HOMETOWN: Puyallup, WA
BIRTHDATE: October 2, 1991
YEARS IN RACING:
*Quarter Midgets: 1998-2006
RACING HEROES: Stevie Smith
FAVORITE TRACK:Terre Haute, Indiana is probably at the top, but Grays Harbor Mini Raceway will always be my home track
FAVORITE FOOD: Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich
* 2010 - 9th in Season Points in first season on ASCS NW Tour
* 2008 Grays Harbor Raceway Rookie of the Year
* 2007 360 Sprint Car A-Main Event Win, Madras, Oregon (First 360 Sprint Car Race)
Quarter Midgets -
* Four-time Quarter Midget Grand National Champion
* Two-time Quarter Midget Region Champion
* Thirteen-time Quarter Midget Track Champion
* Seven consecutive Quarter Midget Lt160 Division Track Championships
* Three-time Quarter Midget Winter Series Champion
* Three-time Quarter Midget Driver of the Year
* Three-time Quarter Midget Favorite Driver Award
* 127 Quarter Midget A-Feature Event Wins at 24 Tracks
PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT: Helping construct the quarter midget track at the Grays Harbor Raceway and then winning a National Championship in front of the fans at my home track in a car that I built.
Who is TJ Hartman
TJ was born on October 2, 1991 in Puyallup, WA. He graduated from Emerald Ridge High School in 2010, and was enrolled in the Running Start Program, enabling him to achieve College Credits by attending Pierce College during his Senior Year. His education plans are to earn a degree in Computer Network Engineering. TJ is always calm and quiet, and is well known for his intoxicating smile wherever he goes.
How it all started
TJ began racing quarter midgets when he was 6 years old. His family has always been completely involved and supportive, and looked for an activity where they could all participate together. His younger sister Nicki raced quarter midgets as well, and can now be found snapping photos and helping with the work on the sprint car. TJ is a great example of someone who is focused and dedicated, and racing has taught TJ to be hands on in everything. He has learned a great deal by building and working on the cars as well as driving them. This type of approach will always be an asset and will certainly help him in anything he chooses to do in life.
End of a chapter
TJ ended his quarter midget tenure following the 2006 season, and after 9 years of racing quarter midgets, he had compiled a long list of accomplishments. He ended his quarter midget tenure with many accomplishments, including four National Championships, a pair of Region Championships, an uninterrupted string of 14 Class Championships at his home track, 127 A-Feature event wins, and an ability to accomplish virtually anything he had set out to do. He felt it was now time to move on and challenge himself further. His ambition was to drive a sprint car, and that is what he set his sights on. TJ proved right out of the gate that he was ready for the challenge. In his debut in a sprint car at Madras Speedway on June 30, 2007, the then 15 year old captured his first win. It was clear he was up for the challenge.
A rookie season
The 2008 racing season would be defined as TJ’s novice year all over again, and at the age of 16, TJ was called upon to lay out a schedule for his rookie season. He had long since dreamed of racing on the high banked, super fast, 3/8 mile clay oval known as the Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, WA. Always the one to smile, TJ showed his home track fans what he was capable of right from the start. In his first two starts of 2008 he finished 6th, and 5th, in a field of drivers that held a combined 10 track championships. It was apparent to everyone that TJ had placed himself right where he belonged. In the 12 race weekly points series, TJ placed in the top 10 on 7 occasions, 4 top 5’s, and a trophy dash win in only his 4th start.
When the season point totals were calculated, TJ had risen to the challenge, finishing the season points standings in 5th place, just 96 points out of 1st place. He also earned the coveted Rookie of the Year award, reinforced by the fact that he finished in front of several veterans in the point totals for the year. He ran a handful of ASCS Northwest Region races, and showed he was not intimidated by the level of competition.
A road to the future
TJ's abbreviated sophmore season ended abruptly when he was involved in a violent crash in early June that destroyed all of his equipment. He would spend the remainder of 2009 working for veteran driver Shane Stewart and renowned car owner Paul Silva. The valuable time working alongside the duo allowed TJ to experience what it is like to travel around the country and prepare the car night after night. The relationship that formed became a valuable asset not only in terms of being able to call upon the veterans for advice, but a trusted friendship as well.
For 2010, TJ chose to travel around the Northwest, seeing several new tracks for the first time. Running at tracks in Montana, Oregon, and Washington, the teenager ran well enough to finish the season series points race in 9th place. He was also able to drive his way into two ASCS National A-main events at Cottage Grove Speedway in Oregon.
On track for success
The foundation for TJ’s chosen interest of racing continues to be based on family togetherness and fun. The level of success is measured by the continued support and following from his friends, team members, and sponsors. Judging by the loyalty and support from the fans, and the praise from his competitors, every chapter in TJ’s racing success story is sure to be a success. Follow along with TJ. He's easy to recognize - just look for the "skinny, freckled face kid with glasses" the one who is always wearing a smile.