HomeSprint Car & Midget NewsAmerican Sprint Car Series (ASCS) NewsBergman Ends Hafertepe Jr.'s Win Streak at Arrowhead

Bergman Ends Hafertepe Jr.’s Win Streak at Arrowhead

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COLCORD, OK (June 14, 2024) – Sam Hafertepe Jr.’s quest for four-straight American Sprint Car Series National Tour victories ended on a tow hook Friday at Arrowhead Speedway, and Seth Bergman was there to pick up the pieces and collect his third win of 2024.Hafertepe and Bergman have been the two dominant cars across the opening portion of the 2024 season, and fans were treated to a head-to-head duel between the two gladiators across the 30-lap Feature.

“We’ll keep knocking on the door, and we’ll pressure [Hafertepe] enough,” Bergman said following the 20th win of his National Tour career. “We’ll get a racetrack and hopefully we’ll get a shot at him, and tonight we did.”

Early in the program, it looked like Hafertepe was on his way to yet another triumph after setting quick time in his Qualifying group and winning the Dash.

Hafertepe was off like a rocket when the green flag dropped in the Feature, pulling away to a 1.1-second lead after two laps. Meanwhile, Bergman made his way around Jason Martin in the opening circuits to move from his third-place starting spot into the runner-up position.

Once Hafertepe caught the tail end of the field, Bergman did something no one had done in the last three Series events: run down the No. 15H machine. On Lap 13, Bergman dove to the bottom in Turn 3, remained side-by-side with Hafertepe down the fronstretch, and cleared him in Turn 2 on the following lap.

“It’s never going to be easy when you’re out front racing Sam Hafertepe in a 360,” Bergman said. “Off the front row he’s going to be tough to beat, he’s proven that here the last few nights.”

Bergman was only able to enjoy his lead for one straightaway, as a bobble while maneuvering around the slower car of Terry Easum allowed Hafertepe to retake the lead exiting Turn 4.

With 12 to go, Hafertepe moved down the track from the top groove he had been running all night, opening the door for Bergman to rip the lip through Turns 1 and 2 and grab the lead back. The pair traded slide jobs once more on Lap 20, but Bergman remained on point.

“In traffic, the track was there and I was able to move around and get him moving around,” Bergman said. “Once you can get him thinking, it’s game on from there.”

Just when it looked like Bergman had the race in hand, a spin for Emilio Hoover in Turn 2 set up a five-lap dash to the checkers. While Hafertepe was busy fending off Martin for second after the restart, Bergman powered away to a half-straightaway advantage.

After regaining control of second place, Hafertepe made a last-ditch effort for the win by throwing a massive slider on Bergman with two to go, but pounded the concrete in Turn 2. In the next set of corners, Hafertepe found the wall yet again off Turn 4, but this time the contact was hard enough to end his night. The incident also put a damper on Martin’s race, as he was unable to avoid the wrecked car and fell to 14th as a result.

The crash set up a green-white-checkered finish, but a superb restart from Bergman was all he needed to claim the top step of the podium.

“Sometimes traffic is your best friend or it can be your worst enemy,” Bergman said. “Tonight it was tough but it just worked out.”

The second spot went to Hank Davis, who has now finished top five on five-straight occasions in the No. 2C and looks to be on the cusp of his maiden National Tour victory.

“I honestly just think it’s going to take starting up front in one of these things,” Davis said. “It’s just hard to catch guys like Sam and Seth. I think if we start at the front of one of these things we’ll have something for them.”

After holding off Blake Hahn for the third spot on the final restart, Andrew Deal secured a spot on the podium for the first time since his second-place run at the season opener at Super Bee.

“We couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the motor, we just had a little issue, it was killing us in Qualifying, and I think we got it fixed last night,” Deal said. “I got to visit with Wayne Priddy a little bit this week, tried to improve some of my setup choices, so I think we did a little better tonight.”

Although he fell one spot short of the podium, Blake Hahn’s fourth-place run matched his Texarkana result as his season-best with the Series.

Matt Covington’s fifth-place finish makes him three-for-three on top fives during Speedweek, as the Oklahoma native continues his search for his first win of 2024.

Zach Blurton had to resort to the Last Chance Showdown to secure his spot in the Feature, but his run from 22nd to 12th was enough to net him the night’s Hard Charger Award.

UP NEXT: The 2024 edition of ASCS Speedweek wraps up Saturday at Tri-State Speedway in Pocola, OK. Tickets will be available at the gate, while DIRTVision will provide live coverage for those unable to make it to the track.

A Feature 1 (30 Laps): 1. 23-Seth Bergman[3]; 2. 2C-Hank Davis[7]; 3. 15D-Andrew Deal[11]; 4. 52-Blake Hahn[5]; 5. 95-Matt Covington[14]; 6. 8-Alex Sewell[10]; 7. 9S-Kyle Clark[4]; 8. 2W-Whit Gastineau[8]; 9. 55B-Jordon Mallett[9]; 10. 10-Landon Britt[12]; 11. 45X-Kyler Johnson[20]; 12. 2J-Zach Blurton[22]; 13. 1-Sean McClelland[6]; 14. 36-Jason Martin[2]; 15. 88-Terry Easum[23]; 16. 20-Noah Harris[19]; 17. 91-Michael Day[24]; 18. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[1]; 19. 22M-Rees Moran[17]; 20. 5H-Harli White[13]; 21. 938-Bradley Fezard[16]; 22. 29-Emilio Hoover[15]; 23. 31-Casey Wills[21]; 24. (DNS) 03-Joe Wood Jr.

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