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Tom Hessert Carrying Momentum In 2012 ARCA Season Opener

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Tom Hessert, Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200

Tom Hessert Carrying Momentum In 2012 ARCA Season Opener

Chris Knight
Knight Motorsports Management
Ken Schrader Racing
February 14, 2012


“ARCA Veteran Returns To Business With Daytona Win On His Mind”

Tom Hessert
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (February 14, 2012) - - Tom Hessert III enjoys racing at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and he is eager to show it when the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards take center-stage for the running of the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 on Saturday afternoon.

Of course, Hessert is one of the early-race headliners heading into his 84th career ARCA start and rightfully so. The Cherry Hill, New Jersey native will begin his anticipated fifth full-season of ARCA touring returning with Ken Schrader Racing (KSR) behind the wheel of the No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Toyota Camry. The team attracted attention towards the end of the season last year when a strong span of eight top-10 finishes including seven consecutive in the last 11 races of the year trademarked his presence.

Returning to the 2.5-mile superspeedway for the fifth time in his career, the former CARS Pro Cup Series (formally known as the USARacing Pro Cup Series) is itching for a soaring performance. Despite always coming to the “World Center of Racing” with competitive equipment, Hessert has been denied a top-10 finish in four of his five occasions.

Despite the circumstances, which were out of Hessert’s controls, he is now reeling in the possibility of being the first to take the checkered flag on Saturday, especially on the momentum of his team’s late-season surge which nearly sent him to his second-career victory in the season finale last October at Toledo Speedway.

“I just have that feeling that this year (at Daytona) is going to be a good one for us,” offered Hessert, whose vying for his first ARCA win since 2010. “Donnie (Richeson, crew chief) and the whole team have been perfecting our No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Toyota Camry getting it ready for action on Saturday.”

The veteran-ARCA team has elected to bring the same chassis that they bolted to a sound sixth place finish after starting fifth at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway last April.

“This Toyota is a pretty good piece,” Hessert admitted. “It really flies in the draft and that’s crucial to being competitive at these superspeedway tracks. I know that we can come to Daytona, a track similar to Talladega and boost the same type of speed that will undoubtedly aid us for the race on Saturday.”

A quick glance at the entry-list immediately sparked interest to the former NASCAR Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car driver that the first of 20 races this season will be no piece of cake. “It appears it’s going to be a very strong and competitive field,” Hessert remarked. “There’s no hiding around that. Even though we opted out of participating in the Daytona test, I saw that there was a bunch of teams and drivers down there and it looks like most of them have come backed to try and race. As a team, we’ll have to be cautious with the moves we make on the track, but also show a sign of patient-aggressive driving. Automatically, you think of a bunch of teams that always come to these plate races and are strong. We know we can be equally strong but we may need that extra boost in a form of a drafting partner to be that center-stage, we’ll just see how it all unfolds.”

He concluded by saying, “ARCA’s been a great home to me and I’m glad to be back in 2012. You never know what to expect when you get to the track; but I can promise you that we’re going to give no less than all we have to give and put our No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Toyota Camry in the spotlight.”

The Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona (80 laps / 200 miles) is the first of 20 events on the 2012 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. The 49th ARCA race held at Daytona is a three-day show. Practice begins Thursday, February 16 with a four hour practice session planned from 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Menards pole qualifying presented by Ansell is set for Friday, February 17 slated to begin at 2:00 p.m. A forty-five minute final practice session is etched in on Saturday, February 18th from 10:00 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. The event will take the green flag later that day shortly after 4:30 p.m. The race will be televised live on SPEED with additional race coverage including live timing and scoring and radio broadcast through the ARCA Racing Network (ARN) online at arcaracing.com. All times are local. ARCA, celebrating its 60th season in 2012 is the preamble for the highly anticipated Budweiser Shootout for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) set to ignite under the lights later that night.

Leaning into Daytona, Hessert has 83 career ARCA Racing Series starts. In those outings, he has maneuvered two poles, one win, 19 top-fives and 43 top-10s.

For more on Tom Hessert III, please visit tomhessert.com.

Hessert has joined the Twitter crave. Follow and connect with him @TomHessert.

PHOTO CAPTION: Tom Hessert, driver of the No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Toyota Camry in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards for Ken Schrader Racing.

MEDIA CONTACT:

NAME: Chris Knight, Knight Motorsports Management
PHONE: 239.834.9797
EMAIL: chris@chrisknightpr.com

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