Team Expands 358 Schedule for Balance of 2022
Abbottstown, PA – June 1st, 2022
by Addicted2Dirt PR & Media Management
Feature Photo Credit: Michael Zortman
Kody Hartlaub has been the model of consistency thus far in 2022. And he’s no one-trick pony.
He has competed at three different tracks and has recorded 8 top-10’s in 9 outings. At this point in the season, the only box left to check is a victory. That can’t be far away when a team is this steady.
May 28: Lincoln Speedway / Abbottstown, PA
(35 cars, Heat 1st, A-main 2nd)
Kody Hartlaub Racing is in the midst of a battle for the top spot in the season championship points at Lincoln Speedway. Steve Owings held the top spot by 90 points over Hartlaub entering competition Saturday night.
The Brewer Home Improvements / Moose Blocks / Smith Titanium / SRR Engines / Siegel Racing / T and N Solutions / Jason Emlet Iron Valley Real Estate / Bigham Appraisals / Pretzel Boy / HAAS Shocks / C.H. Folk & Son Feeds / Chop Designs / Herr Electric, Kody Hartlaub Racing No.2 was among 35 entries for the Memorial Day Weekend event.
The sizable field was divided into five heats by pill draw. The top four finishers from each race would transfer to the A-main, with the top two finishers being handicapped to start the 20-lap main event. The starting field for the finale would be rounded out with the top four finishers from the B-main.
Hartlaub had the pole for heat number one, his first front row starting spot of the season. He led the 10-lap qualifying race wire-to-wire over Steve Owings.
With the pair at the top of the point standings, Hartlaub and Owings assumed the 8th and 9th starting spots for the feature event. Owings slipped by Hartlaub on the opening lap when the outside line didn’t take off as quickly as the inside line. Hartlaub pursued the No.35 as the pair charged toward the front of the field.
Hartlaub reached 4th by lap three, then moved into the 2nd spot behind Owings on lap 7 and went to work to get to the point. It wasn’t to be on this night, but Hartlaub brought home his second runner-up finish of the season to close out a very solid night.
“I tried everything to get to Steve (Owings), especially on those two late restarts, but just couldn’t quite get to him. He was better than me in (turns) one and two. Maybe if I would’ve gotten to the front first, we could’ve held him off.“, Hartlaub said after the race.
With a win awarding 300 points and 2nd place 250, plus all teams being awarded 50 show-up points, Owings extended his point lead over Hartlaub despite the East Berlin, PA driver’s great run.
“We are where we want to be. We just don’t have a win yet. The only night we missed the top ten was when we got involved in a wreck, but we still came back to finish 12th that night. We’ve been racing more and venturing to new tracks. That is helping us gain experience. Experience is what enables teams to turn bad situations into positives.“, Hartlaub commented.
410 Sprint Opportunity
With a two-week break in their 358 sprint car schedule, Kody Hartlaub Racing will venture into the 410 sprint car world this Saturday night, June 4th, at Lincoln Speedway for the Steve Smith Tribute race, which will award the winner with $19,000 in honor of the Hall of Fame driver’s famous No.19.
Hartlaub has made a couple previous appearances in a 410 sprint car. In 2021 he was at the wheel of another team’s car just to get a little seat time, but this will be his first venture in his own, more familiar equipment.
“I owe a huge thanks to MooseBlocks.com for arranging this opportunity for me to compete with the 410’s in the Steve Smith Tribute race with one of Shark Racing’s Newman’s Racing Engines under the hood. My thanks to Shark Racing as well for that. I really wanted to support the race because Stevie and I are friends and Smith Titanium helps us out a lot. It means a lot to me to be able to compete in that race. We have zero expectations but we are sure going to try our hardest.“, an appreciative Hartlaub said.
Schedule Expansion, Plus A Look Back
It’s been a busy few weeks for Hartlaub. Leading up to last Saturday night, he competed in events at Path Valley Speedway, Williams Grove Speedway, and Lincoln Speedway. No matter where he goes this season, he has been consistently near the front.
That’s the sign of a strong team that is on the verge of breaking through.
Let’s take a quick look back and learn how Hartlaub Racing’s schedule has expanded for the balance of 2022.
May 14: Path Valley Speedway / Spring Run, PA
(16 cars, Heat 4th, A-main 4th)
To improve as a driver and a team, you need to race and you need to face different tracks and challenges. With that in mind, Kody Hartlaub Racing ventured to Path Valley Speedway on May 14th. They were among 16 teams to sign in for the 358 sprint car event on the high-banked quarter-mile Pennsylvania oval.
Lineups for two heats were set by random draw and all cars would qualify for the 30-lap feature event. Hartlaub was able to gain one spot in his heat race, advancing from his 5th starting spot to finish 4th.
Hartlaub lined up 7th for the A-main but slipped to 8th on the opening lap. A red flag on lap two set up a restart that Kody capitalized on, surging into 6th as the field went back to green.
As a result of some rain earlier in the evening, the track had a lot of grip and the field was ‘hammer down’, ripping off 28 non-stop, green flag laps after the restart. Hartlaub was able to track down a couple more competitors before the check checkered flag fell. As the race drew to a close, he was pushing for a spot on the podium by ran out of time and finished 4th.
“We were a little tight in the heat race because we were expecting the track to be a little drier. One spot better in the heat race would’ve meant one row closer the front for the feature. That would’ve helped, but we learned a lot, had a good run and put it in the trailer in one piece. That’s what we came here to do.“, Hartlaub said after the race.
May 20: Williams Grove Speedway / Mechanicsburg, PA
(27 cars, Heat 5th, A-main 10th)
Untimely Spring precipitation in Central Pennsylvania had erased the first three attempts by Williams Grove Speedway to get the 358 sprint car portion of their schedule started this season. Kody Hartlaub Racing already had plans to compete at ‘The Grove’ on June 10th & July 23rd in two Summer Series events, so with only a half-dozen other 358 sprint car events remaining on the schedule, the team made the decision to add all the remaining shows at the Mechanicsburg, PA oval to their schedule and compete in the season points championship.
“We have our second motor ready now, so with the delayed start to the 358 season here (at Williams Grove), we decided we were in a position to race all the shows here without risking our season at Lincoln.“, Hartlaub shared.
Three 8-lap heats were set up by pill draw for the 27 entries in the pits Friday night, May 20th. The top six finishers in each transferred directly to the A-main. Hartlaub started and finished 5th in heat number three, one spot out of the redraw.
Hartlaub started 15th in the 20-lap feature event and went to work finding the fastest way around the famous, paper-clip shaped oval. He gradually worked his way forward and into the top ten as the race drew to a close. Hartlaub’s progress ended there and he logged a 10th place finish.
“I’ve been here three or four times before and was never able to get a complete night in. We would start out good, then something would always happen. We would either have mechanical issues or get rained out. It was nice to get a full night in and really be able to get seat time. The team and I learned a lot tonight.“
May 21: Lincoln Speedway / Abbottstown, PA
(34 cars, Heat 3rd, A-main 6th)
On May 21st, Kody Hartlaub Racing returned to their home track, Lincoln Speedway, for the first of two Summer Series events this season. The always popular Summer Series events for the 358 sprint cars draw competitive fields wherever they are held.
At ‘The Fabulous’ Lincoln Speedway as it’s known, 34 cars registered for competition and drew for their starting spot in one of the four heats. The top five finishers in each 10-lap qualifier would transfer to the A-main, with the top three participating in a redraw for the top twelve starting spots.
Hartlaub started inside row two in heat number two. His No.2 machine was a bit tight, but Hartlaub managed to hang on to finish 3rd and claim a spot in the redraw.
The redraw wasn’t quite as friendly to Hartlaub. He would have his work cut out for him to get to the front after pulling the 10th starting spot.
Hartlaub battled throughout the 25-lap main event, finding a way forward as he has done all season. On this night he managed a +4, finishing in the 6th position.
“We finally got a good draw for our heat race and made the feature redraw, but our redraw wasn’t so good. What do you do; that’s part of it.“, Hartlaub commented with a grin and a shrug.
“We can only worry about the things we can control, and that’s what we’re doing. We’re running pretty well and I’m continuing to learn and make better decisions behind the wheel.”
Following his 2022 410 sprint debut this weekend, Hartlaub will return to 358 sprint car action with races on June 10th at Williams Grove Speedway and June 11th at Lincoln Speedway.
9 races, 0 wins, 5 top 5’s, 8 top 10’s, 9 top 15’s
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