CANEY, Kan. — Getting back to victory lane in a hurry with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network, Sam Hafertepe Jr. rallied from seventh to lead the final six laps of Thursday’s SawBlade.com feature at Caney Valley Speedway.
Coming off a rough couple of weeks, the win was a much-needed morale boost for the entire team.
“My guys worked so hard to get us here, and after getting our ass kicked during the All-Star Speedweek and Haubstadt last week, we really needed this,” Hafertepe said. “For our whole team, for me, it started to feel like we couldn’t do this anymore, and you starting thinking if you need to quit, but no one on this team did, and it really showed tonight.”
Hafertepe’s 49th career victory with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network; the Thursday showdown was the first race back for the National Tour since the world was turned on its head by COVID-19.
Giving chase while Scott Bogucki and Jordon Mallett battled furiously for the lead the first half of the feature, with the pair trading the top spot for a moment on lap nine, the Heidbreder Foundation/Hills Racing No. 15h advanced to the runner-up position on lap 15 after Mallett had to hammer the brakes off the second turn when the field came back to green a lap prior.
Moving around the quarter-mile oval, Hafertepe tried nearly every line around the Caney Valley Speedway. Committed to the top of three and four, the opposite end of the Speedway saw varying lines with Hafertepe finally getting the run off the fourth turn as the field clicked off lap 25.
“It wasn’t about one and two so much as it was about turns three and four,” stated Sam of his varying lines around the Kansas oval. “The cushion got so far up there, and when it gets like that and gets fluffy, you don’t know how much grip is really up there, but I said the hell with it. We didn’t come here to run second.”
Able to steadily pull away from there, traffic over the final two revolutions was not enough to slow the No. 15h.
Bogucki held on for silver, despite losing brakes throughout the final 10-laps trying to keep the car loaded around the bottom groove. Roger Crockett crossed third with Jordon Mallett holding on for fourth. Advancing from eighth, Sean McClelland crossed fifth.
Feature (30 Laps): 1. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr; 2. 28-Scott Bogucki; 3. 11-Roger Crockett; 4. 14-Jordon Mallett; 5. 1-Sean McClelland; 6. 24-Garet Williamson; 7. 16A-Justin Sanders; 8. 5-Eric Lutz; 9. 52-Blake Hahn; 10. 47X-Dylan Westbrook; 11. 95-Matt Covington; 12. 17W-Harli White; 13. 24D-Danny Sams III; 14. 20G-Jake Greider; 15. 55B-Brandon Anderson; 16. 9-Chase Randall; 17. 8-Alex Sewell; 18. 50Z-Zach Chappell; 19. 85-Forrest Sutherland; 20. 47-Avery Goodman; 21. 9$-Kyle Clark; 22. 7F-Noah Harris; 23. 26M-Fred Mattox; 24. 21P-Robbie Price; 25. 77X-Alex Hill