Drawing the No. 72 pill to start the night didn’t stop Sam Hafertepe, Jr. at Mason City Motor Speedway as the Heidbreder Foundation No. 15h captured his fifth win of the 2018 season with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by Sawblade.com. “I felt like we were pretty good,” stated Sam. “I just felt like if we hit our marks and run a straight line around here, we could get in done and we did.”
All in preparation for the Knoxville Nationals, the team has been doing several different things to the car with positive results. “This was all test stuff that we’ve been trying for the past three to four weeks to get ready for Knoxville. We ran a different wing, different engine, just a lot of different things going on right now, so it feels really good to get the win and hopefully we can bring this momentum into Knoxville. I’ve never won at Knoxville and I feel like I’m due.”
Drawing the pole for the 25 lap affair, the start would have to repeat as contact through the first two turns sent the Sawblade.com No. 28 spinning heavy damage to the front axle. Underway with Hafertepe out running Chris Martin into the first turn, Hafertepe was set on cruise as the No. 44 held second over Skylar Gee. With multiple lines to choose from, the leaders raced top to bottom past the race’s half-way point with Hafertepe gapping the field by a half straightaway.
Moving through some light slower traffic, the change in pace allowed Chris Martin to begin reeling in the No. 15h. Inching closer to Sam, the dynamic of the Global Ag No. 44 began to change. Losing the time he’d made up, Chris was suddenly under fire from Skylar Gee. Racing back and forth for the runner-up spot for a couple laps, the Strongs Crane Service No. 99 took over the position on Lap 16.
Racing to hold onto the third spot, Chris saw his night end abruptly as the car lurched violently into the wall through the fourth turn. Caused by a cut tire, Chris was okay. Restarting with one lapped car between himself and second running Skylar Gee, the final eight laps again saw Sam race away from the field with Hafertepe winning by 2.999 seconds. Challenged by Wayne Johnson in the final laps, Skylar Gee held on for silver with Johnson in the show position after starting seventh. Blake Hahn crossed fourth with Matt Covington rounding out the top-five. Getting out on top of a four-car race on the Lap 17 restart, Seth Bergman held onto sixth with Tasker Phillips in seventh. Moving up eight spots, Johnny Herrera was eighth with Harli White and Travis Rilat to make up the top-ten.
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 nearly 150 races across the ASCS Nation in 2018, log onto http://www.ascsracing.com.
Race Results: Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour. Mason County Motor Speedway – Mason City, Iowa. Sunday, July 29, 2018
Heat Races (All Drivers advance to the A-Feature)
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 2C-Wayne Johnson, ; 2. 44-Chris Martin, ; 3. 52-Blake Hahn, ; 4. 95-Matt Covington, ; 5. 28-Scott Bogucki, ; 6. 7-John Carney II, ; 7. 1-Travis Rilat, ; 8. 45X-Johnny Herrera, ; 9. (DNF) 17-Mitchell Faccinto, 
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 99-Skylar Gee, ; 2. 77X-Alex Hill, ; 3. 23-Seth Bergman, ; 4. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr, ; 5. 17W-Harli White, ; 6. 7W-Tasker Phillips, ; 7. 5J-Jamie Ball, ; 8. 32-Elliot Amdahl, ; 9. (DNF) 98-Chris Masters, 
Protect the Harvest A-Feature: (25 Laps): 1. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr, ; 2. 99-Skylar Gee, ; 3. 2C-Wayne Johnson, ; 4. 52-Blake Hahn, ; 5. 95-Matt Covington, ; 6. 23-Seth Bergman, ; 7. 7W-Tasker Phillips, ; 8. 45X-Johnny Herrera, ; 9. 17W-Harli White, ; 10. 1-Travis Rilat, ; 11. 5J-Jamie Ball, ; 12. 98-Chris Masters, ; 13. (DNF) 77X-Alex Hill, ; 14. (DNF) 44-Chris Martin, ; 15. (DNF) 7-John Carney II, ; 16. (DNF) 17-Mitchell Faccinto, ; 17. (DNF) 28-Scott Bogucki, ; 18. (DNF) 32-Elliot Amdahl, 
Lap Leader(s): Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 1-25
CP-Carrillo Hard Charger: Johnny Herrera +8
FSR High Point Driver: Skylar Gee