Bryan Hulbert - LAS VEGAS, NV. (March 2, 2018) Rolling west with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series for the two-day FVP Outlaw Showdown at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Sam Hafertepe, Jr. may not have had the finishes he was hoping for, but nevertheless, the recently formed partnership with Hill's Racing Team moved forward nearly every time they hit the track.
Qualifying 12th in the first flight of Qualifying on Wednesday night, that set Sam starting sixth in the second Heat Race where he would advance through to the A-Feature.
"We had a really good start and made it into the show. With how we qualified we needed to because if we would have missed it, we would have been too buried in the B-Feature to get through, so the start was what we needed," commented Sam who found out post-race they were lucky to finish at all. "We cut a left year and luckily didn't catch any yellows or we would have been screwed. Staying green, the tire kept enough air but it got pretty sketchy there towards the end."
Putting the Townline Variety/Fisher Racing Engines No. 15h starting 19th, the end result was 23rd as Sam pulled in with 17 laps complete.
"We just started so deep it brought out a lot of stuff we don't normally deal with. Dirty air is way more prevalent with the speeds being higher, and we're still trying to figure out these tires. Their tire game is a little different than what we do, so having not run much 410cid stuff the last couple years, we're basically having to learn every time we hit the track so we tried a few thing, but the car was a handful and as far back as we were running, I didn't want to press the issue and just pulled in so we could save the car for Thursday."
The Hill's Racing No. 15h stated off strong in Hot Laps with the fastest laps before timing in seventh in the second flight of Qualifying.
"We felt like we were going in the right direction. We were fastest in Hot Laps and ended up falling off a little bit in Qualifying to seventh in our group which, for a while, we thought we had quick time. We were ahead of a lot of really good cars, but just lost the handle with the way the track changed."
Eight in the third Heat Race, Hafertepe would have to battle out of the Last Chance Showdown.
"We missed it bad in the Heat. We fell back on the start, and just ran terrible so we had to regroup and try something different in the B-Feature and the track changed a bunch but we started third and took off. We got the lead after three or four laps and won that pretty easily."
Rolling off 21st in the A-Feature, the final result was a change through the field to finish 13th.
"We came back in from the B-Feature and I just told the guys with us starting that far back, we just had to try anything to see if we could hit on something, and we did. We ended up making some changes that I wouldn't normally do, but with the tires the Outlaws use, it takes a different approach. In the feature, it took me a few laps to get a rhythm going but once I did, we were actually getting through there pretty good and got up to 13th."
Looking ahead of Sam's schedule, the team is taking the next couple weeks to get the car finalized and ready for the coming season with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by Sawblade.com. The 2018 National Tour begins at the Devil's Bowl Speedway on March 16 and 17 with the 45th annual Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals. In 2017, Sam swept the weekend to begin his run to a second Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour Championship.
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).
2018 Season to Date:
Events: 5; Wins -0 ; Top 5 - 0; Top 10 - 0; Top 15 -2; Top 20 -2;
March 16, 2018 - Devil's Bowl Speedway with Lucas Oil ASCS
March 17, 2018 - Devil's Bowl Speedway with Lucas Oil ASCS
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Sam Hafertepe, Jr. Online:
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