TJ Hartman Racing News May 14, 2012

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Photo Courtesy of Lisa Swanberg - TJ and his crew in victory lane at Skagit Speedway!

TJ Hartman Racing - Update: Confidence Leads to Great Things!

Puyallup, WA - May 13, 2012...

Sunny weather and a welcoming atmosphere made for a warm evening at Skagit Speedway this past Saturday.  TJ would head North to the 3/10th mile clay oval, and before the night was over, the 20 year old driver out of Puyallup, WA would heat things up on the track.  The biggest problem he experienced on the entire evening was finding victory lane after taking the checkers in front of the field, and an enthusiastic Skagit Speedway crowd!

The entire night would be an evening of firsts for TJ and his team.  The switch to Goodyear tires at a track that he had never taken a lap on would be the first order of business.  TJ begins the night: "My confidence has been really high this year, even with the weeks off, but I kept focusing and didn't let the fact that I haven't raced at Skagit bother me.  I talked with Jayme(Barnes) a lot about how to run the track, and it really paid off."

TJ recruited some additional help for the night and it paid off by allowing him to focus on driving.  "When you have some guys there with so much experience on the track and things, it makes it a lot easier to get through the night" TJ states.  "Right from the get go I felt great in the car.  The things Jayme and Rod(Perkins) had told me, was exactly what I was feeling in the car on the track.  I felt like all I needed to do was point the car straight and drive it.  For only having two hot laps to figure it out, I was really happy with how we qualified."

The WESMAR powered Maxim would time in 7th on the field, and land TJ on the pole of his heat race.  Lined up outside of him would be Skagit Speedway veteran Alan Munn.  TJ talks about the heat race: "Alan pretty much schooled me on the start and it took me a couple laps to get settled down.  After that, I just started to make a hot lap session out of it by running some different lines and practiced getting smooth.  I got some really good feedback from the car to give to my dad and the crew and we just got the car ready for the main event."

TJ would ultimately finish the heat race in second place behind Munn, and the night just kept getting better.  The main event invert pill was drawn, and a 6 would land TJ right back on the pole for the 25 lap main event.  Ironically, a familiar car took the slot outside TJ on the front row.  The green flag drops for the final race of the night:  "Alan did it to me again!" TJ exclaims.  "Some cars piled up in the back and caused a red flag, so I got another chance to redeem myself, and it paid off.  I got a great start and held the throttle to the floor!  I found out pretty fast that my car was really close to where we needed to be, but the race was long, so I just tried to settle in and hit my marks."

The race was marred by several red flags and several yellow flags, each time extinguishing the leads he had built.  TJ finishes the race:  "I knew I was good, and under the yellows, Rod was giving me some good signals on where to run.  They had an open red flag and I asked for one little adjustment to the car to make sure I was better towards the end of the race.  It's tough being out front because you never know if you should change your line during the race.  Around the middle of the race I saw Alan coming around the outside of me and I knew it was time to get up on the top.  It paid off because my car worked really well up there and I just moved the wing a little and never saw anyone again the rest of the race."

 

 

 

 

Photo Courtesy of Shelby Lynn Photography - TJ on the gas at Skagit Speedway

TJ would take the checkers and win the second race of his sprintcar career.  All the more gratifying, was doing it in front of a great crowd in his first attempt at the race track.  TJ concludes the night:  "It felt really, really good to get that win.  People like Jayme and Paul(Silva) have been encouraging me for a long time and telling me to keep my head up.  I feel like I raced with a lot of confidence tonight, and you need that to go along with the good fortunes that come your way.  I have so many people to thank for this, there is no way I can fit them all in a short press release.  But I have to thank everyone who helped out on the crew this weekend.  Mac, Will, and Mike made my job so much easier and definitely were a huge part of this win.  And I also wish the people who couldn't be there, could have.  We like to share our success because it takes more than just a driver to make it all happen.  Skagit Speedway and their staff were great to us, and the fans made me feel like a crowd favorite the whole night.  One of them even sent some money down to thank us for coming up to Skagit and racing, and we had an old friend pick up our pit passes which was a really nice surprise.  When I went up in the stands after our race to watch the 410's run, I felt like a celebrity!  Winning is definitely something that makes you feel good!"

The entire TJ Hartman Racing team would like to thank the people of Skagit Speedway for their cheers and hospitality.  And as well the racers, who are TJ's peers, for their kind words about the win.  It took this team 5 years to make the trek North to participate at the famed Skagit Speedway, and TJ wasn't going to let the trophy out of his sight for a minute.  Phone calls, text messages, and Facebook updates have been going non-stop since the checkered flag was thrown, and that's a memory you can't buy.  TJ concludes the night: "I had a lot of fun going to a new place to race, even though I've been there to watch.  I didn't have any expectations for the weekend except to have fun and do my best, and it paid off.  I can't wait to do it again."

TJ is going to digest the weekend and hope the weather stays nice before deciding where to head next.  Right now the plan is to race the ASCS NW Double-Header at Elma on Memorial Day weekend, but this coming weekend is still up in the air.  Stay tuned to TJ's media outlets for schedule information, and whenever he turns up, come out and cheer on TJ and the #19 sprintcar team!  If you can't make it, be sure to follow along on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/tjhartman19 or on TJ's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/tjhartmanracing

Next scheduled stop - Cashing the Big Check!

 


TJ Hartman Racing