Second Career Win Comes on Heels of Friday Night Podium Finish at Williams Grove
Abbottstown, PA – April 12, 2023
by Addicted2Dirt PR & Media Mgmt
Photo Credit: Jeremy Zarfos Photography
Photo Info: Kody Hartlaub, wife Audrey and daughter Addison in victory lane at Lincoln Speedway on 4/8/23
To say Kody Hartlaub is off to a strong start in Central Pennsylvania 358 sprint car competition might be a bit of an understatement. He led 23 of the 40 feature laps he raced over the weekend, while recording a victory and a 3rd place finish in the span of 24 hours.
- Date: April 7, 2023
- Track: Williams Grove Speedway
- City, State: Mechanicsburg, PA
- Quick Stats: 29 cars, Heat 3rd (4), A-main 3rd (2)
- Date: April 8, 2023
- Track: Lincoln Speedway
- City, State: Abbottstown, PA
- Quick Stats: 29 cars, Heat 3rd (6), A-main 1st (2)
Oh So Close at The Grove
Williams Grove Speedway was finally able to get their 2023 season underway Friday night and the 358 sprint cars were on the card. Twenty-nine teams signed in and drew for their starting spot in one of three heat races. The top six finishers from each would advance directly to the A-main, but the focus for drivers was to make the top four and claim a valuable spot in the redraw.
Hartlaub started 4th in the third and final heat race of the evening. He simply needed to hang on to that spot, but the East Berlin (PA) driver was able to give himself a little cushion by making his way into the 3rd spot on lap three and holding on to it to the finish.
With twelve cars making the redraw, a driver can come away with a starting spot that is terrific or one that is going to be a challenge. Hartlaub had some good fortune and drew the number two pill, putting him on the outside of the front row for the 20-lap main event.
The starting spot would certainly help, but nothing would be easy when the names around him included Locke, Fletcher, Owings, Hammaker and Herr.
Hartlaub got a solid start and held the runner-up spot for the first four laps before skillfully working his way past Chase Gutshall for the lead in his 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.
Kody held the top spot through lap nine until Cody Fletcher took advantage of an opportunity and raced by to claim the lead. Hartlaub didn’t let the No.66a get away, remaining within striking distance. He was unable to wrestle the spot away though and eventually was chased down by Derek Locke with two laps remaining. Hartlaub held on for a spot on the podium in 3rd.
“Being in contention at the grove is really cool. That doesn’t happen every day. If you can run up front here, you know you are doing pretty good.”, Hartlaub said.
“We were honestly the slowest car at BAPS (Motor Speedway) during a test a few weeks ago. We went back to the shop, did our homework and found some things. The first race at BAPS rubbered up, so we didn’t really know what we had. Tonight was our first true test of this new car, so it was nice to know we had speed and we are on the right path.“
Success in the Pigeon Hills
The 358 sprint cars also made their first appearance of the season at Lincoln Speedway over the weekend with 29 teams rolling through the gates to compete. Much like the night before at Williams Grove, the field drew for starting spots in one of three heat races and the top six finishers would transfer directly to the main event. On this night, however, only the top three finishers would make the redraw.
Hartlaub’s pill draw placed him 6th on the starting grid for his heat race. His work was cut out for him to claim one of the coveted redraw spots. He wasted no time getting to work, leaping into 4th by the end of the first circuit and charging into 3rd by the time the field completed lap three. He held on to that spot to the finish to give himself and his team a guaranteed top-nine starting spot for the season’s first 20-lap A-main at the Pigeon Hills oval.
Once again, a little good fortune in the redraw put Hartlaub on the front row for the feature. It would not be ‘a gimme’ as they say. The likes of Herr, Hammaker, Ely, Fletcher and Owings would be all around him.
Hartlaub got a good start at the drop of the green but settled in behind veteran Frankie Herr until his found his rhythm. Hartlaub used a strong launch off turn four to dive under Herr going into turn one to begin lap four. He slid up in front of the No.70D and began to pull away.
Hartlaub diced his way through traffic, survived a restart and held his advantage throughout the 20-lap event, besting Herr by 2.039 seconds at the finish.
It was Hartlaub’s second career victory, both of which have come at Lincoln Speedway. It is always special to win, and it was certainly a great way to kick off the season at the track, but for Hartlaub the best part of the memory will surely be having his daughter, just shy of three months old, in victory lane with him for the first time.
“When I get out front like that, I just try to calm myself down, hit my marks and be smooth. It’s too easy to blow a corner, especially in lapped traffic. I was getting through traffic pretty good early tonight and I didn’t want to see that yellow because I felt like I was putting cars between me and Frankie (Herr).“, Hartlaub commented.
“Confidence is huge. I felt like after our run Friday, there was no reason I couldn’t compete for the win again tonight.”
Kody Hartlaub Racing will return to Lincoln Speedway on Saturday night, April 15th to go after his second consecutive checkered flag!
3 races, 1 wins, 2 top 5’s, 2 top 10’s, 2 top 15’s
Kody Hartlaub picked up his first career 358 sprint car victory at Lincoln Speedway in 2021!
Now, on to this week’s question. In what year did Kody Hartlaub win the Williams Grove Speedway Rookie of the Year award in the 358 sprint car division?
The answer in the next press release!
Smith Titanium produces quality titanium hardware for sprints, midgets, micros & dirt late models.
Today in Broken Arrow, OK under the roof of a 5,000 square foot facility, Smith Titanium can both manufacture and modify titanium and steel fasteners using the same method as the aircraft industry. With this capability, their fasteners are the strongest in the racing industry. They also offer very competitive prices.
Phone: (717) 891-5044
Address: 7150 S. 305th East Ave., Broken Arrow, OK 74014
Below is a gallery from Friday and Saturday’s racing at Williams Grove Speedway and Lincoln Speedway. Enjoy!
As always, thank you to all our sponsors and partners, including our silent partners who do everything they can to help but ask for nothing in return! Below are the businesses…the people…the families…that make what these teams do possible.
PLEASE take the time to browse this information and help the teams by giving your business to these partners.
Most importantly, tell them WHY you patronized them and thank them for being involved in racing!
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
T and N Solutions
Inch & Co. Real Estate
Hartlaub’s Furniture, Inc.
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