Sam Hafertepe Jr. Leads Them All For All Star Sprint Win At Tri-City Raceway Park

Story By: TYLER ALTMEYER / ALL STAR CIRCUIT OF CHAMPIONS – FRANKLIN, PA – Not only did Sam Hafertepe Jr. snap a FloRacing All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 winless streak that dates back to 2008, the Sunnyvale, Texas-native earned some redemption in the process, ultimately exchanging his midpack B-Main performance from Sharon Speedway on Saturday for a $6,000 victory at Tri-City Raceway Park on Sunday.

Utilizing the pole position via dash victory, Sam Jr. led all 25 circuits at the Franklin, Pennsylvania, venue, forced to outrun a trio of All Star championship contenders such as Justin Peck, Tyler Courtney, and Ian Madsen. Bumping his career All Star win total to two, Hafertepe’s last visit to victory lane with “America’s Series” occurred at North Florida Speedway in 2008. Incidentally, that was his first-ever win in a 410c.i. powerplant.

“Being out front was the place to be tonight,” Hafertepe Jr. said in Tri-City Raceway Park victory lane, driver of the Hill’s Racing Team, Townline Variety, Heidbreder Foundation Service, Kiebler & Sons Lawn, No. 15H. “It was obvious where we had to run to get around some of the tricky spots. After last night, we were really beating our heads off the wall, but to end things like this is pretty awesome for my guys.”

Mastering what proved to be a tricky and choppy racing surface, Hafertepe was rarely pressured during his 25-lap campaign, forced to deal with slower traffic on two occasions before cautions allowed for clean air and a clear track. Even when traffic was a factor, Sam maneuvered effortlessly, using the bottom and top grooves to keep from disintegrating any momentum.

Buch Motorsports’ Justin Peck, who entered the evening as the All Star championship points leader, was probably Hafertepe’s biggest threat during the evening’s main event. The Sharon Speedway winner from one night prior climbed from eighth to fourth in just two circuits, all before battling ahead two more positions by lap 17. Unfortunately for Peck, a rut between turns one and two would get the best of the Monrovia, Indiana-native on lap 18 causing the ever-familiar No. 13 to lose control and tumble; Peck was uninjured.

After the red flag incident for Peck, Clauson Marshall Racing’s Tyler Courtney, who maintained the second position the entire distance before losing the spot to Peck on lap 17, would regain his two hole spot, followed by Sam McGhee Motorsports’ Ian Madsen. From that point forward, the top three remained the same. Hafertepe would go on to win by .528 seconds over Courtney, Madsen, Bill Balog, and Cap Henry.

“We’ve been getting our butts beat with the Outlaws pretty good which forced us to make some big strides to get better,” Hafertepe continued. “We decided to come up here and try our hand with these guys. We actually expected to come up here and get two slick tracks in a row, but the surface tonight threw us a curveball. Moisture is where we’ve been really good and tonight we were able to capitalize on that.”

With his podium finish, and Peck’s misfortune, Ian Madsen is now the All Star championship points leader by ten markers over Justin Peck.

The All Star Circuit of Champions will return to competition with a two-day sweep through Michigan and Illinois, first visiting I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Michigan, on Friday, May 14, followed by a stop at the Dirt Oval at Route 66 in Joliet, Illinois, on Saturday, May 15. Each event will award a minimum of $8,000 with Friday’s Mace Thomas Classic at I-96 paying an $8,500 top prize.

Contingency Awards/Results: Tri-City Raceway Park – Sunday, May 2, 2021
Event: All Stars Return to Tri-City Raceway Park
Entries: 34
C&R Racing Hot Laps: Justin Peck – 15.230
Dixie Vodka Fast Qualifier: Justin Peck – 14.998
Ford Performance Heat #1 Winner: Bill Balog
All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads Heat #2 Winner: Matt Farnham
Hunt Brothers Pizza Heat #3 Winner: Hunter Schuerenberg
Mobil 1 Heat #4 Winner: Cap Henry
Kear’s Speed Shop Dash #1 Winner: Sam Hafertepe Jr.
Elliott’s Custom Trailers and Carts Dash #2 Winner: Ian Madsen
Classic Ink USA Screenprinting & Embroidery B-Main Winner: Paul McMahan
Rayce Rudeen Foundation First Non-Transfer: Darin Gallagher
FloRacing A-Main Winner: Sam Hafertepe Jr.
Hercules Tire A-Main Hard Charger: Paul McMahan (+13)

Qualifying

Group (A)
1. 7BC-Tyler Courtney, 15.085; 2. 91-Kyle Reinhardt, 15.401; 3. 17B-Bill Balog, 15.440; 4. 6-Bob Felmlee, 15.531; 5. 22-Brandon Spithaler, 15.731; 6. 13M-Brandon Matus, 15.927; 7. 28-Skylar Gee, 15.993; 8. 47-Brett Brunkenhoefer, 18.217; 9. 66-Ken Rossey, 32.242

Group (B)
1. 11-Ian Madsen, 15.002; 2. 3C-Cale Conley, 15.159; 3. 7NY-Matt Farnham, 15.180; 4. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr., 15.223; 5. 10-Zeb Wise, 15.250; 6. 5-Paul McMahan, 15.369; 7. O7-Lucas Wolfe, 15.371; 8. W20-Greg Wilson, 15.623; 9. 29-Michael Bauer, 15.677

Group (C)
1. 13-Justin Peck, 14.998; 2. 19-Paige Polyak, 15.276; 3. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg, 15.393; 4. 23JR-Jack Sodeman Jr., 15.438; 5. 97-Gary Taylor, 15.573; 6. 8M-TJ Michael, 15.823; 7. 40-George Hobaugh, 15.941; 8. 33-Brent Matus, 16.655

Group (D)
1. 42-Sye Lynch, 15.375; 2. 21N-Frankie Nervo, 15.493; 3. 11B-Carl Bowser, 15.524; 4. 4-Cap Henry, 15.534; 5. 81-Lee Jacobs, 15.603; 6. 26-Cory Eliason, 15.642; 7. 7k-Dan Shetler, 15.660; 8. 12-Darin Gallagher, 15.719

Heat #1 – Group (A) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 17B-Bill Balog [2]; 2. 7BC-Tyler Courtney [4]; 3. 91-Kyle Reinhardt [3]; 4. 22-Brandon Spithaler [5]; 5. 13M-Brandon Matus [6]; 6. 28-Skylar Gee [7]; 7. 66-Ken Rossey [9]; 8. 6-Bob Felmlee [1]; 9. 47-Brett Brunkenhoefer [8]

Heat #2 – Group (B) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 7NY-Matt Farnham [2]; 2. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. [1]; 3. 3C-Cale Conley [3]; 4. 11-Ian Madsen [4]; 5. 10-Zeb Wise [5]; 6. 5-Paul McMahan [6]; 7. O7-Lucas Wolfe [7]; 8. W20-Greg Wilson [8]; 9. 29-Michael Bauer [9]

Heat #3 – Group (C) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg [2]; 2. 13-Justin Peck [4]; 3. 23JR-Jack Sodeman Jr. [1]; 4. 19-Paige Polyak [3]; 5. 97-Gary Taylor [5]; 6. 8M-TJ Michael [6]; 7. 40-George Hobaugh [7]; 8. 33-Brent Matus [8]

Heat #4 – Group (D) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 4-Cap Henry [1]; 2. 11B-Carl Bowser [2]; 3. 42-Sye Lynch [4]; 4. 81-Lee Jacobs [5]; 5. 26-Cory Eliason [6]; 6. 21N-Frankie Nervo [3]; 7. 12-Darin Gallagher [8]; 8. 7K-Dan Shetler [7]

Dash #1 (4 Laps)
1. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. [1]; 2. 7BC-Tyler Courtney [2]; 3. 4-Cap Henry [5]; 4. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg [4]; 5. 3C-Cale Conley [3]

Dash #2 (4 Laps)
1. 11-Ian Madsen [2]; 2. 7NY-Matt Farnham [1]; 3. 17B-Bill Balog [4]; 4. 13-Justin Peck [3]; 5. 42-Sye Lynch [5]

B-Main (12 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer
1. 5-Paul McMahan [1]; 2. O7-Lucas Wolfe [2]; 3. 8M-TJ Michael [4]; 4. 21N-Frankie Nervo [3]; 5. 12-Darin Gallagher [6]; 6. W20-Greg Wilson [9]; 7. 40-George Hobaugh [7]; 8. 28-Skylar Gee [5]; 9. 66-Ken Rossey [8]; 10. 7K-Dan Shetler [10]; 11. 47-Brett Brunkenhoefer [13]; 12. 33-Brent Matus [11]; 13. 29-Michael Bauer [12]

A-Main (25 Laps)
1. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. [1]; 2. 7BC-Tyler Courtney [3]; 3. 11-Ian Madsen [2]; 4. 17B-Bill Balog [6]; 5. 4-Cap Henry [5]; 6. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg [7]; 7. 3C-Cale Conley [9]; 8. 5-Paul McMahan [21]; 9. 19-Paige Polyak [14]; 10. 10-Zeb Wise [17]; 11. 42-Sye Lynch [10]; 12. 22-Brandon Spithaler [16]; 13. 11B-Carl Bowser [11]; 14. 8M-TJ Michael [23]; 15. 13M-Brandon Matus [20]; 16. 21N-Frankie Nervo [24]; 17. 13-Justin Peck [8]; 18. 7NY-Matt Farnham [4]; 19. 26-Cory Eliason [19]; 20. 81-Lee Jacobs [15]; 21. O7-Lucas Wolfe [22]; 22. 91-Kyle Reinhardt [12]; 23. 23JR-Jack Sodeman Jr. [13]; 24. 97-Gary Taylor [18] Lap Leaders: Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (1-25)

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