TJ Hartman Racing News September 19, 2008



TJ Hartman Racing News September 19th, 2008
September 19th, 2008
Author: Ted Hartman


Photo Courtesy of Fletcher Motorsports - TJ Pushing Off for Action at the GHR

TJ Hartman Racing - UPDATE - 19 Reasons We Love TJ !

Puyallup, WA - September 19/20, 2008...

Nearly 50 cars on the first night of the Fred Brownfield Memorial pushed their mounts to the limit, trying to score points to secure their spot in the ,092 to win Saturday A-main event. When the wreckers cleared the debris, 36 cars remained for the second night. The good news is TJ drove his Wesmar powered Maxim to the trailer both nights. But it wasn't the finishes the young rookie had hoped for after coming off a successful season at the Grays Harbor Raceway.

The track was heavy, narrow, and fast the first night. TJ learned long ago he'll never be a gambler, and his luck in the pill draw stayed true to form on both nights - bad. TJ starts the weekend: "I just laughed when they drew the pill, and then again when I saw the lineup. These guys are all tough, but starting behind guys with that much experience on a narrow and fast track pretty much set the weekend for me. We were fast in hot laps, so I just tried to do my best, and not get caught up in any wrecks. Everyone was crashing all over the place earlier. I guess it was kind of good that our heat went green to checkered and nobody crashed, but I ended up in the B-main."

Photo Courtesy of Fletcher Motorsports - TJ with his #19 locked down

The points from the heat race line up the main events, and the Lacey Auto Licensing, A1A BuyNSell, Beach Hut Vacations, Rockslinger Inc., Advanced Powder Coating, Performance Coatings, Rod End Supply, sprint car team found themselves lining up 9th in the B-main on Friday. TJ continues: "We made some changes from the heat, and I was pretty good. With 4 laps to go I was up to 4th, and going into (turn)3, something cut the sidewall on my right rear (tire) and I had to go off. The crew got me back out, but there wasn't enough time left to do much, and I ended up 6th. I watched the A-main to try and learn some things, and we headed home to service the car."

The special format for the weekend would combine points from both nights to line up the prestigious Saturday main events, and TJ knew going home he was up against a wall. A few hours sleep, washing his car in the rain, and getting it ready to head back to Elma made for a short night of rest. TJ explains night two: "I couldn't believe it when they drew my pill for the second night. I just shook my head. It was the worst pill of the draw, and lined me up last in the last heat race. The good news is the track was really wide and dry, so I thought I could at least pass some cars to move up a little. We missed the setup and I was struggling with my driving too. I passed a couple of cars, and then fell back again. But the track was getting just like I like it, so I had good hopes for the B-main."

Photo Courtesy of Fletcher Motorsports - TJ searching for traction on Saturday

TJ's points for the two nights would slot him 9th in the B-main. The crew made some changes, hoping to make a good showing in the last race of the season on the high banked clay oval. The pits were filled with teams and drivers with the same goal, and only two would move forward. TJ got off to a great start, and moved himself up to 6th quickly, but he stalled out there. He finishes the weekend: "I wasn't really catching anyone, so I tried going up high. It just wasn't working there, and I got passed so I went back to the bottom. After a couple of laps, I knew the only way for me to transfer was to find a miracle, so I started moving around. I went up high again, but I just couldn't do anything, and I ended up getting passed by a few more cars. It was a disappointing end to the weekend, but I guess we learned some things not to do. It was hard to watch the A-main and not be out there."

When asked if he would like to have the weekend back to do over again, TJ responded: "Nope - just look ahead and try to race some more this year. I'm not ready for the winter yet."

Photo Courtesy of Fletcher Motorsports - TJ at Saturday's Opening Ceremonies

There is a reason TJ has the respect and praise from his team, sponsors, competitors, fans, promoters, announcers, friends, and family - he is unfazed by the set backs in life, and is always looking to accelerate forward with a smile. There's is many reasons to love TJ - his team made a list of the top 19. One of the reasons is so good, it made the list twice!

Photo Courtesy of The Nicki Factor - Why we love TJ!

The rest of the 2008 schedule will be a wait and see strategy for TJ Hartman Racing. The team is excited about the accomplishments of the rookie season, and would not mind if 2008 was extended a while longer. The team is very grateful for the support from our great sponsors who helped make it all possible, and we encourage you to show your enthusiasm for the team by supporting those who support us.

Next scheduled stop - Wait and See!

TJ Hartman Racing