TJ Hartman Racing News January 18, 2009



TJ Hartman Racing News January 18th, 2009
January 18th, 2009
Author: Ted Hartman


Photo Courtesy of The Nicki Factor - TJ's Wesmar power plant back from being freshened

TJ Hartman Racing - UPDATE - TJ is anxious to get 2009 rolling!

Puyallup, WA - January 18, 2009...

With Winter firmly planted in the Northwest, TJ has kept himself from getting cabin fever by feverishly working on office and shop duties for his race team. Sponsor contacts, web site upgrades, spare parts being ordered, and anxiously awaiting for race tracks and series to release their schedules, has kept the Puyallup High School Junior busy.

There is plenty of things to keep TJ occupied off of the track, yet he is all but ready to go in 2009. TJ describes what he has been up to: "Well, with all the snow we had when we got back from Florida(where he attended the PRI show), I had about three weeks off from school. That gave me a chance to talk with some of my sponsors from 2008, and get a list together of spare parts and things. We're way ahead of last year. The motor is done and ready to go back in the car, and I've been getting quite a bit of spare parts put on the shelves. I've been taking a web design and graphics class in school, so I'm learning a lot about how to improve my web site too."

Photo Courtesy of The Nicki Factor - TJ bundled up in the snow!

One of the priorities in the off season includes keeping in touch with sponsors, and securing support for the next season. TJ describes his process: "I got to talk with a couple of my product sponsors at PRI, and they let me know they were very happy with me and were on board for 2009. Martia at Rod End Supply is always so excited to talk with me, and that makes it fun to talk with her in person. Simpson has upped the level of their commitment to me, and that's pretty cool. I got to talk with Scott from Hooker Harness to, and he is coming back again, and that made me pretty happy."

The current state of the economy has many companies scrambling to stay afloat, and supporting a local race team is a big commitment at this time. TJ understands and continues: "I'm really fortunate that I have my sponsors coming back in 2009. When I talked with them, they didn't even hesitate. I've known Michael (Beckler's Mobile Welding) and Marshall (A1A BuyNSell) for a few years now, so they were pretty easy to talk with. It gave me more confidence to go back to the people I met last year. Performance Coatings, Rockslinger, and Parts Plus are all coming back. Pat from Advanced Powder Coating has been one of my biggest supporters. He got to come and watch me race last year, and it got him really excited, and he's got some of our parts there right now getting them ready to go."

TJ also had to make some tough decisions about his direction, and he made sure to approach it head on. "One of my biggest supporters since I raced quarter midgets has been Greg and Tina from Beach Hut Vacations. In every video of the crowd you can see them cheering when I go by. They took over the ASCS Northwest deal for 2009, and we had to make a choice about how to approach that. Fred (Brownfield) always told us to be careful about racing for the people who are in charge. It puts everyone in a bad situation if a tough decision needs to be made. I talked with Greg, and he agreed that it would be best if Beach Hut wasn't on our car, but he said he was still going to cheer for me! That felt pretty good, and I can't wait to see Tina and him at the track."

Lacey Auto Licensing is also experiencing the effects of an ailing economy, and at least for the moment, will be foregoing sponsorship for 2009. TJ Hartman Racing would like to extend their gratitude to owner Dennis Schlenz for his help the past two years. "He helped me get started in sprint cars," TJ states, "and I'm very thankful for that."

TJ concludes the update: "Kelly and the guys at Wesmar put together another great engine for us, and I want to thank them for all they do. I'm pretty excited to get racing, and I have another sponsor I'll be announcing shortly. Everyone on my crew is coming back in 2009 too, and that will be fun. I think we want to go through one of our rear ends, but other than that, the cars are pretty much ready to go. I'll be putting up a schedule pretty soon. I'd like to travel a little bit, but we'll have to see how that goes. Right now, we're thinking about running 25 shows." He adds with a smile: "I'd race every night if I could!"

Next scheduled stop - Scheduling for 2009!

TJ Hartman Racing