TJ Hartman Racing News March 8, 2009



TJ Hartman Racing News March 8th, 2009
March 8th, 2009
Author: Ted Hartman


Photo courtesy of The Nicki Factor - TJ installing the bladder in the newly painted fuel tank

TJ Hartman Racing - UPDATE - TJ adds the finishing touches!

Puyallup, WA - March 8, 2009...

The first week of March brings more Winter weather to the Northwest, but luckily for TJ all of the work left to prepare for the upcoming race season can be performed in the comfort of the shop. All that was left for TJ and his team to complete preparations was assembling a new fuel cell, and adding the names and logos of those that make racing possible for TJ to the race car.

The end of last season saw the demise of the fuel cell on #19 Wesmar powered Maxim. TJ picks up the story: "We took a shot in the fuel cell after the last race at Grays Harbor last year, and it caved it in pretty good and wrecked the paint. Then I pretty much finished it off at my last race of the year at Cottage Grove. So we ordered a new one, and Superfan Skip(a childhood friends father) and his brother Chris wanted to help us get it repainted. They talked with Tracy at Hi-Tech Collision in Spanaway, and they offered to paint it up for us just like it was before with the blue and white checkered flag design."

The tail tank paint scheme isn't easy to layout, but the staff at Hi-Tech was more than up to performing the job. "We like the idea of having the checkered flag design and being unique to our team, so I met with Tracy and Chris and they said no problem" TJ says with a smile. "The design came out even better than before, and I'm really happy with it. I can't thank them enough. It's cool to know there are people out there who like to help out, and I know Tracy is no stranger to painting on Northwest race cars. I'm really grateful he could help us out."

Next up for TJ was getting the vinyl in place to make sure those whom are supporting the team are recognized. A winged sprint car is a rolling billboard, and adding some contrasting colors alongside his signature #19 makes the car stand out even more. TJ describes the process: "I really had to figure out a way to save some dollars this year, so I talked with my mom about getting a vinyl cutter. We added it up, and figured I could pay for the machine in a pretty short time by doing the numbers and stuff myself. So I researched everything, and figured out what the best machine would be for my budget and application. I read a lot about how to do it, and started practicing by making little stickers."

Photo courtesy of The Nicki Factor - TJ laying the decals on one of his new top wings

With the team having to purchase new wings for 2009, it left plenty of opportunity for the Puyallup, WA teenager to practice his design work. TJ explains: "It's really kind of a neat process. I figured out you really have to think when laying out the designs in order to get the most out of the material. It's not as easy as it would seem just laying on a sticker. The machine I bought doesn't print colors, so if I want multiple colors in the design, they need to be stacked and laid out just right in order to look good. The design work on the computer is really the easy part, but it gets pretty detailed stacking all the layers. I'm having fun with it, but if you have a vinyl guy for your stickers, give him a hug because it is not as easy as the finished product looks!"

TJ concludes the update: "I'm having a lot of fun doing different stuff in the off-season. But I can't wait to get back on the track. We've got just a little over a month to go, so hopefully the snow will stop, and we can get racing. I have to say thank you to all of my sponsors for 2009. I know the economy is really hard on business's right now. And to have all of the people who are still helping us, and the ones who have stepped up to help this year like Hi-Tech Collision did, it really means a lot to me. There is no way we could do this without their help, and I hope I can get their business to the front by running up front on the track."

TJ Hartman Racing is ready for the 2009 racing season to get underway. Get ready for the ride!

Next scheduled stop - Emerald Ridge High School learns what makes TJ tick!

TJ Hartman Racing