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TJ Hartman Racing News January 1, 2013



TJ carries the home colors on New Years Day at Grafton Speedway in Grafton, NSW Australia - Tony Powell Speedway Photos


TJ Hartman Racing - Update: Pride of Puyallup Shines!




Grafton, NSW Australia - January 1, 2013...




TJ Hartman wasted little time showing the fans at Grafton Speedway that he was ready to start the New Year out with a bang.  The 21 year old from Puyallup, WA climbed aboard Sid Whittaker's Q57 Esslingler powered King chassis, and parked it in victory lane in only his third ever start in a midget.  Making the feat even more gratifying is the fact that the first two starts were marred with mechanical gremlins for the Yandina, Queensland based race car team.  The checkered flag flew with TJ setting fast time, winning a pair of match races, the A-scramble, and the evenings A-main finale.  It was an emotional victory for the team that had struggled in it's initial pair of outings.








Grafton Speedway Promoter/Manager David Lander gave top billing to the young American and has praised his abilities behind the wheel of the open wheel cars.  "TJ has been a bit of a find." Mr Lander stated in a recent interview. "He's a top little driver from America and around the sprintcars."  TJ has spent the past five seasons driving his family owned 360 sprintcar in and around Washington, Oregon, and Montana.  The trip to Australia that began in Mid-December is the first time TJ has competed outside of North America, and the first time he has been a hired gun for another race team.








The mechanical gremlins that sidelined the Scott Wilson owned, Western Landscape Supplies Q59 midget that Hartman was initially set to drive necessitated a seat change to the Whittaker owned machine.  However, having both teams out of the same shop made the transition a mere formality.  TJ talks about the switch: "I'm a little disappointed that we weren't able to put Scott's car where it needed to be." he states "Western Landscape Supplies deserves to be in the spotlight.  But Sid's equipment is top notch as well, and it is just a privilege to get to drive for these guys and the sponsors on the car.  It's a dream, really."








A change in the regular format gave the team an opportunity to throw some changes to the car throughout the night and give TJ a good feel for the little cars.  "The entire night went perfect." he remarks. "Every time we made a change I was able to feel a difference in the car and give them some feedback.  The night turned out to be more of a practice run for us.  Everyone worked really hard to make this happen, and I just get to be the one to hold the trophy at the end of the night.  I have to thank Col, Mitchell, Rusty, and all of the crew for their hard work on the car, and Sid and Scott for giving me this opportunity."








The team has made their way up the coast of New South Wales to Lismore, where TJ will compete once again on January 5th at Lismore Speedway.  "We are certainly looking forward to his appearance at both of our venues." stated Lander, who operates both race track facilities.








Whittaker, who won the Queensland Title in 2011, competed against TJ on New Years Day at Grafton and gave him praise.  "We are proud of what TJ has achieved in one of our cars.  It was fun to celebrate with him!"








TJ will be back behind the wheel this Saturday night (local NSW time) and is looking to make it two in a row for the Sid Whittaker Racing team.  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 for the latest info and results from Down Under.....where Summer is in full bloom.








More info on Lismore Speedway can be found at: http://lismorespeedway.com.au/








TJ concludes the update: "I can't wait to take the momentum from my team into Lismore and have another solid night in the car!"




Next scheduled stop - Lismore Speedway!








TJ Hartman Racing