Sam Hafertepe, Jr. Dominates Opening Night Of The Grizzly Nationals

Several times denied by as much as a single lap at the NAPA of Montana Grizzly Nationals, Sam Hafertepe, Jr. made sure there was no question who was going to win at Gallatin Speedway as the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network point’s leader won by a staggering 7.722 seconds on Friday night.

Hafertepe’s sixth win on the season, the victory is his first at the Gallatin Speedway, making Sam the fourth different winner at the Belgrade oval. The triumph is also Sam’s first with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network in the state of Montana.

Getting his time in SawBlade.com Victory Lane with Adam the Grizzly Bear, Sam was all smiles as the 900lbs Bear made his way to the right rear of his No. 15h, “This is the one race all year that Pam [Hill] wanted us to win so this win is for her, but we had an awesome car. Really, the best car we’ve had all year,” stated Hafertepe.

Battling early with Kelly Miller for the lead, the two traded lines but not positions on the opening laps, which was barely completed when the red lights came on for Scott Bogucki who flipped wildly over the wall in the fourth turn after contact with Harli White while racing for fifth. Bogucki was unharmed, but not able to continue.

Adjusting his line to the cushion on the restart, Hafertepe pulled the field as Miller held off the advance of Matt Covington for the silver position. Finding traffic by Lap 7, Hafertepe methodically picked his way around the backmarkers, while continuing to put distance between himself and the Prevost Racing No. 2jr.

Racing to second on Lap 10 with the help of slower traffic, Matt Covington made a little advance on the Hills Racing No. 15h. Still, under pressure from Kelly Miller for second, Covington starting getting some breathing room as the race came to the white flag.

Streaking under the checkered flag, Hafertepe lapped just shy of the top-ten as the race for second turned to Kelly Miller as Matt Covington’s right rear exploded off the final turn. Able to limp the T&L Foundry No. 95 across third, fourth went to John Carney II who was challenged several times by Harli White, who settled for fifth.

The night’s Hard Charger in a Jimmy Jones tuned machine, Montana’s Jeremy McCune picked up eight spots to sixth with Blake Hahn seventh after starting 10th. Trever Kirkland, Roger Crockett, and Tony Bruce, Jr. completed the top ten.

A field of 31 drivers assembled for Night 1 of the NAPA of Montana Grizzly Nationals. Breaking down into four SCE Gaskets Heat Races, with wins going to Harli White, Trever Kirkland, Sam Hafertepe, Jr., and Matt Covington. The night’s BMRS B-Feature was topped by Jake Helsel. A Frontier Regional Provisional was used by Damon McCune.

For other news, notes, and information on the American Sprint Car Series, from the National Tour to any of the nine Regional Tours that make up ASCS Nation in 2019, log onto http://www.ascsracing.com.

Race Results: ASCS Frontier Region. Gallatin Speedway (Belgrade, Montana) 4th annual Grizzly Nationals. Friday, July 12, 2019

SCE Gaskets Heat Races (Top 16 in Passing Points advance to the A-Feature)

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 17W-Harli White, [2]; 2. 28-Scott Bogucki, [3]; 3. 33-Robert DeHaan, [1]; 4. 74U-Chauncey Filler, [4]; 5. 86-Zac Taylor, [5]; 6. 88-Travis Reber, [6]; 7. 5C-Channing Filler, [8]; 8. (DNF) 2M-Mike Manwill, [7]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 37-Trever Kirkland, [1]; 2. 2JR-Kelly Miller, [4]; 3. 12H-Tony Bruce Jr, [5]; 4. 21P-Robbie Price, [3]; 5. 77X-Alex Hill, [2]; 6. 44-Jake Helsel, [6]; 7. 35M-Cody Masse, [8]; 8. (DNF) 14-Jordon Mallett, [7]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr, [2]; 2. J2-John Carney II, [7]; 3. 0J-Jeremy McCune, [3]; 4. 2X-Tucker Doughty, [5]; 5. 2S-James Setters, [8]; 6. 3-Jordan Milne, [1]; 7. 2-Shad Petersen, [6]; 8. 31-Shane Moore, [4]

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 95-Matt Covington, [1]; 2. 52-Blake Hahn, [2]; 3. 11-Roger Crockett, [5]; 4. 38B-Bryan Brown, [4]; 5. 11M-Mindy McCune, [7]; 6. 9K-Kory Wermling, [6]; 7. 77-Damon McCune, [3]

BMRS B-Feature (Top 6 advance to the A-Feature)

B Feature (12 Laps): 1. 44-Jake Helsel, [6]; 2. 21P-Robbie Price, [2]; 3. 14-Jordon Mallett, [12]; 4. 86-Zac Taylor, [3]; 5. 9K-Kory Wermling, [7]; 6. 38B-Bryan Brown, [1]; 7. 35M-Cody Masse, [8]; 8. 88-Travis Reber, [5]; 9. 77X-Alex Hill, [4]; 10. 3-Jordan Milne, [10]; 11. 77-Damon McCune, [13]; 12. 5C-Channing Filler, [9]; 13. 31-Shane Moore, [14]; 14. 2M-Mike Manwill, [15]; 15. 2-Shad Petersen, [11]

A Feature (25 Laps): 1. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr, [1]; 2. 2JR-Kelly Miller, [2]; 3. 95-Matt Covington, [6]; 4. J2-John Carney II, [4]; 5. 17W-Harli White, [3]; 6. 0J-Jeremy McCune, [14]; 7. 52-Blake Hahn, [10]; 8. 37-Trever Kirkland, [8]; 9. 11-Roger Crockett, [9]; 10. 12H-Tony Bruce Jr, [7]; 11. 14-Jordon Mallett, [17]; 12. 44-Jake Helsel, [15]; 13. 2X-Tucker Doughty, [11]; 14. 21P-Robbie Price, [20]; 15. 33-Robert DeHaan, [16]; 16. 77-Damon McCune, [22]; 17. 74U-Chauncey Filler, [18]; 18. 86-Zac Taylor, [21]; 19. 38B-Bryan Brown, [23]; 20. (DNF) 28-Scott Bogucki, [5]; 21. (DNF) 11M-Mindy McCune, [13]; 22. (DNF) 9K-Kory Wermling, [19]; 23. (DNF) 2S-James Setters, [12]

Lap Leader(s): Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 1-25

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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