HARTFORD ENJOYING BEST PS SEASON EVER, ADDS NEW SPONSOR FOR SEATTLE
A long-term relationship will continue for Pro Stock racer Matt Hartford in Seattle this weekend.
Once again, Rottler Manufacturing will be the primary sponsor on Hartford’s Camaro for the Magic Dry NHRA Northwest Nationals in Seattle, August 2-4.
“Rottler is based like 10 miles from the race track and all their employees come out and support us and they have a lot of friends and family with them, so it is just a good deal and something we have done for several years,” Hartford said. “Rottler and Total Seal Piston Rings go hand-in-hand. We have been using utilizing Rottler Honing Equipment for well over a decade at Total Seal. We’ve had a really good business relationship. Seattle also is the home track for CIP1, which is based out of Vancouver.”
Rottler is a name that is synonymous with leading edge machinery technology. Since 1923, engine builders and remanufacturers around the globe have relied on Rottler for their machinery needs. Thanks to unmatched dedication, diversity and innovative product development, Rottler’s advanced designs and equipment continue to meet the most demanding engineering needs for their customers.
The Total Seal Piston Rings / CIP1 Pro Stock Camaro sits fifth in the points battle chase heading into Seattle.
Hartford started the Western Swing strong advancing to the final round at the Mile-High Nationals in Denver July 21 before losing to Greg Anderson. On July 28 at the Sonoma (Calif.) Nationals Hartford couldn’t capitalize on his momentum as he was defeated in the first round by Chris McGaha.
“Denver was great,” Hartford said. “We had a chance to win and that was a really close final (against Greg Anderson). Sonoma, we had a really good car (qualified No. 5) and had a chance deep into rounds and unfortunately my car got out of the groove and I wasn’t able to get it back into the middle of the groove and it got loose and I had to shut off against Chris. But we were well ahead of him at that point and time. We were going to win that round if I just kept it clean and in the middle of the groove. Unfortunately, I didn’t and that’s something we have to deal with and lick our wounds and go to Seattle and try to rebound.”
Hartford did say Pacific Raceways in Seattle can present a challenge.
“I think the sun can mess with you, kind of like Sonoma,” Hartford said. “Late in the afternoon, you can get a lot of glare from the sun, which does make it hard on all drivers up there. I ran really well in Comp there years ago, and in Pro Stock we have been OK, but I certainly wouldn’t consider it successful, but we are planning on changing that this weekend. Our goal is to go there and qualify on the pole and win the race. I think we have a program that can do it.”
This season, Hartford has been engines provided by Elite Motorsports. Hartford has three runner-up finishes this season in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Denver.
In eight of the nine Pro Stock races this season, his worst qualifying position was sixth at Richmond. He was No. 10 on the qualifying ladder at the season-opening Winternationals.
“The Elite power for us is very reliable and it makes great power,” Hartford said. “It is an excellent engine program to be associated with. Our goal is to move back up in the points (for the Countdown to the Championship). I think we have a program that cane do it. All my team members are working hard and have the same goal as I do. I have said it 100 times, the team that makes the least mistakes should win.”
Showing up the races knowing he can win is a feeling Hartford loves because it has not always been that way.
“We talked about that at dinner (July 27),” Hartford said. “We were qualified fifth in Sonoma and we were disappointed. The perspective is it wasn’t too many years ago that we were hoping just to qualify. Now, we were disappointed we were only fifth. I’m not saying that with any intent other than we know we have a car that can qualify No. 1, so for us we strive for perfection. That’s all it is, we are just trying to better on every run and try and be No. 1. Now, there are 16 really good cars out there, so just to qualify is still great. But, when you that you have a car that can go to the front, that’s what you expect to do and that’s what you try to do. If you weren’t disappointed, honestly you’re not as much as a competitor as you think you are.”