This & That: Some Familiar Faces – DTD Exclusive


Hartman is a very familiar name in Capital District racing and Tim Hartman, Jr., is well known in Sportsman racing circles up and down the East coast.  A third generation driver, Tim, Jr., began his career in karts where he gained racing experience for six years before moving to Sportsman.  His plans are to stick with Sportsman because that is where his car owner and sponsor, Mike Parillo wants to put his efforts.  

Currently Tim races weekly at Albany-Saratoga and Lebanon Valley and has a car for each track; a 2023 Troyer, TD5 for Malta and a 2021 DKM for The Valley.  

Tim’s day job as a mechanical engineer keeps him busy and he and his wife, Jessica have two children, a daughter, Brexley, 4-years-old and his step-son, Jaxon 9. r

Sponsors on the Hartman No. 22 are MRP Companies, main sponsor and car owner, Service Master Restore, Kickfly’s Hemp Products, Bemiss Trucking, Irish Trucking, Mid-Tel and Swagger Factory.  Along with Tim, Jr., himself his crew consists of his father, Tim, Sr., Mike Pacquin and newly joined, Justin Capoccia.  

As we said earlier, Tim Hartman, Jr., is a well known name and one reason for that is his win total of 78 at 11 different tracks, and eight championships; Albany-Saratoga, 2018, 2020-2022; Lebanon Valley, 2022; Fonda, 2019 and STSS in 2019 and 2021.  

Going back in history at Albany-Saratoga we see a young Eric Mack winning two Sportsman features, the first on May 21,2004 and then again that same year on June 18, nearly 20 years ago.  On Friday night at the Great Race Place, Eric was back in victory lane.  

We first spoke with Eric this season at the Fonda car show at the ViaPort in Rotterdam and asked him then why he was coming back to racing with a Sportsman rather than a Modified.  With all his knowledge and as co-owner and car builder at DKM he certainly could have a Modified.  He said with the cost of motors today, he just couldn’t see doing it.  He went on to say, he was going to race for the fun of it.  

Eric also said that while working with Stewart Friesen he learned a valuable lesson, studying the track and the conditions.  We’ve seen many of the best drivers do just that, one that comes to mind is Brett Hearn, he was always studying the track and looking at his records.  

We see Eric improving each and every week.  On Sunday at Glen Ridge he was still smiling about the win.  And we also know the “Cyclone” himself was looking down and smiling too. 

Third generation driver, Kerra Backus came to Glen Ridge on Sunday for the first time in her seven year career as a Sportsman driver.  Kerra races regularly at Can-Am and Fulton and this season is following the DIRTcar Sportsman Series.  She has two different cars, her Teo chassis for her weekly racing and a Bicknell for the series.  Kerra normally drives the No. 48 but this season she is in the Lightning McQueen No. 95 to honor the ten year anniversary of when her father Aaron ran a car with that theme.  

By day and to help support her racing efforts, Kerra is a cardiac nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse and has a second job with Well Now Urgent Care.  Her nickname at her home track of CanAm is the “Cardiac Kid”.  

Sponsors on the Backus Sportsman are Bruce Electric, Ashley Lynn Winery, Dig Race Products, Haun Welding, Pita Dream, Mauro Site Development, Penn Power Group, Absolute Property Services, and Murphy’s Tree Service.  Crew members include her dad, Aron, grandfather, Dave, sister, Mackenzee, Emma Cronk and her fiancé Jake Davis.  

Kerra has one win in the Novice Sportsman at Fulton and a few top fives and top tens.  Her goal this season is to see as many of the tracks on the SDS and qualify for Super Dirt Week.  

Jim Becker of the Becker Race Team of Middleburgh was at Glen Ridge on Sunday for the first time in several years.  Jim had sent out a team update earlier in the week explaining that the car he would have at Glen Ridge was a 2011 Bicknell that had been sitting for a time.  The car had also been wrecked and clipped three times but still came back as fast as it had been before the wreck.  He said it was his favorite car and on Sunday it showed that Jim was comfortable in his favorite ride, he finished third in his qualifying heat and did well in the main event.  

We’ve known Jim and his family for almost as long as he’s been racing, he began in 1993 and we began writing for the local paper in Schoharie County in 1994.  One thing we can alway rely on Jim for is an update on his racing, when he races.  And when he races now depends on his other responsibilities like family and business.  Jim is President of MiID-TEL and INOC Datacenters and puts in a full day plus.  

Jim’s family has always been a priority, coaching his kids teams and traveling to sports events, so now that his son, is graduating high school this year and his daughter, Megan is a junior in college he can carve out a bit more time to go to the shop and get his hands dirty and be with the guys, Paul Brauer and Ken Newkirk for a break from what he does everyday.  And this would not be possible without the great partnership  he has in his wife, Carolyn. 

Jim’s racing career began in Street Stocks on the Outlaw Circuit with his brother, Jason and supported by his late father, Scott and mother, Barb.  His first Street Stock win came in 1995 at Utica-Rome.  After Street Stocks, Jim moved to Sportsman where he had two wins at Albany-Saratoga and after moving to Modifieds he scored two wins at Glen Ridge.  Except for his early career he has not raced on a regular basis most seasons and he says he understands to be successful in racing you need to race on a regular schedule, but Jim is racing for the fun and departure from his daily work schedule and loves every minute of it.  

Sponsors on Becker No. 9 are FirstLight, MIDTEL, NTC Net, Four Star Realty Group,  INOC Datacenters, Adirondack Funds and iPayment TriState.  

As we close we give our thanks for all the veterans that have served and especially those that gave the ultimate sacrifice.  Have a great and safe holiday weekend.

Until next week please send all news and/or comments to