TJ Hartman Racing News April 4, 2009



TJ Hartman Racing News April 4th, 2009
April 4th, 2009
Author: Ted Hartman


Photo courtesy of The Nicki Factor - An unsuspecting TJ takes it all in stride

TJ Hartman Racing - UPDATE - TJ Gets Foiled Again!

Puyallup, WA - April 4, 2009...

The great thing about TJ is that he is a believer. A little more than a year has passed since his team played a practical joke on the quiet and easy going Emerald Ridge High School Junior by sending a crate full of scrap metal to replace the new engine he had been expecting. April Fool's Day 2009 would not pass without his team preparing more antics to try and rile up the unassuming 17 year old.

The team is well known for pranking TJ. So much so, that when they involved another Northwest driver in the game without his knowledge, he went right along with the joke. TJ picks up the story: "This week was Spring break and I had gone out to touch bases with a couple of sponsors. When I got home, my dad said he put out a press release, and told me to call John(Tharp). I didn't think to much about it, because my dad said he was working on some stuff for me. I read the press release, and it basically said that John was retiring, and he was going to be putting me in his car for 40 races this year. I just thought that was pretty cool, because John had asked earlier if I wanted to drive his 410(engine) at playday this year."

Not content to simply focus on running a 410 for 2009, TJ didn't pick up on the hint from his mom when she tried to let him off the hook. "It was hard to watch him all excited, knowing that it was just another joke on him." TJ's mother Ann comments. "The guys are pretty mean to him sometimes, and he just shrugs his shoulders when it's over." TJ was hooked line and sinker, and when his mother asked him why he was still busy ordering parts for his program, he simply replied: "I'm going to run both cars mom!"

Photo courtesy of The Nicki Factor - TJ's crew working hard for him and his sponsors

It took another practical joker to raise concerns for TJ as to the validity of the new plans. "I got a text message from SuperFan Skip asking if this was true because he read it on a message board." TJ states. "I told him ya, and then he asked if we were playing a joke because it was April Fool's Day. I didn't know what to say, and when I asked my dad, he kind of smiled and told me to call John. When I told him about it, he just said sounds good to me, and then I knew something was up. I read him the press release about him retiring and he just laughed. They got us both pretty good. I should have known something was up because the press release didn't go out to our email list, but it was fun to think about while it lasted!"

Sometimes the best things happen without planning, and practical jokes are another way for TJ's friends and team to show how close they really are. Vowing revenge, TJ knows it's only a matter of time before he gets even. Told in his trademark smile: "They're always messing with me, but I've got plans for them. I'll get even!"

Not to be underscored by practical jokes, TJ gets serious and talks about a project for the future that he has been working on: "I've been planning to try and graduate High School early, and met with my guidance counselors to see where I was at. We figured out I will have enough credits to graduate(High School) after the first semester next year, but I still need a full year of English. So we looked into taking the English class at Pierce College during the first quarter, and that would give me full credit for the year." As if that wasn't enough, TJ adds to his load: "When they said I could get college credits for taking the course over there, I decided to take some math and other classes at Pierce College, so I'll be going part of the day at Pierce, and part of the day ay Emerald Ridge. That will give me a really good jump on college credits. I'm pretty excited for that."

When asked about the purpose of pushing so hard and taking the extra load, TJ states with confidence: "So I have more time to race!" Always calculating, it's no wonder he enjoys mathematics and engineering so much.

Along with a fresh update to the web site, TJ Hartman Racing is just a couple more weeks away from opening day in the Northwest! It couldn't be done without the help from all of TJ's sponsors and friends. Watch for updates in the next few weeks outlining their commitment to TJ's racing program.

Next scheduled stop - Smile City!

TJ Hartman Racing