Driver Series: S02E03 – #37 Wayne Hartley
Birthdate: April 8th
Hometown: LaPlata, MD
Home track: Langley Speedway
Occupation: Shop Forman at Henry’s Engineering
Sponsors: Henry’s Engineering, Signature Home Settlements, H&S Printing
Everyone has their own reason they enjoy this sport we call auto racing. For some it’s the thrill, the speed, and the adrenaline. To some it’s the competitiveness – the ability to go out on the track and prove they are better than you. Then for some it’s the process, the process of building a car with your bare hands, making it look and run great. Wayne Hartley is one of those guys. “I consider myself an old school racer,” Hartley tells The Weekly Racer. “I learned to enjoy the process of building a race car way before I learned about the thrills of racing. I value the workmanship that goes into building a car and the ingenuity to keep the car competitive.”
Like most drivers Hartley grew up around the sport of racing. His dad raced from the 70’s through the mid 80’s at tracks like Beltsville (MD) & the former Old Dominion Speedway (VA). Little Hartley learned at a young age the art and skill that goes into building a car and keeping it competitive. Unlike most of the drivers we talk to Hartley did not start racing until he graduated high school. At the tender ole age of 19, Hartley had the opportunity to build his very first race car, a Grandstock which he ran at Old Dominion Speedway (ODS) for about six to seven years.
Hartley has now been in the sport over twenty years and tells us he still enjoys playing the game. In his time in a Grandstock he was able to rack up over twenty wins and able to finish third in the point at ODS three years in a row. With all that success Hartley and his team decided they would try there luck with the “big dogs.” In the late 90’s Hartley moved up to the Late Model Stock division running a limited schedule through the mid 2000’s. “We raced the Late Model Stock Car class,” Hartley said. “But the amount of money that needed to be invested to remain competitive was our biggest hurdle.”
The decision to move over to the mods were based more off the financials. Hartley ran and won Rookie of the Year in the Rolling Thunder Modified Series in 2008. Out of that sparked a new partnership that allowed Hartley to climb back into a car at Old Dominon Speedway through 2011. The team spent all of 2013 building a brand new mod that would be run at Langley Speedway during the 2014 season citing larger and stronger car counts – not to mention the closing of ODS.
Hartley and his crew intend to run all fourteen schedule races at Langley Speedway in 2015 as their home track. “We want to continue to learn the track and see how competitive we can be in the points system,” Harley says. “It’s a whole group of people that make this operation work – Joe Sorensen and Ray Bracey are two of my best friends that have been part of my team during most of my career. Joe’s wife Vicki and Ray’s wife Linda have put up with me monopolizing a lot of their summer time as well as being supportive fans. The support of my girlfriend Allison, my girls Jenna, Kelsey and Kayla make it possible for us to race as a family.”
Hartley opened 2015 with a solid top five finish in opening night (Pepsi Night at the Races – Modifieds) but was later told his carbourator did not past post race technical inspection. His fifth place finish would be stripped away from him. When talking with Hartley after the race he was still very optimistic of the season. “Hey I’m tickled to death. I am loading the car up in one piece, we ran good, I’m happy. We will get things right and come back next time.”
You can see and cheer on Wayne Hartley next at Langley Speedway on Saturday May 2nd as they should be the featured division of the night.
So let’s start off with something pretty easy, what is your favorite thing to eat? Can be something that’s homemade or something you go out to get.
Wings and pizza. Especially when I get to eat them together.
Don’t think about this next answer, just the first thing that comes to your mind… You just won the lottery, very first thing you do with your winnings?
Pay my house off and go on a long vacation.
Tell me the last movie you went out to see?
We recently saw American Sniper.
Your thoughts on it?
That movie gave a pretty clear perspective of how our soldiers have to survive. It also reminded me how lucky we are to live in the USA.
Okay so everyone one has to have at least one or two things they just hate when they are out in public. For me, I hate when you wash your hands in bathrooms with the air dryers and the air doesn’t get warm until your pretty much done. What is something you hate that happens when your in public?
I hate people that ride my bumper because they are in a big hurry.
You run the #37 on your modified, I know in sports all over numbers mean a lot of different things to a lot of different athletes. What does the #37 mean to Wayne Hartley.
#37 is the number that my dad ran most of his racing career. It is a number that I have run off and on during my time as a racer. I’ve had a lot of competitive racing with that number and we decided to bring it back with hopes of finding some of that competitiveness. The number holds sentimental value and I’d be lying if I said we weren’t hoping to find that same level of competitiveness we had in the past.
Okay so by some weird mixture of chemicals you have found a way to open a time portal that will take you back to any time you want for just two hours. Where will you go and what would you do with your time.
I would love to go back in time to spend those hours with my grandfather Hartley. I would have loved to have known him better.
The girlfriend has locked you out of the trailer, the shop and the track! She tells you for one day you have to do something outside of racing, what are we going to do?
I would spend quality time with my her and daughters.
I’m impartial but any racecar looks good no matter what color it is if it’s going fast.
Growing up what’s was your dream car?
I never had a dream car but I love 66 4 door Cadillac’s.
On the flip side to that, what was your very first car?
My first car was not a car it was a 67 Chevy pickup.
With money not being an option, work taken care of, what would be the ultimate vacation spot for you and your family
I think we want to do a long multi destination trip. We want to hit Las Vegas, New Orleans, Key West and maybe end it on a tropical island.