Sam Hafertepe Jr. Kicks off 360 Knoxville Nationals Winning for Second Year in a Row!

Sam Hafertepe

by Bill Wright 

 KNOXVILLE, Iowa (August 4, 2022) – Sam Hafertepe Jr. roared to victory for the second year in a row on Night #1 of the 360 Knoxville Nationals presented by Great Southern Bank!  The Sunnyvale, Texas native earned $3,000 for his drive aboard the Hills Racing #15H.  Another Texas native, Aaron Reutzel secured the highest point total of the night, heading towards Saturday’s finale.

Thomas Kennedy shot out to an early lead from the pole position in the 20-lap main event, ahead of Garet Williamson, Hafertepe, defending 360 Knoxville Nationals champion, Gio Scelzi, and Ayrton Gennetten.  By lap five, Hafertepe was cooking on the low line, passing Williamson for second on lap five.

Hafertepe reeled in Kennedy and shot to the point with a slide job in turn two on lap seven.  At that point, Alex Vande Voort contacted the front stretch wall, spun and came to a stop inside turn one, bringing the only caution of the event.

Hafertepe led Kennedy, Williamson, Scelzi and Gennetten back to green.  Williamson shot into second, while Reutzel moved into the top five by lap nine.  While Hafertepe cruised up front, Scelzi reeled in Williamson and blew by him on the backstretch to claim second.  Reutzel notched fourth on the same lap.

Hafertepe was into traffic with three laps to go, but was never seriously challenged the rest of the way in his third career win here.  Scelzi held onto second, followed by Reutzel, Williamson and Kennedy.  Gennetten, Chase Randall, Matt Juhl, Cory Eliason and Parker Price-Miller rounded out the top ten.  Shane Golobic set quick time over the 51-car field, while Scelzi, Randall, Price-Miller, Corey Day and Devin Kline won heats.  Ryan Leavitt won the C main, and Austin McCarl claimed the B.

Golobic’s night came to an end in his heat race after destroying his car in turn four.  He was uninjured.  Scott Bogucki and Nathan Mills came together on the backstretch in the B main, sending the latter upside down.  No one was hurt.

“Tonight, we had a really good racecar,” said Hafertepe in Victory Lane.  “The guys just kept working all night long.  We weren’t good in time trials, weren’t good in the heat race…then we turned the wick up in the feature and really got it going good.”

“Sam is the Dale Earnhardt of the 360’s,” said Scelzi, complimenting the winner.  “The car felt good, it just took me too long to get going.  I started running the bottom of three and four a little harder and moved to the top of one and two.  It was just a phenomenal racetrack.  I love coming here and the fans are awesome.  This is definitely a home racetrack for me and I want to win this one bad.”

“You almost don’t want to win these prelim nights, because it means you may not have qualified well,” said Reutzel.  “We qualified good, got to second in our heat, and started seventh and ran third.  That’s a really good points night.  That’s what it’s all about for Saturday.  We tried a couple things in the A and we weren’t very good early.  All in all, our car is running around well.  I’m pumped we got through this and we’re looking forward to Saturday.”

The 32nd Annual Knoxville 360 Nationals presented by Great Southern Bank continues Thursday night, August 5 with Mid-Am Building Supply Qualifying Night #2!  For more information, visit or check Knoxville Raceway’s website at www.KnoxvilleRaceway.com or on Facebook and Twitter.

(Points Below Results)

32nd Annual 360 Knoxville Nationals Presented by Great Southern Bank Night #1 Results 

 Time Trials (Qualifying Order), 2 laps: 1. 17W, Shane Golobic, Fremont, CA (6), 16.299; 2. 3P, Sawyer Phillips, Pleasantville, IA (2), 16.332; 3. 83H, Justin Henderson, Tea, SD (11), 16.349; 4. 8, Aaron Reutzel, Clute, TX (20), 16.491; 5. 3, Ayrton Gennetten, Gravois Mills, MO (14), 16.577; 6. 75AU, Tyler Blank, California, MO (1), 16.657; 7. 95, Matt Covington, Glenpool, OK (3), 16.658; 8. 71, Cory Eliason, Visalia, CA (39), 16.700; 9. 15H, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Sunnyvale, TX (12), 16.733; 10. 22X, Riley Goodno, Knoxville, IA (7), 16.757; 11. 18, Gio Scelzi, Fresno, CA (24), 16.767; 12. 24W, Garet Williamson, Kingdom City, MO (42), 16.774; 13. 21K, Thomas Kennedy, Winnipeg, MB, Can. (23), 16.778; 14. 88, Austin McCarl, Altoona, IA (28), 16.786; 15. 36, Jason Martin, Liberal, KS (16), 16.791; 16. 09, Matt Juhl, Tea, SD (17), 16.799; 17. 9, Chase Randall, Waco, TX (47), 16.847; 18. 53D, Jack Dover, Springfield, NE (5), 16.893; 19. 14, Corey Day, Clovis, CA (26), 16.958; 20. 20, Anthony Macri, Dillsburg, PA (8), 16.997; 21. 55T, McKenna Haase, Des Moines, IA (32), 16.998; 22. 26, Zeb Wise, Angola, IN (41), 17.010; 23. 11M, Parker Price-Miller, Kokomo, IN (50), 17.078; 24. 5A, Alex Vande Voort, Knoxville, IA (22), 17.079; 25. 45X, Kyler Johnson, Quinter, KS (4), 17.093; 26. 44, Chris Martin, Ankeny, IA (19), 17.100; 27. 91, Kyle Reinhardt, Neptune City, NJ (27), 17.102; 28. 23, Devon Dobie, Wapakoneta, OH (10), 17.130; 29. 10P, Dylan Postier, Stillwater, OK (13), 17.147; 30. 7C, Devin Kline, Knoxville, IA (25), 17.165; 31. 7M, Chance Morton, Coweta, OK (36), 17.191; 32. 70, Calvin Landis, Knoxville, IA (37), 17.203; 33. 17, Matt Allen, Adel, IA (18), 17.243; 34. 26H, Scott Bogucki, McLaren Vale, SA, Aust. (48), 17.259; 35. 13V, Seth Brahmer, Wisner, NE (21), 17.274; 36. 9G, Ryan Giles, Grimes, IA (49), 17.291; 37. 53, Joe Beaver, Knoxville, IA (38), 17.342; 38. 35, Skylar Prochaska, Lakefield, MN (51), 17.361; 39. 24N, Nathan Mills, Bondurant, IA (43), 17.423; 40. 45, Rusty Hickman, Bendigo, VIC, Aust. (29), 17.494; 41. 22W, Aaron Werner, Colman, SD (15), 17.525; 42. 2, Alex Pettas, Tempe, AZ (9), 17.537; 43. 55B, Brandon Anderson, Glenpool, OK (44), 17.570; 44. 22, Ryan Leavitt, Knoxville, IA (46), 17.842; 45. 4H, Cody Hansen, Nunda, SD (40), 17.862; 46. 19, Wes Wofford, Alamogordo, NM (30), 17.871; 47. 6C, Logan Calderwood, Goodyear, AZ (33), 17.984; 48. 9M, Ricky Montgomery, Denver, CO (31), 18.071; 49. 10, Landon Britt, Memphis, TN (35), 18.159; 50. 42, Sye Lynch, Apollo, PA (45), NT / 51. 2P, Chase Porter, St. Joseph, MO (34), NT.

Heat one (started), 8 Laps, 2:18.8: 1. Gio Scelzi (4); 2. Chris Martin (1); 3. Matt Juhl (3); 4. McKenna Haase (2) / 5. Ryan Giles (8); 6. Tyler Blank (5); 7. Chance Morton (7); 8. Wes Wofford (10) / 9. Aaron Werner (9); 10. Shane Golobic (6)

Heat two (started), 8 Laps, NT: 1. Chase Randall (3); 2. Zeb Wise (2); 3. Kyle Reinhardt (1); 4. Garet Williamson (4) / 5. Matt Covington (5); 6. Joe Beaver (8); 7. Calvin Landis (7); 8. Logan Calderwood (10) / 9. Alex Pettas (9); 10. Sawyer Phillips (6)

Heat three (started), 8 Laps, 2:20.1: 1. Parker Price-Miller (2); 2. Thomas Kennedy (4); 3. Cory Eliason (5); 4. Justin Henderson (6) / 5. Skylar Prochaska (8); 6. Jack Dover (3); 7. Devon Dobie (1); 8. Brandon Anderson (7) / 9. Ricky Montgomery (9) DNS – 10. Matt Allen

Heat four (started), 8 Laps, 2:20.2: 1. Corey Day (3); 2. Aaron Reutzel (6); 3. Sam Hafertepe Jr. (5); 4. Alex Vande Voort (2) / 5. Austin McCarl (4); 6. Dylan Postier (1); 7. Scott Bogucki (7); 8. Nathan Mills (8) / 9. Ryan Leavitt (9); 10. Landon Britt (10)

Heat five (started), 8 Laps, 2:23.5: 1. Devin Kline (1); 2. Ayrton Gennetten (6); 3. Jason Martin (4); 4. Anthony Macri (3) / 5. Kyler Johnson (2); 6. Riley Goodno (5); 7. Rusty Hickman (8); 8. Sye Lynch (10) / 9. Seth Brahmer (7); 10. Cody Hansen (9)

C main (started), 8 Laps, 2:25.3: 1. Ryan Leavitt (3); 2. Seth Brahmer (2); 3. Aaron Werner (1); 4. Alex Pettas (4) / 5. Cody Hansen (6); 6. Ricky Montgomery (5) DNS – 7. Shane Golobic; 8. Sawyer Phillips; 9. Matt Allen 10. Landon Britt 11. Chase Porter

B main (started), 12 Laps, 3:40.9: 1. Austin McCarl (4); 2. Matt Covington (2); 3. Jack Dover (5); 4. Riley Goodno (3) / 5. Skylar Prochaska (14); 6. Tyler Blank (1); 7. Chance Morton (9); 8. Devon Dobie (7); 9. Rusty Hickman (16); 10. Kyler Johnson (6); 11. Ryan Leavitt (21); 12. Dylan Postier (8); 13. Brandon Anderson (17); 14. Sye Lynch (20); 15. Seth Brahmer (22); 16. Logan Calderwood (19); 17. Aaron Werner (23); 18. Wes Wofford (18); 19. Scott Bogucki (11); 20. Alex Pettas (24); 21. Nathan Mills (15); 22. Ryan Giles (12); 23. Calvin Landis (10); 24. Joe Beaver (13)

A main, 20 Laps, NT: 1. Sam Hafertepe Jr. (4); 2. Gio Scelzi (3); 3. Aaron Reutzel (7); 4. Garet Williamson (2); 5. Thomas Kennedy (1); 6. Ayrton Gennetten (6); 7. Chase Randall (11); 8. Matt Juhl (10); 9. Cory Eliason (5); 10. Parker Price-Miller (16); 11. Anthony Macri (13); 12. Austin McCarl (21); 13. Justin Henderson (8); 14. Zeb Wise (15); 15. Corey Day (12); 16. Jason Martin (9); 17. Riley Goodno (24); 18. Chris Martin (18); 19. Matt Covington (22); 20. Kyle Reinhardt (19); 21. Devin Kline (20); 22. McKenna Haase (14); 23. Jack Dover (23); 24. Alex Vande Voort (17). Lap Leaders: Kennedy 1-6, Hafertepe Jr. 7-20. Hard-charger: A. McCarl.

Thursday Points 

1 8 Aaron Reutzel 487
2 3 Ayrton Gennetten 479
3 15H Sam Hafertepe Jr. 478
4 18 Gio Scelzi 478
5 21K Thomas Kennedy 465
6 71 Cory Eliason 464
7 24W Garet Williamson 463
8 83H Justin Henderson 463
9 9 Chase Randall 456
10 09 Matt Juhl 450
11 88 Austin McCarl 440
12 95 Matt Covington 440
13 11M Parker Price-Miller 438
14 14 Corey Day 436
15 36 Jason Martin 436
16 22X Riley Goodno 435
17 20 Anthony Macri 433
18 26 Zeb Wise 429
19 75AU Tyler Blank 415
20 44 Chris Martin 413
21 55T McKenna Haase 409
22 53D Jack Dover 407
23 91 Kyle Reinhardt 404
24 7C Devin Kline 402
25 5A Alex Vande Voort 399
26 45X Kyler Johnson 372
27 23 Devon Dobie 364
28 17W Shane Golobic 361
29 7M Chance Morton 360
30 10P Dylan Postier 357
31 3P Sawyer Phillips 357
32 35 Skylar Prochaska 356
33 45 Rusty Hickman 338
34 13V Seth Brahmer 330
35 26H Scott Bogucki 330
36 9G Ryan Giles 326
37 70 Calvin Landis 326
38 55B Brandon Anderson 321
39 22 Ryan Leavitt 320
40 53 Joe Beaver 317
41 22W Aaron Werner 314
42 24N Nathan Mills 313
43 6C Logan Calderwood 307
44 2 Alex Pettas 306
45 42 Sye Lynch 305
46 19 Wes Wofford 305
47 17 Matt Allen 293
48 4H Cody Hansen 277
49 9M Ricky Montgomery 272
50 10 Landon Britt 259
51 2P Chase Porter 230