Abbottstown, PA – May 12, 2023 by Addicted2Dirt PR & Media Mgmt Photo Credit: Derick Kriner Photography
The 358 sprint car season in Central Pennsylvania is certainly off to a strong start for Kody Hartlaub. If finishing on the podium at Williams Grove on Friday is what it takes to be victorious at Lincoln Speedway on Saturday night, Kody Hartlaub might take that deal every time. Might. So far in 2023 it has worked twice. Back on April 7th and 8th that’s exactly how it played out for Hartlaub’s first win of the season. On May 5th and 6th Hartlaub did it again.
Team Will Enjoy a Weekend Off Before Tackling Grove and Lincoln Again May 19-20
Date: May 5, 2023
Track: Williams Grove Speedway
City, State: Mechanicsburg, PA
Quick Stats: 31 cars, Heat 1st (1), A-main 3rd (3)
Date: May 6, 2023
Event: National Fallen Firefighters “Guise-Little Memorial”
Track: Lincoln Speedway
City, State: Abbottstown, PA
Quick Stats: 38 cars, Heat 3rd (3), A-main 1st (2)
By virtue of a favorable pill draw, Hartlaub found himself on the pole of his heat race Friday night at Williams Grove Speedway. Even from the front row, nothing is guaranteed. He would still need to earn his way into the redraw by securing a top four finish. Worst case, he needed a top six finish to transfer. Hartlaub took advantage of the clean air that comes with being out front, commanding the point for all eight laps and winning by four seconds over the runner-up, veteran Frankie Herr. The redraw result put Hartlaub inside row two for the 20-lap main event. At the drop of the green, Chad Chriswell used the high line to drive into 3rd and drop Hartlaub back to 4th. As the field settled into a rhythm, Hartlaub turned very consistent 19.3-19.4 second laps and remained hot on the heels of third place. When the race entered the final ten circuits, the East Berlin, PA driver wrestled 3rd away from Chriswell. He would go on to hold on to that podium spot at the checkered flag.
Wire to Wire
Saturday night it was back to Lincoln Speedway for Hartlaub and his team, the sight of their first win of the season the last (and only) time the 358 sprint cars were able to get a race in at the Abbottstown facility so far this season. An even larger field than the night before signed in to compete. Four heat races and a B-main would whittle the 38 cars down to the top 24 for the main event. Each heat race would transfer five, with the top three going to the redraw. Hartlaub started 3rd but had to fight to hold on to the valuable redraw spot. At the midpoint of the 10-lap qualifying race, Nash Ely got by and dropped Hartlaub to 4th. As Ely continued his march forward to the runner-up spot, Hartlaub pursued and assumed the 3rd spot by getting by Tyler Rutherford. He held on to the spot to the checkered flag, officially securing a spot in the redraw. Starting on the outside of the front row for the 20-lap finale, Hartlaub wasted no time taking command. The Brewer Home Improvements, Moose Blocks, Smith Titanium, SRR Engines, Siegel Racing, T&N Solutions, Inch & Co. Real Estate, Bigham Appraisals, Pretzel Boy, HAAS Shocks, Chop Designs, Herr Electric, Hartlaub’s Furniture, Kody Hartlaub Racing No.95 looked like it was on a rail. By lap nine, veteran Doug Hammaker had moved into the runner-up spot and was doing everything he could to close the gap and get a shot at Hartlaub. He was able to get close on one or two occasions. Hammaker slid Hartlaub in turns three and four but Hartlaub was up to the challenge. He turned back under Hammaker and reclaimed the lead before the pair reached the flag stand. Officially Hartlaub led ‘wire to wire’ as they say as he held on for his second consecutive victory at the Pigeon Hills oval.
Summing Up the First Five
“People keep asking me what we have changed. It sounds crazy but I honestly don’t know how to explain it (the recent success). We were absolutely terrible when we practiced at BAPS (Motor Speedway) in late March and we weren’t very good a couple days later when we raced there.“, Hartlaub commented, referring to his first practice and race of the season at BAPS Motor Speedway. “What that first week did was force us to go back to the shop and rethink things. We had changed cars from last year. A lot was different from 2022 really. In our four races since then, we have 2 wins and haven’t been off the podium.“ Hartlaub is now five races into his 2023 season. He is currently 2nd in the championship point standings at Williams Grove Speedway (PA) and he sits atop the standings at Lincoln Speedway (PA). “I have been fortunate with draws so far but they don’t hand you the win for starting up front. You have to be ready to take advantage of those. I think that’s the difference for us this year. We have been building our program, improving our components and paying attention to every detail. Plus, I think I’m making less mistakes behind the wheel right now.“, Hartlaub explained. “I have to thank Pat (Brewer), my dad and everyone else who helps me with this deal. They are a big part of the reason our program has kept steadily improving.“
Kody Hartlaub and his team will enjoy a weekend off, then return to competition at Williams Grove Speedway on May 19th and Lincoln Speedway on May 20th for a 358 sprint car Summer Series event.
5 races, 2 wins, 4 top 5’s, 4 top 10’s, 4 top 15’s
THANKS TO OUR PARTNERS! The entire team would like to express their appreciation to all their partners for the support during the 2023 racing season! Brewer Home Improvements, LLC MooseBlocks.com Smith Titanium SRR Engines Siegel Racing T and N Solutions Inch & Co. Real Estate Bigham Appraisal Pretzel Boy HAAS Shocks Chop Designs Herr Electric