TJ Hartman Racing News July 5, 2011

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TJ Hartman Racing News July 5th, 2011

Photo Courtesy of Fletcher Motorsports - TJ sizes up the track surface

TJ Hartman Racing - Update: An Independence Day Weekend Fizzles Out!                            

Puyallup, WA - July 2, 2011...

TJ returned to the Grays Harbor Raceway for a regular Saturday night show, and what showed as being a pretty good night early on, fizzled out as the main event laps wound down and the Puyallup Washington native struggled with an ill handling car that wouldn't go when it was supposed to.  After winning another heat race and scoring 3rd highest in heat race points, TJ would line up outside the 5th row for the main event, and try to work his way forward with a great crop of cars and drivers in the short 14 car field.

A misread of the track for the combined group qualifying/hot lap session ended up working in TJ's favor.  An 11th place qualifying effort would line him up for the heat race on the outside pole.  TJ begins the night:  "We really messed up the setup for qualifying, and I knew it as soon as I pushed on the track.  I think we were just hoping to try something that would fit the slick tracks we had been racing on, and we should have paid more attention to the track we had this week.  I just held on and tried to make up for it by driving harder.  We came in and changed it all back to what we've been doing and it paid off in the heat race.  It helped to start on the front row, but the car was back to feeling really good.  I knew I had a good lead so I just searched around a little until I saw Henry's nose under me and then just concentrated on hitting the marks up high and picked it back up again.  Getting to run these clean laps in the heat races is really helping me with making the entry into turn 3 where I have struggled a lot." 


Photo Courtesy of Fletcher Motorsports - Qualifying at GHR

The win would earn him a 10th place starting position in the main event, as the top points earners would have to overcome a 6 row invert.  "It's not going to be easy to win a race at Grays Harbor this year" TJ states.  "The cars are always good even if the car count is down, and the invert makes it even tougher if you give it your all in the heat race."

The race went relatively uneventful, with TJ gaining positions, only to lose them, and try to gain them back again and again.  TJ picks up the story:  "The start got a little hairy like you know it's going to be when guys are trying to win it on the first lap.  I came out of turn 2 in pretty good shape and picked up a couple positions over a few laps.  Then the engine started stumbling off the corners again and it was all I could do to hang on.  It kept unloading the chassis and was a handful a couple of times.  I would fall back and then pick up a spot and then fall back again.  I was getting pretty frustrated and tried to do different things but nothing really helped.  But even as bad as the car was running, I think I was able to hold my own.  We ended up 9th in the end and we really should be pretty happy with that because the car was a handful and not running like we know it can."  

Starting 10th and finishing 9th is not the night the team had hoped for, but everything doesn't always go as we wish, and the team was able to take a couple of positives away from the evening.  He concludes the night:  "I know we have more and one of these nights it's all going to go our way.  Josh (DeWitt - the nights eventual winner) drove a great race and everyone behind him is tough on any night.  We're learning the track better, and we'll figure out whatever we're doing wrong that is causing the engine issue."


Photo Courtesy of Fletcher Motorsports - On the gas at GHR

There is never a shortage of people to call on to help the #19 sprint car team work through the little problems that arise, and everyone with TJ Hartman Racing is grateful for the help offered.  TJ concludes the update:  "I have to give thanks this week to Stormy Glick for picking our team for the free right rear tire this week.  Stormy was a big part of helping our club when we built the quarter midget track at Grays Harbor Raceway, and I know he has been around the raceway for a long time.  It makes you feel good when someone like him is willing to help all the racers every week.  To some teams a free tire might not seem like much, but to me it's more than that.  It feels even better when you're not expecting it."

You can find pictures of the weekend by visiting http://fletchermotorsports.smugmug.com/2011Racing-1. as well as TJ's web site and Facebook site.  Be sure to keep up to date on the latest news by visiting the fan page or his web site at: www.TJHartmanRacing.com Don't forget you can receive instant race night messages by signing up via twitter at: www.twitter.com/tjhartman19 and special thanks to Shelby Dawn for doing the updates this past week and Doug Anderson for helping out in the pits. 

The entire TJ Hartman Racing Team wants to thank everyone for all of the continued support.  Saturdays at the quarter midget track in Elma were greeted by an Eagle that circled high above the facility in the early afternoon hours.  As the team signed in at the back gate this past weekend, there was the Eagle, circling, looking down upon everyone.  It brought a smile to more than one team member.    

Next scheduled stop - Research!

Grays Harbor Raceway Results:
Saturday:  Heat     Start: 2nd    Finish: 1st
A-Main Start:  10th    Finish: 9th


TJ Hartman Racing