Austin Hartmann treasures lessons learned, progress made during rookie IRA 410 Sprint Car Series season
(PEDAL DOWN PROMOTIONS) November 15, 2022 – With just two seasons of prior Sprint Car racing experience under their collective belts coming into the 2022 campaign, Austin Hartmann and the members of the Plymouth, Wis.-based 87A Hartmann Racing Team put their talents to the test in a big way during their rookie campaign traveling to 410 Sprint Car races throughout the Midwest with the regional touring Bumper to Bumper Interstate Racing Association 410 Sprint Car Series.
A five-and-a-half-month 2022 journey competing against many of the nation’s top 410 Sprint Car drivers at 13 different tracks in three states produced a garden variety of on-track results, along with a host of valuable learning experiences, will-testing challenges and thrilling highlights.
The 87A Hartmann Racing team launched its new racing adventure at the Bumper to Bumper IRA 410 Sprint Car Series 2022 season opener at Beaver Dam Raceway in Beaver Dam, Wis. on Saturday, April 23.
Utilizing a calm, cool and collected approach in negotiating a lightning fast and tricky track surface, Hartmann brought his Bennett Transport Inc.-sponsored 87A Hartmann Racing machine home to an 18th place finish after starting 25th in the first 30-lap A main of his rookie season with the Bumper to Bumper IRA 410 Sprint Car Series.
Hartmann’s first trek to Sycamore Speedway in Maple Park, Ill. on Saturday, May 7 resulted in his second straight 18th-place A-main showing, as he turned in another smooth and consistent run after rolling off 21st in the 30-lap IRA main event.
Hartmann returned to the friendly confines of his hometown track – The Plymouth Dirt Track at the Sheboygan County Fairgrounds in Plymouth, Wis. – for the Tezos All Star Circuit of Champions – Bumper to Bumper Interstate Racing Association 410 Sprint Car Shootout on Saturday, May 21.
With a large contingent of extra local supporters on hand to wish him well during the third race of his rookie IRA 410 Sprint Car Series season, Hartmann finished the night with a 14th place showing in the All Stars-IRA B Main among a stellar field of 36 All Stars-IRA competitors.
Hartmann’s scheduled appearance with the Tezos All Star Circuit of Champions and Bumper to Bumper IRA Sprint Cars at Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie, Wis. on Sunday, May 22 was hounded by mechanical maladies as the 87A car failed to get up to speed to register a qualifying time or compete in heat race or B Main competition due to a magneto issue.
On Saturday, May 28, Hartmann and the 87A Hartmann Racing team made the long trek to Northwest Wisconsin for the IRA’s return to the third-mile semi-banked Rice Lake Speedway for the first time in several years.
Hartmann opened the night by qualifying 12th in the 20-car field with a lap of 14.181 seconds. After lining up the pole of the third eight-lap IRA heat race, Hartmann placed fourth in the race to earn the 12th starting spot in the 30-lap main event. The third-year Plymouth, Wis. Sprint Car driver drove a steady race in just his third IRA A main in a 410 Sprint Car en route to an IRA career-best 13th place showing.
On Sunday, May 29 at one of Hartmann’s favorite tracks – 141 Speedway in Francis Creek, Wis. – the 2020 Midwest Sprint Car Association and Plymouth Dirt Track Racing 360 Sprint Car Rookie of the Year Award winner was quick out of the box as he turned in the 11th fastest qualifying lap in the 27-car field with a lap of 11.318 seconds. After lining up on the pole of the second eight-lap IRA heat race, Hartmann placed fourth to earn a direct transfer spot to the A main and his first-career berth in the IRA dash field. After drawing the pole for the second four-lap IRA dash, Hartmann placed fourth to gain the eighth starting spot in the 30-lap IRA main event, during which he came home 24th.
On Saturday, June 11, Hartmann and the 87A Hartmann Racing team made the haul south of the Wisconsin-Illinois border to Fairbury American Legion Speedway in Fairbury, Ill. for the 12th annual $6,000-to-win co-sanctioned IRA-Midwest Open Wheel Association (MOWA) Bill Waite Jr. Memorial Classic, which attracted a stout field of 36 entries.
After starting fourth in the 12-lap B main, Hartmann was running seventh when a two-car spin brought out the yellow flag on lap 10. With the top-four finishers earning spots in the A main, Hartmann restarted fifth and pressured the fourth-place car of Dave Uttech for the final transfer position over the final two laps before settling for fifth to fall just short of advancing to the A-main event.
With fast and uneven track conditions providing an extra challenge in the team’s second appearance of the 2022 season at Angell Park Speedway, Hartmann drove a steady race to advance from his 15th starting position to come home with an IRA career-best 11th place finish in the 30-lap A-main event on Sunday, June 12.
In his NOS Energy Drink World of Outlaws Series debut on Friday, June 17, Hartmann qualified 22nd in the 33-car field with a lap of 11.528 seconds on the lightning-fast, high-banked, third-mile Beaver Dam Raceway clay oval.
After lining up sixth in the second World of Outlaws heat race, Hartmann’s maiden voyage with the WoO was short-lived as contact with J.J. Hickle as the green flag dropped resulted in heavy damage to his Kristine Hartmann of Pleasant View Realty-sponsored machine, which forced the team to retire from the race and scratch for the remainder of the event.
Thanks to some late-night repair work from Scotty Neitzel and Rick Lemanski of R&H Enterprises, Hartmann returned to action for the second half of the World of Outlaws doubleheader weekend at Beaver Dam Raceway on Saturday, June 18.
After starting and finishing eighth in the first eight-lap WoO heat race, Hartmann rolled off fifth in the 12-lap Last Chance Showdown needing to finish in the top six to advance to the 40-lap main event. Hartmann ran fifth in the opening laps of the Last Chance Showdown before Josh Schneiderman slipped past to shuffle him back to sixth. He then ran smooth and consistent laps over the second half of the race to hold off Matt Vandevere and secure a starting berth in his first career World of Outlaws A main. With the big picture of completing the remainder of his rookie 410 Sprint Car season in mind, Hartmann pulled off early in the 40-lap main event and was credited with a 22nd place finish.
With the NASCAR Cup Series set to visit Road America just at nearby Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. during the Fourth of July holiday weekend, The Plymouth Dirt Track was buzzing for a special weeknight all-Sprint Car spectacular with a full house of fans packing the grandstand and a solid field of 28 IRA Sprint Cars checked in to battle for the $5,000-to-win Road America Challenge top prize on Thursday, June 30.
After starting 24th in the 24-car IRA A-main lineup, Hartmann ran a smooth and consistent race as he managed to dodge several mishaps, which produced a lengthy event filled with six caution/red flag periods and ensuing restarts. In the closing stages of the race, Hartmann engaged in a duel with fellow IRA rookie competitor Tyler Tischendorf before finishing 19th in the event.
On Friday, July 15 and Saturday, July 16, Hartmann and the 87A Hartmann Racing team made the 640-mile trek to River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, North Dakota for an IRA-NOSA co-sanctioned doubleheader weekend. With strong fields of over 30 cars on hand both nights, Hartmann qualified for both main events, placing 19th in the A main on Friday, July 15 and 23rd in the main event on Saturday, July 16.
On Friday, July 22 at Outagamie Speedway in Seymour, Wis., Hartmann fought a power-steering issue to notch a 17th place finish in the 30-lap IRA A main.
The Hartmann 87A team then made their first trip to the big, wide half-mile Langlade County Speedway in Antigo, Wis. on Friday, July 29 where Hartmann suffered a rear-end failure in the heat race before rallying to earn hard-charger honors with a 19th to 14th place run in the caution-free A main.
The following night saw the team travel back home for its third appearance of the season at The Plymouth Dirt Track on Saturday, July 30. With 22 IRA 410 Sprint Cars on hand, Hartmann turned in his best qualifying effort of the 2022 season, as he timed in third with a lap of 11.769 seconds around the third-mile clay oval.
After lining up fourth in the third eight-lap heat race, Hartmann finished fourth to advance to his second IRA dash of the 2022 campaign. The third-year Sprint Car racer started and finished fifth in the second four-lap IRA dash to secure the 10th starting spot in the 30-lap main event. Hartmann worked primarily the low groove during the majority of the A-main en route to a strong 12th place main event showing.
Following two weekends off from competition, Hartmann returned to action with the IRA 410 Sprint Car Series for the Roger Iles Tribute event at Wilmot Raceway in Wilmot, Wis. on Saturday, Aug. 20 where he finished 20th after starting 14th in the 36-lap A main.
After qualifying seventh and earning his third IRA dash appearance of the 2022 campaign, Hartmann started ninth and tallied a 15th place finish in the 30-lap IRA Corn Fest A main at Angell Park Speedway on Sunday, Aug. 21.
The Founders Night IRA event at Wilmot Speedway on Saturday, Aug. 27 saw Hartmann qualify 11th in the 27-car field and earn his first career IRA heat race victory to lock himself into his fourth IRA dash of the 2022 season. After rolling off 10th in the 25-lap main event, Hartmann was running seventh in the early going when he spun in turn two after racing in close quarters with Jeremy Schultz. Hartmann rebounded after restarting 20th to earn a 16th place showing.
Hartmann opened a tripleheader IRA weekend with a 12th place A-main finish after starting 16th in the 20-lap Harry Neitzel Tribute Race at the Dodge County Fairgrounds Speedway in Beaver Dam, Wis. on Friday, Sept. 2.
One night later, Hartmann racked up his first-career IRA fast qualifier award as he topped the 31-car field with a lap of 11.461 seconds around his hometown track. After making his fifth IRA dash appearance of the 2022 season, Hartmann started fifth in the 30-lap A main. Hartmann was running eighth when contact with Kyle Schuett shortly after a lap 23 restart, sent him flipping wildly into the turn one fence. Although Hartmann emerged from his battered machine uninjured, the 87A machine suffered extensive damage as he was scored with a 22nd place finish.
One night later, Hartmann entered the final event of the three-race IRA weekend behind the wheel of Al Schlafer’s 360 Sprint Car at 141 Speedway where he posted a 19th place finish in the 30-lap A main.
On Saturday, Sept. 10, Hartmann ventured west to make his first appearance at Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wis. for the IRA’s prestigious $6,000-to-win Jerry Richert Memorial, which drew a stellar field of 30 competitors. Hartmann earned his first career IRA B Main victory to earn the 19th starting spot in the 30-lap A main where he placed 21st.
Hartmann put together his best overall performance of the 2022 season at the IRA Scott Semmelmann Memorial at Beaver Dam Raceway on Saturday, Sept. 17. After qualifying 10th, Hartmann advanced to his sixth IRA dash of the 2022 campaign to nail down the eighth starting spot in the 30-lap main event where he held strong on the lightning-fast track surface to secure an IRA career-best sixth place A-main finish.
Hartmann turned in a 14th place A-main finish in the 20-lap IRA Checkered Flag Classic at the Dodge County Fairgrounds Speedway in Beaver Dam, Wis. on Friday, Sept. 23.
The Hartmann 87A team then capped off the 2022 IRA season with the Wisconsin Sprint Car Championships at The Plymouth Dirt Track on Saturday, Sept. 24.
With 24 IRA 410 Sprint Cars on hand, Hartmann began the night by qualifying 11th with a lap of 11.718 seconds around the ultra-fast and tacky third-mile clay oval. Hartmann lined up on the pole position of the second eight-lap IRA heat race. However, a jumbled start was waived off by track officials before Hartmann spun in turn two while trying to slow down his machine. The spin resulted in contact with another car and front-end damage to his 87A car, which caused him to retire from the race with an eighth place showing. After making the necessary repairs, Hartmann started 21st in the 30-lap IRA main event, staying out of trouble throughout en route to a 19th place finish.
Hartmann capped his rookie season of Bumper to Bumper IRA 410 Sprint Car Series competition 10th in the final point standings.
In 26 events, including 24 IRA races, Hartmann tallied one top-10, eight top-15 and 17 top-20 A-main showings in 22 A-main appearances. In addition, Hartmann posted one heat race victory, one B-main triumph, one fast qualifier award and six dash appearances during his rookie IRA campaign.
“I would like to thank all of our sponsors and supporters who made it possible for me to race a 410 Sprint Car with the IRA Series during the 2022 season, especially Kristine Hartmann of Pleasant View Realty and Andrew Shufflebotham of Shufflebotham Tree Service ” Hartmann said. “I would also like to thank all of the members of our pit crew, who did so much to help out and keep us racing all season long.
“As far as the racing goes, we definitely learned a lot during the course of the season that will help us during the 2023 season,” he said.
Additional information on the 87A Hartmann Racing team can be found by visiting the team’s Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/87Ahartmannracing.
The 87A Hartmann Racing team assembled a strong group of partners in support of the team's 2022 maiden voyage with the Bumper to Bumper IRA 40 Sprint Car Series, including Kristine Hartmann of Pleasant View Realty, Shufflebotham Tree Service, Call Girls Motorsports, PalletWorks LLC, AF Inc., Bennett Transport Inc., SCA Inc., Gretchen Tillman New American Funding, Classic Title Services, CP Services, Cobblestone Landscaping, Jensen Sales & Services, Lee’s Color Studio, Dave’s Fabrication, Racer’s Hall Sports Bar and Grill, Feldmann Sales & Service, RC Custom Design, Hepfner Racing Products, Pit Road Apparel, the Bumper to Bumper Interstate Racing Association 410 Sprint Car Series and Sage Fruit.
The 2022 87A Hartmann Racing team consisted of Hunter Annis, Eric Bergschultz, Karlee Hartmann, Andrew Shufflebotham, Jarrett Neese, Caitlin Shaw and Kristine Hartmann.
87A Hartmann Racing Sponsor Showcase – Bennett Transport Inc.
Based in Manitowoc, Wis., Bennett Transport Inc. provides truck load and LTL service throughout Eastern Wisconsin, Northern Illinois and the Chicagoland area.
For more information on Bennett Transport Inc., call 920-860-0962, email firstname.lastname@example.org or check out @Bennett Transport Inc on Facebook.
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Austin Hartmann 87A Hartmann Racing
Final 2022 Season
By The Numbers
Total Events – 26
IRA Events – 24
World of Outlaws Events – 2
A Main Victories – 0
B Main Victories – 1
Top Five A Main Finishes – 0
Top 10 A Main Finishes – 1
Top 15 A Main Finishes – 8
Top 20 A Main Finishes – 17
Heat Race Victories – 1
Dash Appearances – 6
Dash Victories – 0
Fast Qualifier Awards – 1
A Main Appearances – 22
Final Interstate Racing Association Points Finish – 10th
Article Credit: Jeff Pederson-Pedal Down Promotions
Submitted By: Jeff Pederson