Harli White had dreamed of soaking in the emotion of her first career ASCS sprint car win for several years. That elusive first triumph slipped through her fingers on numerous occasions before White refused to let go last Friday evening at I-30 Speedway in Arkansas, which hosted an event sanctioned by the ASCS Mid-South, ASCS Sooner and ASCS Lone Star Regions.
“It’s been a really long time coming,” she said. “I should have won two years ago and last year as well. I always came up short and it’s been frustrating to say the least. I think once you get the first win under your belt the rest will come easier. I know I held my breath the last few laps of the race Saturday because I wanted to win so badly. It’s so exciting. Everybody was pumped. It gives me a huge confidence boost going into the next race.”
White swept the night, first winning a heat race from the pole before maneuvering from fourth to the claim the main event. “Usually you don’t want to start on the pole of the heat because of passing points, but the way the track was you needed to start in the front,” she said. “That was a good draw. We had to win the heat to be in a good position for the A Main. There wasn’t a lot of passing going on so we were able to get in the redraw and we had a good redraw by getting the No. 4.”
White ran third for the first few laps before advancing into second place for a handful of circuits. “I took the lead around Lap 9,” she said. “I felt good at the beginning of the race, but the longer the race went the worse it got. I think we know what to do to make it better so I’m excited to see what happens when we get the car the way we want it.” “Sam (Hafertepe Jr.)slid me going into turn one,” she said. “I turned down and came up front of him (on the exit of turn two). I led down the backstretch and I went straight to the bottom going into turn three. I slid up the track in turn four to protect. It was real close.”
The finish of the race was wild as Sam Hafertepe Jr. passed White for the lead on the final lap but she was able to slingshot past and hold on for her first ever victory with the series.