TJ Hartman Racing News April 27, 2009



TJ Hartman Racing News April 27th, 2009
April 27th, 2009
Author: Ted Hartman


Photo courtesy of The Nicki Factor - TJ in animation as the trailer is loaded and ready to get 2009 underway!

TJ Hartman Racing - UPDATE - TJ starts 2009 with a heat race win and 6th in the main!
Puyallup, WA - April 25, 2009...

Cold temperatures, a little rain, and a new race format, greeted TJ Hartman Racing to start their season at the Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, WA. The Wesmar powered Maxim chassis was shined and ready to take on the high banked 3/8 mile clay oval, and the 17 year old got a taste of just about everything en route to his first ever heat race win and 6th place main event finish, but not before he continued his own tradition of watching his favorite Spongebob Squarepants episode before heading out to the track Saturday morning.

TJ knows a qualifying format places a lot of emphasis on getting going early, and that is something he has wanted to work on. He begins the night: "I was really looking forward to the new format. But I came out pretty rusty, and struggled in hot laps and qualifying. I ended up 11th, which put me on the pole of my heat race. I'm not gonna lie, it felt good to run up front, lead every lap, and win my first heat race. But I also know you have to qualify good, and the format they used for the redraw put me way back for the start of the main. Jay told me he doesn't qualify good either, and he ended up starting right beside me, so I knew we could do some passing and move up some spots in the main."

Photo courtesy of Fletcher Motorsports - TJ lined up on the pole for the first green flag of '09 at GHR

Eight time and defending Grays Harbor Raceway sprint car champion Jay Cole had won his heat race as well, but would entertain the crowd as he and TJ made their way towards the front from their 6th row starting positions. TJ continues with the race recap: "I was still having a hard time getting comfortable. I had a lot of adrenalin going, and I was hanging onto the wheel way too tight. Elma is a fast track, and the track was pretty hooked up. Jay and I started passing cars, and we even passed each other a couple of times. That was a lot of fun. We had a long green flag run, and my car was running great, but I just couldn't make the corners work. I kept passing cars though, and that was good experience for me too."

Photo courtesy of Fletcher Motorsports - TJ and Jay lined up to start the 2009 season at GHR

The youngster and the veteran made their way well into the top ten before the field would be bunched up for a restart with 5 laps to go. TJ concludes the race portion of the update: "On the yellow I could see Jays tire going down, so I knew I was going to pass him on the restart. I got by him and a lapped car and that put me right behind Glenn(Borden), but that was about all I had. I just wasn't relaxed, but I ended up 6th and Jay was 7th, so I was happy with how I did. Elma is a fun track to race, but you have to be smooth to be fast. I wasn't smooth, and that hurt me. But I got the first race out of the way, and next week I'll do better. Racing is so much fun."

Photo courtesy of Fletcher Motorsports - TJ gassing it up for qualifying!

TJ talks about his team, and what it takes to run up front: "My crew gave me everything I needed, and Kelly(Wesmar Racing Engines) and his guys gave me another great engine this year. I couldn't ask for more, and I'll get the job done next time. I also want to thank John Fletcher and The Nicki Factor for getting me some good pictures for my updates again this year. That makes it fun to tell the stories. And last I want to thank Diana for giving me her traditional opening race care package ofPB&J and Spongebob cupcakes. I promise to make her note to me come true. We're sticking with the routine of washing the car and trailer and servicing the fuel system on Sunday mornings this year, and I'm happy to do it." He adds with a smile - "I can't wait for next week to try it again!"

TJ Hartman Racing would also like to remind their fans to stick with the routine of supporting those who support TJ. Getting to the track and having fun is made possible by those who support the greatest Spongebob fan of all - TJ!

Next scheduled stop - TJ goes after week 2 of 2009!

TJ Hartman Racing