Tim Hartman Jr. overcame a six-point deficit to score a championship by winning the season finale. Four points over second place earned him the 2021 Short Track Super Series Crate 602 Sportsman — North Region title. The victory came during the Short Track SuperNationals at Afton Motorsports Park in New York.
“I told my dad it’s the least stressed I have ever been going into a championship title race,” Hartman, 28, of Glenville, New York, said. “It was an advantage to be six points behind. I had nothing to lose. I had to finish two spots in front of [then-] point leader, Payton Talbot, to win the championship. If we win, the points will fall where they may.”
Talbot finished third after getting mired in traffic. This year’s Short Track Super Series crate 602 sportsman championship is Hartman’s second. He also has three track championships at Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, New York, and one at Fonda Speedway, also in New York.
Hartman races for car owner Mike Parillo, of Amsterdam, New York. While looking back it seems like the pairing was a surefire success story, it didn’t start off that way.
“We are fortunate to be driving for Mike,” said Hartman, who works as a mechanical engineer on U.S. Navy nuclear submarines. “He gives us the resources necessary to succeed. When he first asked me to drive at Fonda, I cartwheeled his car down the track. I thought it was over between us, but here we are, six years later.”
Hartman raced a four-season-old chassis, with 120-plus races on it, from Troyer Dirt Cars. Many of those events came this season, with Hartman saying he steered it for 50 races in 2021. A new chassis from Troyer Dirt Cars sits in the garage.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Hartman said of the older chassis he campaigns. “We have a new chassis sitting there, but why change? The car has four championships and just won the Short Track SuperNationals.”
Over the years, Tim Hartman Jr. learned what it takes to field a successful crate 602 sportsman.
“It is a lot of work to make a crate sportsman go fast,” Hartman said. “You can’t use the engine to go faster. So, it is every tiny thing on the car that adds up to getting more speed — the rear end, driveline, transmission, bearings, suspension — it’s a long list. We haven’t had a break since the start of the season in March. Our success is the result of an investment of time.”
This year marks the Outside Groove Director of Photography’s 51st year of covering auto racing. Adaskaveg got his start working for track photographer Lloyd Burnham at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway in 1970. Since then, he’s been a columnist, writer, and photographer, in racing and in mainstream media, for several outlets, including the Journal Inquirer, Boston Herald, Stock Car Racing, and Speedway Illustrated. Among Adaskaveg’s many awards are the 1992 Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Ace Lane Photographer of the Year and the 2019 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) George Cunningham Writer of the Year.