TJ Hartman Racing News May 17, 2009



TJ Hartman Racing News May 17th, 2009
May 17th, 2009
Author: Ted Hartman


Photo courtesy of The Nicki Factor - TJ greeting one of the young fans after the race

TJ Hartman Racing - UPDATE - AaaaaaChooooo! Bless You!

Puyallup, WA - May 16, 2009...

Saturday night proved difficult for TJ as he could not capitalize on a couple of great starting positions in his heat race and the main event. The 17 year old High School Junior managed an 8th place finish at the Grays Harbor Raceway despite falling ill Thursday evening and not being able to shake the bug on a beautiful Spring evening in Elma.

TJ qualified 9th in the field and landed himself on the pole for his heat race. A great start, and a strong run for 6 of the 8 laps had him building a good lead over the competition. TJ begins his recount: "I messed up and didn't qualify as good as I wanted, but somehow I ended up on the pole. It was going good, but after the restart on lap 7 I just couldn't get it going again. I messed up and missed my line and Glenn(Borden) got by me. But the car was working really good, so I was confident getting ready for the main."

Photo Courtesy of Fletcher Motorsports - The fans watch as TJ enters turn 1 on his qualifying lap

TJ's heat race finish, and the fact that a couple of faster qualifiers didn't make the top 4 in their heat race, meant that TJ was eligible for the main event invert draw. Once again, luck was with him, and he ended up with a front row starting position alongside 7-time GHR champion, and eventual winner, Jay Cole. TJ picks up the story: "I wanted to make some changes to the car, but the track didn't really go where I thought it would. I got a good start, but there was nothing on the top to get a hold of. Everyone was pretty much stuck on the bottom, and if you moved up, you got passed. By the time I got back in line on the bottom, I was 5th, and I pretty much ran there for most of the race. That's really all I had."

Several cautions bunched the field up, and each time they headed for the bottom of the race track and got in line. The final restart with five laps to go would be TJ's undoing for the night. "My dad and I started getting sick on Thursday, and he asked me Saturday morning if we should call in sick. I just laughed, but I found out how difficult these cars are when you're not feeling well. My arms really didn't get tired, but under yellow flags I would start coughing and sneezing, and I just couldn't concentrate anymore. I entered turn 3 too high with a couple of laps to go and got passed by a few cars. I ended up 8th, but the car was a lot better than that."

Photo Courtesy of Fletcher Motorsports - TJ in tune with his Wesmar powered Maxim

The finish was a disappointment, but TJ's effort to compete was recognized by his team and fans. TJ concludes the update: "My car was a lot better than I showed. Everyone who came down was asking what happened to the car, but I told them it was me. I don't usually sweat or anything, but I was soaking wet and I couldn't breathe normal. That made it hard to concentrate. I'm gonna talk to my friend Doug, who helped me with my workout program, and see what kind of vitamins I can start taking to stay healthy." He adds with his trademark smile: "I'll be eating lots of PB&J's to get my energy back!"

Photo courtesy of The Nicki Factor - TJ & Henry VanDam lead the field down the backstretch in heat 3

TJ's youth and determination is hard to keep up with. His enthusiasm keeps his team focused, and everyone is pleased with the direction he's headed. That direction would not be possible without the support from TJ's sponsors and fans, and we want to remind you to please support those who support us.

Next scheduled stop - Getting healthy and cleaning the inside of TJ's visor!

One more lap with TJ - "Simpson Race Products supplies my helmets, and this week was the first chance I had to wear my new Carbon Fiber Devil Ray helmet. I couldn't believe how light it was, and I'm glad it was, because I don't think I could have held my head up all night without it. I want to thank Desire' and Pam from Simpson Race Products for excellent service and getting me hooked up with the top of the line safety equipment."

TJ Hartman Racing