Sam Hafertepe, Jr. Dominates 2018 Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup Opener

(Image Credit: Skagit Speedway P.R.)

No driver has ever won the Jim Raper Memorial Dirt three years in a row, but Sam Hafertepe, Jr. is on the right path to do so as the Hills Racing No. 15h led start to finish to open the 47th Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup presented by the Skagit Casino Resort.

“We were actually off tonight. Not far, but we’ve had better cars here over the past few years but to come out tonight and do what we did, and to get through lapped traffic, it was tough tonight,” explained Hafertepe of his fourth career Skagit Speedway victory with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by Sawblade.com. “With the track laying rubber on the bottom, it was tough for me to move off the top because we were so good up there but hats off to my guys. They’ve really worked hard this week.”

Working through the Heat/Qualifier format to grid the A-Feature outside the front row, Hafertepe chased Wayne Johnson through the first two turns before roaring around the cushion to grab the lead down the back straightaway.

Pulling to a straightaway advantage in a matter of laps, Sam would start picking his way through slower traffic as Johnson worked to hold off Blake Hahn for the runner-up spot. Making up half the distance as traffic ran all lines of the Skagit Speedway, the race for second went the way of Hahn on Lap 10.

Not able to make up any more ground as Hafertepe found room to run through traffic, the race finally slowed working Lap 21 for Travis Rilat as the BDS Motorsports No. 1 hooked the cushion in the first turn; slamming the front end into the wall while running third.

Back to Lap 20 with several slower cars restarting among the leaders, Hafertepe was able to run away to a 1.769-second advantage over Hahn at the drop of the checkered flag. Mounting a charge in the closing laps, Robbie Price worked from seventh to the final podium step for his best career National Tour finish in the family backed No. 21p.

Wayne Johnson ended up fourth with Roger Crockett rebounding from a slow start to the night that saw the No. 11 fight through a B-Feature to qualify for the A-Feature. Johnny Herrera in sixth was trailed by Skylar Gee who moved up from 12th. Making his first Skagit Speedway start, Australia’s Scott Bogucki crossed eighth with J.J. Hickle and Garen Linder wrapping up the top-ten.

The 47th annual Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup presented by the Skagit Casino Resort continues on Friday, June 22 with gates opening at 5:30 P.M., followed by Opening Ceremonies at 7:00 P.M. (PDT). Ticket information, directions, and more can be found online at http://www.skagitspeedway.com.

For other news, notes, and information on the American Sprint Car Series, from the National Tour to any of the Regional Tours that make up the over 150 across the ASCS Nation in 2018, log onto http://www.ascsracing.com.

Race Results:

Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour
Skagit Speedway – Alger, Wash.
47th Dirt Cup – Night 1. Thursday, June 21, 2018

Heat Races (Top 30 in Passing Points advance to the Qualifiers)

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 10L-Brock Lemley, [1]; 2. 56-Justin Youngquist, [2]; 3. 99-Skylar Gee, [5]; 4. 97R-Jason Reed, [3]; 5. 77X-Alex Hill, [9]; 6. 16-David Miller, [6]; 7. 96-Greg Hamilton, [4]; 8. 44H-Jake Helsel, [8]; 9. 25-Michael Hodel, [7]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 1-Travis Rilat, [2]; 2. 55-Trey Starks, [5]; 3. 8-Devon Borden, [1]; 4. 21P-Robbie Price, [7]; 5. 75-Brian Boswell, [3]; 6. 22-Garen Linder, [9]; 7. 11EH-Marc Duperron, [8]; 8. 9A-Luke Didiuk, [6]; 9. (DNF) 15-Jeff Dunlap, [4]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 52-Blake Hahn, [1]; 2. 28-Scott Bogucki, [2]; 3. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr, [3]; 4. 22X-Trevor Cook, [9]; 5. 8P-Jared Peterson, [6]; 6. 14-Bailey Sucich, [7]; 7. 44NZ-Daniel Anderson, [4]; 8. 23S-Steve Parker, [8]; 9. 54-Chris Ochs, [5]

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 1R-Ryan Robinson, [6]; 2. 57-Bud Ashe, [1]; 3. 33S-Lance Sargent, [4]; 4. 45X-Johnny Herrera, [7]; 5. 3-J.J. Hickle, [8]; 6. 8R-Michael Kofoid, [9]; 7. 5R-Steve Reeves, [5]; 8. 29W-Steven James, [3]; 9. (DNF) 33-Colton Heath, [2]

Heat 5 (8 Laps): 1. 2C-Wayne Johnson, [1]; 2. 17-Cameron (Cam) Smith, [5]; 3. 91-Chase Goetz, [2]; 4. 95-Matt Covington, [6]; 5. 17W-Harli White, [3]; 6. 11-Roger Crockett, [7]; 7. 57C-Chris Schmelzle, [9]; 8. (DNF) 2-James Setters, [4]; 9. (DNF) 26-Joey Saldana, [8]

Heat 6 (8 Laps): 1. 2L-Logan Forler, [1]; 2. 5J-Jamie Ball, [3]; 3. 59-Eric Fisher, [4]; 4. 45-Austen Wheatley, [6]; 5. 23-Seth Bergman, [5]; 6. 18-Jason Solwold, [7]; 7. 44-Chris Martin, [8]; 8. 88-Travis Reber, [2]

Hoosier Tire Qualifiers (Top 16 in combined Passing Points advance to the A-Feature)

Qualifier 1 (8 Laps): 1. 45X-Johnny Herrera, [2]; 2. 52-Blake Hahn, [4]; 3. 1-Travis Rilat, [5]; 4. 3-J.J. Hickle, [8]; 5. 5J-Jamie Ball, [3]; 6. 77X-Alex Hill, [1]; 7. 59-Eric Fisher, [7]; 8. 1R-Ryan Robinson, [6]; 9. 8-Devon Borden, [9]; 10. 97R-Jason Reed, [10]

Qualifier 2 (8 Laps): 1. 2C-Wayne Johnson, [4]; 2. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr, [8]; 3. 56-Justin Youngquist, [2]; 4. 99-Skylar Gee, [3]; 5. 22-Garen Linder, [9]; 6. 57-Bud Ashe, [1]; 7. 55-Trey Starks, [6]; 8. 22X-Trevor Cook, [5]; 9. 95-Matt Covington, [7]; 10. 8P-Jared Peterson, [10]

Qualifier 3 (8 Laps): 1. 28-Scott Bogucki, [2]; 2. 21P-Robbie Price, [3]; 3. 2L-Logan Forler, [4]; 4. 23-Seth Bergman, [10]; 5. 10L-Brock Lemley, [5]; 6. 17-Cameron (Cam) Smith, [6]; 7. 8R-Michael Kofoid, [9]; 8. 91-Chase Goetz, [8]; 9. 33S-Lance Sargent, [1]; 10. (DNF) 45-Austen Wheatley, [7]

BMRS B-Feature (Top 2 in each advance to the A-Feature)

B Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 11-Roger Crockett, [6]; 2. 5J-Jamie Ball, [1]; 3. 8R-Michael Kofoid, [3]; 4. 11EH-Marc Duperron, [8]; 5. 17W-Harli White, [7]; 6. 77X-Alex Hill, [2]; 7. 33-Colton Heath, [13]; 8. 96-Greg Hamilton, [9]; 9. 25-Michael Hodel, [12]; 10. 97R-Jason Reed, [5]; 11. 29W-Steven James, [11]; 12. 23S-Steve Parker, [10]; 13. (DNF) 8-Devon Borden, [4]

B Feature 2 (12 Laps): 1. 55-Trey Starks, [1]; 2. 8P-Jared Peterson, [5]; 3. 91-Chase Goetz, [3]; 4. 18-Jason Solwold, [6]; 5. 44-Chris Martin, [8]; 6. 26-Joey Saldana, [11]; 7. 33S-Lance Sargent, [4]; 8. 57C-Chris Schmelzle, [7]; 9. 9A-Luke Didiuk, [10]; 10. 44NZ-Daniel Anderson, [9]; 11. 57-Bud Ashe, [2]; 12. 54-Chris Ochs, [12]

B Feature 3 (12 Laps): 1. 59-Eric Fisher, [2]; 2. 95-Matt Covington, [3]; 3. 45-Austen Wheatley, [4]; 4. 22X-Trevor Cook, [1]; 5. 14-Bailey Sucich, [5]; 6. 75-Brian Boswell, [6]; 7. 5R-Steve Reeves, [8]; 8. 16-David Miller, [7]; 9. 15-Jeff Dunlap, [12]; 10. 88-Travis Reber, [11]; 11. 2-James Setters, [10]; 12. (DNF) 44H-Jake Helsel, [9]

Protect the Harvest A-Feature:

A Feature (25 Laps): 1. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr, [2]; 2. 52-Blake Hahn, [3]; 3. 21P-Robbie Price, [7]; 4. 2C-Wayne Johnson, [1]; 5. 11-Roger Crockett, [17]; 6. 45X-Johnny Herrera, [5]; 7. 99-Skylar Gee, [12]; 8. 28-Scott Bogucki, [6]; 9. 3-J.J. Hickle, [9]; 10. 22-Garen Linder, [16]; 11. 56-Justin Youngquist, [11]; 12. 59-Eric Fisher, [19]; 13. 1R-Ryan Robinson, [13]; 14. 23-Seth Bergman, [10]; 15. 2L-Logan Forler, [8]; 16. 10L-Brock Lemley, [15]; 17. 8P-Jared Peterson, [21]; 18. 55-Trey Starks, [18]; 19. 95-Matt Covington, [22]; 20. 5J-Jamie Ball, [20]; 21. 17-Cameron (Cam) Smith, [14]; 22. (DNF) 1-Travis Rilat, [4]

Lap Leader(s): Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 1-25
CP-Carrillo Hard Charger: Roger Crockett +12
FSR High Point Driver: Wayne Johnson

About the author

Bryan Hulbert

Hatched in El Paso, Texas in the mid 1980’s, Bryan Hulbert first became involved in racing at the age of 7 with the family Street Stock. Bryan began working professionally in racing as a track side reporter at the El Paso Speedway Park (EPSP) and Southern New Mexico Speedway (SNMS) in August of 2006 and became the lead announcer and PR Director at both tracks in July 2007 while working on a Marketing Degree at New Mexico State University. In September 2011, Bryan was hired by the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series and now the full time Announcer and PR Manager for the national series.
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