Blake Hahn Celebrate Stn Win I 30 102321.jpg
Blake Hahn in victory lane at I-30 Speedway. (TWC photo)

Hahn Hustles To STN Glory

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The tone was set with Friday night‘s Twin 20‘s and Saturday delivered an absolute race for the ages.

And when the final checkered flag waved upon I-30 Speedway‘s 34th annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires, it was Blake Hahn putting an exclamation point on his first Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour championship by notching his third career STN triumph.

Following several lead changes along the way, Hahn ultimately battled past Jordon Mallett on the 39th round to take the $10,041 winner‘s share in the 41-lap STN championship feature event.

“I know Jordon is so good running the bottom that I had to keep working the top and it came in for me,” Hahn explained after the triumph aboard the Drive WFX No. 52 sprint car.

Hahn crossed the stripe ahead of Sam Hafertepe Jr., who fell one position short of going back-to-back in the Short Track Nationals while Mallett settled for the show position.

Hahn gridded the feature fourth after Cody Gardner earned the pole position for the feature by topping the Pack Building Materials Dash for Cash.

Gardner gunned into to the early lead and paced the opening seven rounds ahead of Mallett, Hahn and Hafertepe.

But when Gardner jumped the cushion exiting turn four on the eighth round, Mallett pounced for the lead.

Traffic came into play within a dozen laps with Hahn disposing of Gardner for second on the 11th round and then racing past Mallett for the point the next time around.

Mallett battled right back to recapture the lead on the 16th round and paced the next 23 rounds as Hahn, Hafertepe and Dylan Westbrook continually traded positions right behind the leader.

Westbrook‘s strong run was sidelined by a cut tire after 34 laps that precipitated the race‘s first of just two cautions.

While trying to fend off Hafertepe in the process, Hahn went to work on Mallett and edged into the lead only to have it waved off when Garet Williamson spun in turn one with 36 laps in the books.

Set for a five-lap dash to the stripe, Mallett moved to the topside to try to slow Hahn‘s advances but to no avail as Hahn was able to slip by with just three laps to go. He brought Hafertepe with him and was able to hold on to the stripe.

J.J. Hickle followed the lead trio of Hahn, Hafertepe and Mallett across the stripe in fourth with Derek Hagar rounding out the top five.

The finish:

Feature (41 Laps — Starting position in parentheses):  1. 52-Blake Hahn (4) [$10,041], 2. 15h-Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (3) [$5,000], 3. 14-Jordon Mallett (2) [$2,500], 4. 63-J.J. Hickle (6) [$2,200], 5. 9jr-Derek Hagar (5) [$2,000], 6. 95-Matt Covington (12) [$1,700], 7. G6-Gody Gardner (1) [$1,500], 8. 0b-Eric Baldaccini (8) [$1,300], 9. 98p-Miles Paulus (11) [$1,200], 10. 5L-Eric Lutz (10) [$1,100], 11. 87-Jason Barney (20) [$1,000], 12. 24w-Garet Williamson (17) [$950], 13. 47x-Dylan Westbrook (7) [$900], 14. 44m-Chris Martin (14) [$880], 15. 3-Howard Moore (13) [$850], 16. 22s-Slater Helt (9) [$800], 17. 1z-Justin Zimmerman (19) [$800], 18. 6-Dustin Gates (15) [$800], 19. 0c-Tim Crawley (16) [$800], 20. 26-Marshall Skinner (18) [$800].

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