Day Motor Sports Driver Profile: Shane Hartline hitting his stride in Limited Mods

IVANHOE, Texas — We’ve seen it time and time again; a driver gets his (or her) program dialed in to perfection, and starts to reel off wins like there’s no tomorrow. Chassis setups, engine tuning and team chemistry come together to produce a hot streak, and fans take notice. 

For 36-year-old North Texas racer Shane Hartline, the summer of 2023 is his time to shine. Now in his 15th year of oval racing, he’s on a nice roll in Limited Modified. He’s earned three wins in four starts, and there’s more on the horizon. 

“That win at Rocket on Saturday was actually our third in a row,” Hartline said. “The first one came at Hunt County Raceway in Greenville; we got the win there with a last-lap pass. Then we went to Southern Oklahoma Speedway in Ardmore, and won up there from 12th on the grid. 

“I started third this past Saturday night, and ended up squeaking by, is what I would say.” 

Hartline, like his brother Shannon, has learned a great deal in nearly 15 years going in circles on dirt. 

“I started racing back in 2008,” he explained. “I started out in SportMods and raced in them pretty much all the way through 2018. We bought a Modified in 2016; so I did double duty that year and half way through 2017 until we wrecked the car. 

“We had to rebuilt it, and moved on from there. I ran that car primarily for a while, that’s really where my preference is when it comes to driving. But the SportMod is kind of like home; being in that class for so long makes it familiar and comfortable.”  

As we’ve discussed at length earlier this year, the level of competition in his region is off the chart. 

“I feel it’s tough to hit the podium in any of the classes here in North Texas,” Hartline said. “Just look at Rocket Raceway, for example; they’ve had five different drivers with two wins apiece this year. Nobody is dominating; you have lots of cars capable of winning now on any given weekend.”  

Hartline is a double-duty driver, putting his skills to use in two premier classes on a regular basis. 

“I own the USRA Modified I run, it’s a 2017 Bills Built chassis out of Park City, Kansas. The Limited Mod I drive for Jasen Loftice is a 2018 Wicked Chassis built by Donnie Shipp. It has a Bullet motor in it and is fun to drive. I really love my Modified, but right now I’m more comfortable in the Limited.” 

Along with his nearly 15 years of experience and top-notch race cars, Hartline also has several key supporters keeping his program on-track and successful. 

“I’m blessed to have a ton of support for both cars,” he explained. “On the Modified, I’d like to thank Snap-On Tools by Shane Hartline, Hartline Machine, Hair by Hartline, Alpha Transmission, Bronco Manufacturing, K&M Roofing & Construction, Clement and Son Sand & Gravel; Boeing Billy Selah, J&G Services, Muddbones, Skeeters Metal Art and Ain’t It Racing.

“I also need to thank Chanda Hartline, Trevor Hartline, James and Wanda Hartline, Jason and Amanda Hartline, Shannon and Sabrina Hartline, Donald and Wendy Hopkins, Brian Hopkins and David Votaw. I appreciate what all they do.”

Yet when you run two different cars, you need two groups of people to make it all happen. 

“On the Limited Modified, I want to thank car owner Jasen Loftice, Joe Loftice, J&G Services, Collin County Fence, Mission Under Ground, Bullets Racing Engines, Thomason Tire, R 2 t Racing, X-treme Graphics, Tire Workz, and Donnie Shipp at Wicked Race Cars. We couldn’t do this without them.” 

As summer starts that downhill slide and racers begin to think of Fall Specials, Hartline knows what he wants to accomplish before all is said and done this season.  

“I’ll just be kind of a freelancer for the rest of this year,” he explained. “Towards the end of the year, I’ll head for some of the big-money Fall Specials. My plan is to just keep working on both cars, trying to get them a little faster. Our goal is to prevail in one of those big shows, we’ll work hard to get it done.”

By Phil Whipple, Staff Writer
Photo by Stacy Kolar/Southern Sass Photography