LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Though he’s won some of the biggest events in 360 sprint car competition, the one that has consistently eluded Sam Hafertepe Jr. has been the COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires.
“The last two ASCS National races we’ve had there, we’ve won, and we’ve dominated prelim nights, but it seems like when we get to the final we’re either in the wrong spot, or things just don’t go our way, but I’ve never felt like we just got outright beat because we didn’t have the car to win the race, we were just dealing with circumstances,” said Hafertepe.
Looking at the Sunnyvale, Texas driver’s record, Hafertepe has three prelim night victories to his credit, has made the Short Track Nationals finale seven times and has amassed a trio of podium runs, four top-five, and a half-dozen top-10 finishes.
Entering the $10,041 to win weekend fresh off his third Hockett/McMillin Memorial title, Hafertepe is racing for more than the Short Track National Title, as for the first time, the weekend will also count towards tour standings with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network. Despite having a 262-point buffer, that can all change in the blink of an eye.
“That’s just part of it, but we’re not worried about that,” explained Hafertepe.
“My focus is on winning. The points will be there, and they’ll take care of themselves, and we’re just focused on making sure we get in a good position come Saturday night to be in the running. We need to start in the first two rows, get out front, and set the pace.”
Practice on Thursday, Oct. 1, will open at 4 p.m. with cars on track from 7 p.m. through 9:30 p.m. (CT). Gates on Friday, Oct. 2, and Saturday, Oct. 3, will open at 4 p.m. Hot laps will be at 7 p.m. with racing at 7:30 p.m. (CT).