TJ Hartman Racing News June 11, 2012



Photo Courtesy of Shelby Lynn - TJ on the go in qualifying


TJ Hartman Racing - Update: Super Slick!


Puyallup, WA - June 9, 2012...


A steady breeze and clear skies made for a hard packed race track in Elma this past Saturday night.  9 sprintcars turned out for the weekly race event and did their best to entertain the fans who braved the chilly weather.  TJ and his team would get a good start on the night, only to be crippled by a flat tire caused from a debris ridden race surface.  When the evening was done, the #19 managed to take the final checkered flag in the 6th position - not what the team had hoped for.




TJ made the call to return to Elma for another shot at redemption.  TJ begins the weekend: "In hot laps I felt the car was working really well for what the track was.  With the wind, we knew in packing that the track was going to be really slick.  I got a good time but it didn't mean a whole lot because they re-worked the track for over an hour before the heats.  That helped make the track pretty racy, but you could tell it wasn't going to stay like that."




Qualifying 3rd, and packing all 9 cars into one heat, the Elma format for this week would line TJ up in the 4th position for the start of the heat race.  He powered his way to a good start, and headed for the moisture on the bottom.  TJ takes the green flag: "We just weren't sure there would be anything to run on the top, so we made a plan to run the bottom.  I got down there and was running good.  I passed Mitch(Olson) for third, but then I made a couple mistakes and he took it back.  I lost another position to Jay(Cole), but got it back and ended up fourth.  We made a good call on the setup and that was good.  I was surprised how good the whole track was, but I wasn't going to leave the bottom.  Everybody was in the same heat race this week, and they are a tough group.  You don't get a chance to make up your mistakes against them very often."




The pill draw for the main event invert just missed TJ's point total from the heat race.  A two row invert would line TJ up inside the third row for the start of the 30 lap main event.  "It seems no matter what, we're missing what it takes to start up front for the main event." TJ states as he takes the green flag.  "The track slicked off clear to the top and there was nothing left on the bottom by the time we got on the track.  All I could do was wait until it thinned out and move up there with everyone else."




Unfortunately, TJ would also start struggling with an ill handling car when debris cut his right rear tire, leading to a slow leak.  TJ finishes the main event:  "I was struggling a bit to get off the corners.  About half way through the race, Jay flipped and the red came out.  I was lucky to be able to get in and get some air in the tire and a chassis adjustment.  My crew wasn't sure if it was the bleeder or a cut tire, so they just aired it up and pulled the bleeder out.  I worked my way back up to sixth.  It turned out the tire was cut, but it was kind of good because we didn't waste another tire finish the race."




Photo Courtesy of Fletcher Motorsports - TJ working the groove in the main event




It was a frustrating end to the night, but one the team took in stride.  Elma is notorious for dealing the teams a different hand every week, and that is what makes it such a challenging race track.  TJ finishes the night: "I felt like we made some good choices for the race surface, but we just could not get it done again.  You can't control things like inverts and flat tires, so we just write down the notes and be happy we didn't waste money on new Hoosier tires this week.  I could maybe have made some better choices at the beginning of the main event and pushed it a little harder.  I feel like we're a better team then the results show from here every week, so we just need to keep working.  I want to thank the fans and racers at Elma for showing me a lot of support this week.  And also to Rod and Will for helping out.  I really want to give a shout out to Mike from Motorsports Unlimited.  He's been helping me out a lot this year fixing my stuff every week, helping me with sponsorship from his company, and coming down and making all of us laugh through the night.  He's been a big help for me this year, and I appreciate it."




Motorsports Unlimited is a fabrication company out of Tacoma, Washington that specializes in building championship winning drag racing motorcyles.  Owners Mike and Ramona Scott are long time friends, and their input to the team has been invaluable.  The entire TJ Hartman Racing team is very appeciative of their presence in the 19 pit area this season.




TJ will be taking the next week off from driving duties, but will team up with car owner Paul Silva, and driver Shane Stewart, as the duo looks to secure a Dirt Cup title at Alger, WA's Skagit Speedway.  TJ will hook up with the team this week and through this coming weekend.  Be sure to come out and cheer on Shane, Paul, TJ and the entire Silva Motorsports Team at the biggest sprintcar race on the West Coast!  Also, be sure to follow TJ on twitter at or on TJ's Facebook page at




Next scheduled stop - Trading Driving Suit for Crew Shirt!




6-9-12 Results


Qualify: 3rd


Heat Race: Start: 4th


Finish: 4th


A-Main:     Start: 5th


Finish: 6th


TJ Hartman Racing