic, Matt Covington made little advance on the Hills Racing No. 15h. Still, under pressure from Kelly Miller for second, Covington starting getting some breathing room as the race came to the white flag.

Streaking under the checkered flag, Hafertepe lapped just shy of the top-ten as the race for second turned to Kelly Miller as Matt Covington’s right-rear tire exploded off the final turn. Able to limp the T&L Foundry No. 95 across third, fourth went to John Carney II who was challenged several times by Harli White, who settled for fifth.

The finish:

Feature (25 Laps): 1. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr, [1]; 2. 2JR-Kelly Miller, [2]; 3. 95-Matt Covington, [6]; 4. J2-John Carney II, [4]; 5. 17W-Harli White, [3]; 6. 0J-Jeremy McCune, [14]; 7. 52-Blake Hahn, [10]; 8. 37-Trever Kirkland, [8]; 9. 11-Roger Crockett, [9]; 10. 12H-Tony Bruce Jr, [7]; 11. 14-Jordon Mallett, [17]; 12. 44-Jake Helsel, [15]; 13. 2X-Tucker Doughty, [11]; 14. 21P-Robbie Price, [20]; 15. 33-Robert DeHaan, [16]; 16. 77-Damon McCune, [22]; 17. 74U-Chauncey Filler, [18]; 18. 86-Zac Taylor, [21]; 19. 38B-Bryan Brown, [23]; 20. (DNF) 28-Scott Bogucki, [5]; 21. (DNF) 11M-Mindy McCune, [13]; 22. (DNF) 9K-Kory Wermling, [19]; 23. (DNF) 2S-James Setters, [12]

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