TJ Hartman Racing News September 7, 2008



TJ Hartman Racing News September 7th, 2008
September 7th, 2008
Author: Ted Hartman


Photo Courtesy of The Nicki Factor - One of the young fans at the Grays Harbor Raceway enjoying the drivers seat!

TJ Hartman Racing - UPDATE - TJ Hangs On For the Ride!

Puyallup, WA - September 6, 2008...

Fighting an ill handling car, TJ rode his Wesmar powered Maxim to an 11th place finish in the Season Championship race at the Grays Harbor Raceway. The finish wasn't what the team had hoped for to end the final race in the weekly competition series, but considering the obstacles he had to overcome, he proved once again he's well beyond the expectations the team set at the beginning of the year.

The 17 car field was lined up on points for the season, and TJ was lined up 5th place in the trophy dash. TJ describes the plan for the evening: "We decided to use the trophy dash to test a couple of things on the setup. It didn't work, and I finished 6th. But that was good, because I wanted to start on the outside row anyway. The track was tacky, and we figured it would stay that way, so rather than try and fight for the bottom, it was going to be nice to have the top to work with on the start. I hoped I could pick up some positions on the start."

Photo Courtesy of Fletcher Motorsports - TJ strapping in for the final night of weekly competition

The pressure was off for the Lacey Auto Licensing, A1A BuyNSell, Beach Hut Vacations, Rockslinger Inc., Advanced Powder Coating, Performance Coatings, sprint car team, as TJ had already secured the Rookie of the Year award, and was pretty much locked in to 5th place in the points standings by simply taking the green flag for the main event. TJ gets started: "I just tried to concentrate on getting a good finish, and staying clear of any wrecks. The track stayed real tacky, but it was pretty smooth, so I knew it was going to be fast. We changed the gear for the main event, and freed the car up a little. I messed up in the warm up laps, and got the car hopping again. Something happened, because on the start the car felt like it was going to tip over. I rode the top in the first corner, and made a couple of passes, but I knew something was wrong. On the second lap, I just about crashed, and caused a yellow. They pushed me in the pits, and I told the crew something was wrong on the right rear. I thought maybe the shock came off, but the crew said the bar had collasped. They cranked some turns in it, and sent me back out."

Photo Courtesy of Fletcher Motorsports - TJ Riding Low On the Tacky Track

While TJ assumed a position at the back of the field, the crew made a dash for some spare parts in case of a break in the action. TJ continues. "The turns in the torsion bar helped, and I was able to pass a couple of cars. There was another yellow, and I went in to see if they could do some more. We replaced the right rear shock instead, but it didn't help. I just tried to drive it and hoped for the best." The handling on the car was evident for all to see, but despite the aggravation, TJ managed to pass cars, using the bottom and the top to make his moves. "I got hung up behind another car having wing problems, and ended up getting lapped, but I followed the leader around him, and tried to hang on!" TJ exclaims. "The problem kept getting worse, but I finished the race and was running pretty fast. I dyno'd the shocks today, and tested the bars. The right rear shock we put on got
junked, and the bar was bad. I test the shocks every week, but I think the hop in warm up laps is what caused the whole problem with the bar, and that caused the shock problem. I'm just happy to bring the car home in one piece. I haven't had something that hard to drive since the time I didn't have power steering! At least then the setup was good!"

The team now has an open schedule, and will look at running some different venues to fill out the rest of the year. TJ showed the prowess of a veteran in his rookie season, and made his team, fans, competitors, and supporters, proud of his abilities. Watch for a write up on TJ's successful rookie season at the Grays Harbor Raceway soon. The team is grateful for the support from our sponsors, and we encourage you to show your enthusiasm for the team by supporting those who support us.

Next scheduled stop - Coming Soon!

TJ Hartman Racing