Sam Hafertepe

Sam Hafertepe

KNOXVILLE – Sam Hafertepe, Jr., of Sunnyvale, Texas, was voted the 2019 “Driver of the Year” by the North American 360 Sprint Car Poll voting panel of media members, promoters, sanctioning officials and manufacturers for the fourth year in a row.

Hafertepe is now a four-time American Sprint Car Series (ASCS) national tour champion, and earned thirteen (13) of the sixteen first-place ballots cast in the year-end poll. Hill’s Racing, owner for Hafertepe’s #15H earned the “Team of the Year” award for the second consecutive year.

Bartlett, Tennessee’s Terry Gray, Springfield, Nebraska’s Jack Dover and Wesley Chapel, Florida’s Troy DeCaire also received first place votes.

Those drivers ranked second through fifth, respectively, are Short Track Nationals winner Blake Hahn of Sapulpa, Oklahoma, nine-time winner Mark Smith of Sunbury, Pennsylvania, Placerville Speedway champ Andy Forsberg of Auburn, California, and USCS titlist Terry Gray.

Rounding out the ‘top ten’ for the season are Ohsweken Speedway champ Dylan Westbrook, Midwest Power Series titlist Thomas Kennedy, Patriot Sprint Tour National champ Davie Franek, URC champ Chad Layton and MSTS king Jack Dover.

Austin Bishop of Illinois earned the North American 360 Sprint Car Poll “Rookie of the Year” title in his first full season of winged 360-cubic-inch sprint car competition. Jack & Bonnie Elam of J&J Auto Racing (for the sixteenth time) earned “Builder/Manufacturer of the Year” honors.

In addition, Todd Buffenbarger ( will receive the “Media Member of the Year” award for the third time. Dave Pusateri, Trophy Cup promoter, received “Promoter of the Year” honors for the first time, and Dylan Westbrook will receive the “Wild Card Award” in 2019 for his exciting performances in 360 sprint car racing.

The North American 360 Sprint Car Poll is an annual awards program of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum Foundation, Inc., of Knoxville, Iowa. All awards will be distributed in 2020 at tracks throughout North America.

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