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Hafertepe rebuilding following rough Hockett/McMillin Memorial outing


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Hafertepe Rebuilding Following Rough Hockett/McMillin Memorial Outing

by Bryan Hulbert
WHEATLAND, Mo. (September 24, 2019) Following a tough weekend at the 9th annual Hockett/McMillin Memorial with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network, Sam Hafertepe, Jr. is taking time to rebuild his Hills Racing Team No. 15h.
"We had a lot of speed, that was clear. We were probably one of the fastest cars all weekend but never could put together a full night," stated Sam.
Clipping an infield tire during Thursday's A-Feature on Lap 17 restart that resulted in damage to the front suspension, the damage was too much to make it out of the work area before the field went back to green.
"Thursday, it looked like we were really going to get up through there and just clipped the tire and that really hurt us bad but I felt like if we came back on Friday with a good showing, we could get ourselves locked in, and that's what we were hoping to do."
With his Friday going according to plan, Hafertepe working through his Heat and Qualifier to start third in the A-Feature. However, going into the first set of turns, Hafertepe's night turned around with the No. 15h ending up on the hook in a four-car pileup.
"We had a really good start and I thought man if I can get the lead right here, we'll just run off and win this thing, but I drove it in too deep and got sideways. Just trying to get up there and messed up."
Relegated to a Qualifier on Saturday, two hours of rain prior to the start of the night's races made for a tough track. Getting into the cushion in turn three, Sam's weekend took another hard hit into the wall in turn four. Getting the car back together, Hafertepe rallied through the B-Feature. Despite a bent car, he came up one spot shy of transferring.
"We pulled down a new car for Saturday, and going into turn three in the Qualifier, the car just biked up on me and hit the wall so we just patched it back together for the 'B' and took a shot at it and we're pretty good. I felt like we were one of the only guys really moving forward in any of the races and just came up a corner short."
A hit in two ways, Hafertepe entered the weekend with a 148-point advantage over Blake Hahn in the championship standings with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network, but now trails by 20 going into the final six events of the season. Even with the setback, Sam is still very confident in his team and their chance at a fourth consecutive title.
Originally slated to be in action this weekend at Eldora Speedway, getting cars and equipment rebuilt will determine the next outing before hitting the John Christner Trucking Fall Fling presented by James Hodge Ford at Creek County Speedway on October 11 and 12. In a wild battle one year ago with Sean McClelland; a late-race pass by Hafertepe grabbed the win for Heidbreder Foundation No. 15h in the star-studded event.
For continued updates on Sam Hafertepe, Jr. log onto http://www.sam15.com and make sure to find him on Twitter (@samhafertepejr). For news on Hill's Racing Team, log onto https://www.facebook.com/hillsracing/ and on Twitter (@HillsRacingTeam).
2019 Season to Date:
Events: 46; Wins -10; Top 5 - 22; Top 10 - 29; Top 20 - 34;
Coming Up:
Sam Hafertepe, Jr. Online:
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