Tom Hessert Notches Another Top-10 At Berlin
Tom Hessert Notches Another Top-10 At Berlin
MARNE, Michigan (July 11, 2011)
Knight Motorsports Management
Ken Schrader Racing
July 11, 2011
- - It appeared that Tom Hessert III in his No. 52 Federated Auto Parts / Tape Wrangler Chevrolet Impala was headed towards a second consecutive top-five finish Saturday night at Berlin (Mich.) Raceway, but an incident coming to the checkered flag instead resulted in a sixth place finish in the Hantz Group 200.
The finish though for the Cherry Hill, New Jersey native was no indication of the actual performance of the Ken Schrader Racing (KSR) driver. In practice Saturday afternoon, Hessert and his KSR team flexed their muscle by producing the fifth fastest lap around the .4-mile oval. The effort didn’t come without its headache as the team experienced problems with their power steering pump during the hour and a half session.
Quick work by the team led by John Monsam had Hessert fixed up and ready to go for qualifying. In time trials, Hessert busted out a lap of 17.377 seconds at 103.585 miles per hour lining the No. 52 Federated Auto Parts / Tape Wrangler Chevrolet Impala seventh on the starting grid.
When the green flag dropped, it was Hessert that was on the move. Although being stalled by a first lap caution, Hessert had already climbed into the top-five by the conclusion of lap one. Back to racing, Hessert continued his movement towards the front and found himself in the third spot by lap 10.
The field would settle into a stretched out long-green flag run with the former USARacing Pro Cup Series pilot still hovering in the third position. Hessert would be passed by last year’s series champion Patrick Sheltra just after halfway sliding the No. 52 entry back into the fourth position.
A caution flag would waive on lap 117 offering the perfect timing for Hessert to bring his Chevrolet bowtie to the attention of his KSR team for four tires and fuel. A great stop by his team saw Hessert exit the pits in the top-five.
On the restart, Hessert continued his trek back towards the front. Maneuvering back into fourth, Hessert set his sights on the leaders which consisted of Tim George Jr., Matt Merrell and Grant Enfinger. Nine-time ARCA champion Frank Kimmel though would roar to life inside the race’s 50 circuits and challenged Hessert for the fourth spot.
When the caution flag waived on lap 189, Monsam elected to bring his driver to pit road for two tires, a gamble to put his driver in contention for his second career victory.
Racing resumed inside the event’s final 10 laps with Hessert stalking his prey ahead of him but having to fend off other pitters which included Chad Hackenbracht and Sheltra. The yellow flag quickly returned on the track when Kimmel spun between turns three and four.
The ARCA Racing Series elected to throw the green and white flags simultaneously setting up for a one lap shootout. As Hessert began battling with Hackenbracht and Sheltra for the fourth position, contact was made coming to the checkered flag which saw the No. 52 Federated Auto Parts / Tape Wrangler Chevrolet Impala spinning backwards towards the start-finish line.
Beaten up but still drivable, Hessert claimed sixth behind Sheltra and Hackenbracht.
“The last couple of laps were real intense,” offered Hessert. “The boys on this Ken Schrader Racing team gave me a great car. We were fast when we unloaded and even though we didn’t get the starting position we didn’t necessarily want, the car came to life at the start of the race and we found ourselves going forward. I’m not real sure what happened there on the last lap. We were all racing pretty hard and contact was made and well, that was the end of that. It wasn’t anything intentional, but it did cost us a top-five.”
He added, “I want to thank Federated Auto Parts, Cherry Hill Classic Cars and especially Tape Wrangler who jumped on-board with us for Berlin. I hate we couldn’t bring them home the trophy but hopefully we gave them all something to be proud about.”
By recording his seventh top-10 finish of the year, Hessert occupies eighth in the championship standings accumulating 1920 points, just 95 markers behind seventh and sixth place competitors Matt Merrell and Tim George Jr.
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards is a trip out West to Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa for the running of the Prairie Meadows 200 on Saturday, July 16th. The 11th race of the season will air live on SPEED and ARCARacing.com beginning at 4:00 p.m. Hessert is the defending champion of the race after scoring his first career victory their last July.
In addition to Federated Auto Parts and Tape Wrangler, Cherry Hill Classic Cars served as an associate marketing partner for Hessert’s 74th career ARCA start. In those 74 outings, he has maneuvered one win, 14 top-fives and 37 top-10s.
For more on Tom Hessert III, please visit tomhessert.com.
NAME: Chris Knight, Knight Motorsports Management
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