WHEATLAND, Mo. — Sam Hafertepe Jr. strengthened his hold on the Lucas Oil ASCS National Winged Sprint Car championship lead, winning Saturday night’s Bob Westphal Memorial Cup Cup Sizzlin’ Speedweek finale at Lucas Oil Speedway.
Hafertepe, of Sunnyvale, Texas, pulled away after a late restart to beat Brad Loyet in the race presented by MAVTV to post his third national-series feature win of the season and second of Speedweek. He also took home the Speedweek championship as a result.
“Oh man, me and Brad [Loyet] had it going,” a smiling Hafertepe said. “It was a hell of a race. If these fans don’t like that, I don’t know what they’re going to like because that was awesome. Brad raced a hell of a race. I got into him off the fourth turn there, but he knew we were both going for it and he’d done the same to me. He raced me clean and hard.”
A pair of wins, four top-fives, and a top-ten every night helped to secure Hafertepe’s first-career ASCS Speedweek crown.
A crowd of approximately 3,700 was on its feet through much of the ASCS 30-lap feature, which saw Hafertepe grab the lead on a lap two restart, but it was anything but an easy drive the rest of the way for the title leader.
Ray Allen Kulhanek was running third on lap 12 when he spun going for second place in a battle with Loyet. Kulhanek kept rolling and collected Tommy Bryant to bring out the race’s third caution.
Before the caution, Loyet grabbed the lead for a moment, but Hafertepe was credited with the lead at the caution.
A fourth caution waved on lap 24 when third-running Matt Covington spun after shredding a tire. Hafertepe and Loyet had been trading slide jobs for several laps, but Loyet was unable to make his passes stick.
Third wasn’t the place to be, as Josh Baughman had a flat on lap 25 while giving chase to the top two.
Johnny Herrera, who entered the night one point behind Hafertepe in the ASCS national standings, had a mechanical failure while running seventh. He finished 16th.
Hafertepe, who appeared much superior in clean air, was able to drive away after the night’s final restart as Loyet settled for second after a pair of Speedweek wins.
“The yellows fell wrong for us,” said Loyet, who won a night earlier at the State Fair Speedway in Sedalia. “But overall, it was a good night for us.”
“We had a really, really, good race car. On the start, we kind of got pinched there by Covington and that let Sam get right by us, but I had a really good car. Lapped traffic was key for me — I think I was a whole lot better that Sam in traffic, but those yellows just fell at the wrong time for me. We we’re getting ready to pounce both times. Hats off to those guys, though. They earned it.”
Jonathan Cornell wound up third with Logan Forler fourth.
RESULTS: Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour; ASCS Sizzlin’ Summer Speedweek Finale; Lucas Oil Speedway; June 18, 2016
A Feature (30 Laps): 1. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.; 2. 05-Brad Loyet; 3. 28-Jonathan Cornell; 4. 2L-Logan Forler; 5. 31B-Channin Tankersley; 6. 87B-Jason Barney; 7. 86-Tyler Thomas; 8. 4J-John Carney II; 9. 23-Seth Bergman; 10. 52-Blake Hahn; 11. 2C-Wayne Johnson; 12. 38-Cody Baker; 13. 76-Jay Russell; 14. 17-Josh Baughman; 15. 7M-Chance Morton; 16. 45X-Johnny Herrera; 17. 95-Matt Covington; 18. 3-Raven Culp; 19. 84-Brandon Hanks; 20. 66-Ray Allen Kulhanek; 21. 28T-Tommy Bryant; 22. 4-Evan Martin; 23. 87-Aaron Reutzel; 24. 14K-Kyle Bellm
Lap Leader(s): Covington (1-2); Hafertepe (3-30)
FSR High Points Man: Brad Loyet
Hard Charger: Tyler Thomas (+13)
CREDIT: Lucas Oil Speedway / ASCS Racing