ELDON, Mo. — Leaving only four drivers on the lead lap Sunday night, Sam Hafertepe Jr.’s run in the 10th annual Lake Ozark Speedway 360 Nationals presented by Champion Racing Oil could only be described as utter domination.
Hafertepe led 40 non-stop laps for his eighth Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Series triumph of the season.
Pocketing $5,000 and taking home a custom championship belt for the win, Hafertepe felt a sense of vindication, after a shot, at victory over the Memorial Day weekend ended with an early trip to the trailer.
“We had that DNF here in the spring and I felt like we had the car to beat that night and just had misfortune so to come back tonight at the get the win is really sweet; especially in front of all these people,” Hafertepe said. “This state has badass fans. I feel like you’re not going to get a better following for 360 sprint cars than these Missouri fans.”
Getting the lead over Roger Crockett going into the first two turns, Hafertepe stayed glued to the cushion as he found the back of the field on lap five. Picking through the back markers, Hafertepe disappeared into slower traffic as Scott Bogucki went to work on Roger Crockett for the runner-up spot.
Taking over second on lap 10, the pair used traffic as picks. Keeping the spot through lap 15, Crockett worked around Bogucki with both trailing the Heidbreder Foundation No. 15h by over a straightaway.
Keeping between five and seven slower cars between himself and the Rt. 66 Chevrolet of Tulsa No. 11, Crockett was able to close some distance through the mid-point of the feature, but still was not able to close under three seconds at any given time.
Working into the top ten as the race neared the final 10 laps, Hafertepe found the top five on lap 37 but was unable to catch the No. 52 of Blake Hahn before the checkered flag dropped. Crossing with almost 10 lapped cars between himself and Roger Crockett, the margin was 6.857 seconds. Scott Bogucki held on for third as John Carney II, who at one point as next in line to go a lap down, was able to pull away from the No. 15h and work to a fourth-place run after starting 16th.
Feature (40 Laps): 1. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr., ; 2. 11-Roger Crockett, ; 3. 28-Scott Bogucki, ; 4. J2-John Carney II, ; 5. 52-Blake Hahn, ; 6. 3-Ayrton Gennetten, ; 7. 35M-Jonathan Cornell, ; 8. 14K-Kyle Bellm, ; 9. 95-Matt Covington, ; 10. 5-Kory Bales, ; 11. 9X-Paul Nienhiser, ; 12. 75-Tyler Blank, ; 13. 14-Jordon Mallett, ; 14. 4-Evan Martin, ; 15. 77X-Alex Hill, ; 16. 81A-Chris Morgan, ; 17. 22X-Riley Goodno, ; 18. 6-Bryan Grimes, ; 19. 11A-Austin O’Neal, ; 20. 21P-Robbie Price, ; 21. 7B-Ben Brown, ; 22. 1X-Tim Crawley, ; 23. 21-Miles Paulus, ; 24. 2X-Tucker Doughty, ; 25. 17W-Harli White,