ELMA, Wash. — Sam Hafertepe Jr. made it a perfect weekend at the Grays Harbor Raceway, winning the finale of the second annual Fred Brownfield Classic with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network.
“I don’t even know what to say anymore. It’s awesome,” said Hafertepe of his sixth Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour win of the season.
“To get out to the lead like we did, I knew Wayne [Johnson] was going to be tough. He was tough last night too. He gets around here pretty good so I knew he’d try the bottom on me and would be moving around searching but when I got out front, I got pretty comfortable and didn’t want to really push it to hard, just try to catch the lapped cars at the right time and squeeze past one of them and not burn my tires off because it started laying rubber there on entry. I just tried to drive a smart race and try not to make any mistakes.”
Rolling third on the A-Feature, Hafertepe wasted no time taking the race for the lead three-wide through the opening turn. Rolling the bottom line to the race lead, Hafertepe kept the City Vending No. 2c of Johnson at a consistent one-second disadvantage for most of the race.
Working through slower traffic in the later portions of the feature, Johnson was able to close the gap to about 12 car lengths, but was never able to capitalize.
Asked if a little more time in slower traffic would have made a difference, Johnson replied, “I don’t know. Sam did a really good job getting through traffic.”
“I think maybe 10 different times in the race, we got running better than he did and the other 10 times, he was better than us so we were pretty even. The boys said our lap times were about the same, it’s just all about track position. On the start, I screwed up and ran the top and probably should have squeezed Johnny a little bit more getting into one.”
Crossing 1.116 seconds behind Hafertepe, Johnson was lucky to even finish the A-Main.
“My engine laid down there at the finish,” he reported. “In fact, it died pulling up here so I’m not sure what happened. I thought I ran out of fuel, but they said it’s got plenty. We just need to look at it. It was still running but like maybe broke a spark plug or a fuel line came apart. It wasn’t running like it blew up, just something going on.”
Johnny Herrera placed the Mesilla Valley Transportation No. 45x third. Battling most of the race with California’s Cory Eliason, Herrera was able to get some breathing room in the closing laps.
“There were a few guys that were rolling really well there at the start of the race,” Herrera said. “The No. 5 car and I think there was another one there, I think the No. 0j car and they were running really well early in the race, and really, I was just trying to keep up. My car wasn’t very good but we’ll take a third place again with the race car I gave myself.”
Eliason finished fourth in his second series start, while Colton Heath was fifth.
RESULTS: Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour; Grays Harbor Raceway; July 2, 2016
A Feature (30 Laps): 1. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr; 2. 2C-Wayne Johnson; 3. 45X-Johnny Herrera; 4. 5H-Cory Eliason; 5. 33-Colton Heath; 6. 94-Steven Tiner; 7. 18-Jason Solwold; 8. 5T-Travis Jacobson; 9. 0J-Jay Cole; 10. 52-Blake Hahn; 11. 3-J.J. Hickle; 12. 95-Matt Covington; 13. 9R-Reece Goetz; 14. 99-Skylar Gee; 15. 22-Garen Linder; 16. 17-Cameron (Cam) Smith; 17. 11M-Evan Margeson; 18. (DNF) 31C-Justyn Cox; 19. (DNF) 2L-Logan Forler; 20. (DNF) 56-Justin Youngquist; 21. (DNF) 39C-Travis Rilat; 22. (DNF) 91-Chase Goetz; 23. (DNF) 23-Seth Bergman
Lap Leader(s): Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 1-30
FSR High Point Driver: Cory Eliason
Hard Charger: Jason Solwold (+16)
CREDIT: ASCS Racing