SAPULPA, Okla. – Sam Hafertepe Jr. led from start to finish during Saturday’s John Christner Trucking Fall Fling to earn his ninth victory of the season with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series at Creek County Speedway.
Hafertepe’s 46th career National Tour victory tied the Sunnyvale, Texas, driver with Tim Crawley for fourth on the all-time ASCS win list.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been out on the front straightaway, I don’t even remember what it feels like,” chuckled Hafertepe who reclaimed the National Tour point lead by 14 markers.
Taking lessons from the COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tire, Hafertepe was able to put his J&J Chassis anywhere he needed to throughout the 30-lap feature.
“This was an awesome race car. I don’t think there was a better car here all night,” Hafertepe said. “We didn’t touch it, we just left it alone, and we definitely got the balance back in this thing. It’s back to a dominant race car and going to Devil’s Bowl next week, that’s one of my favorite tracks in the world. I can’t wait for that.”
Taking the lead from the right of the front row, Hafertepe was trailed by Tucker Doughty for the opening lap before Matt Covington shot into second. Opening his lead to nearly two seconds, Hafertepe’s advantage dropped quickly as the leaders hit traffic on lap seven.
After a caution working lap nine for debris, Covington looked for a way around Hafertepe, but with no success. Opening his advantage again, lapped traffic was of little issue for the Heidbreder Foundation No. 15h.
Under caution working lap 28, slower cars in the mix shook things up behind Hafertepe as Roger Crockett moved by the No. 95 for second.
With clean air to his advantage, Hafertepe raced to the finish with a 2.224-second advantage over Crockett’s Route 66 Chevrolet No. 11.
Battling a shower of power steering fluid over the final few laps that kept the No. 95 off the cushion, Matt Covington managed to hold on for his seventh podium finish of the season. Tyler Thomas in fourth was followed to the finish by Jordon Mallett.
Sam Hafertepe Jr., Roger Crockett, Matt Covington, Tyler Thomas, Jordon Mallett, Howard Moore, Seth Bergman, Blake Hahn, Robbie Price, John Carney II, Alex Sewell, Scott Bogucki, Sean McLelland, Harli White, Brad Bowden, Garet Williamson, Lance Norick, Fred Mattox, Noah Harris, Avery Goodman, Tucker Doughty, Kyle Clark, Alex Hill.