Tom Hessert Rebounds With Top-Five At Winchester
Topics: Tom Hessert, Winchester ARCA 200
WINCHESTER, Indiana (June 28, 2011) - In a race that was adorned with the Federated Auto Parts signage, Tom Hessert III in the No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet Impala rebounded his 2011 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season Saturday night in the Winchester ARCA 200 at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway.
Despite his massive amount of experience in the development series, the Cherry Hill, New Jersey native had never experienced the power of Winchester in a stock-car, but that fact is now extinct.
Hoping to utilize that experience during the ninth race of the season, Hessert and his Ken Schrader Racing (KSR) team were heavily optimistic entering the third short track race of the year.
In practice Saturday afternoon, Hessert guided the No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet Impala to the seventh quickest lap overall during the lone practice session of the day Communicating with crew chief John Monsam following practice, the two offered suggestions to improve the handling on their Chevrolet bowtie.
Time trials showed that Hessert mounted the 13th fastest lap in qualifications. Even though the team wasn’t happy with their starting position, they were confident in their race setup in ARCA’s return trip to Winchester Speedway.
From the drop of the green flag, the No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet Impala dialed in nicely with the track. Moving up the ranks, Hessert found himself knocking on the door of the top-10 inside the first five circuits of the race. Inching forward, the caution flag waived on lap 10 for an incident in turn four. Right before the yellow, Hessert’s No. 52 made contact with another competitor in typical short track beating and banging action.
Better to be safe than sorry, Monsam elected to bring his former USARacing Pro Cup Series driver to pit road where the team worked on the right front fender of the No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet before sending their driver back into battle.
Marred deep inside the top-20, Hessert would have to exercise patience as he methodically maneuvered his General Motors piece through the field. Hessert once again found himself solidly in the top-10 when a multi-car wreck ensued on lap 37.
Back to racing, Hessert would begin to battle the handling of his race car. As the race progressed into a long green flag run, Hessert would find himself fighting to stay on the lead lap against leader Ryan Blaney on lap 88. Blaney would prevail with Hessert tucked in behind the No. 25.
Luck would strike for the KSR team on lap 93 when the yellow flag waived with the No. 52 became the beneficiary of the Aarons Lucky Dog, thus putting Hessert back on the lead circuit.
Nestled safely in the top-10 during the second half of the race, it would be another long green flag run that would find Hessert fending off the leader to maintain a spot on the lead lap. A gallant effort by Hessert would come up short, but with just four cars on the lead lap, the yellow flag waived putting Hessert once again back on the lead circuit.
Over the course of the final 30 laps, Hessert would find himself as high as second but eventually have to settle for fifth despite giving point’s leader Ty Dillon a run for fourth literally coming to the checkered flag.
“Winchester is an awesome place,” commented Hessert. “That race was over pretty quick. We struggled a little bit today with the handling of our No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet. The guys on the Ken Schrader Racing team did a good job adjusting on the car and we made the best out of the situation.”
He added, “no one really wanted to give an inch those last couple laps and that’s typical good ole’ fashion short track racing. I had a lot of fun racing Ty (Dillon) there at the end and I was happy to be able to rebound from our misfortune last week at Michigan. Thanks again to the team and especially Federated Auto Parts not only for their support of us, but supporting ARCA’s return to racing at Winchester.”
With the ninth race of the year complete and officially at the half-way mark in the 2011 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards series, Hessert occupies eighth in the championship standings just 60 makers behind seventh place runner Matt Merrell.
Thus far in 2011, the 25-year old Hessert and the KSR team have produced two top-fives and six top-10 finishes. A second place (outside pole) at New Jersey Motorsports Park is the team’s best qualifications effort to date this season.
In addition to Federated Auto Parts, Cherry Hill Classic Cars served as an associate marketing partner for Hessert’s 73rd career ARCA start. In those 73 outings, he has maneuvered one win, 14 top-fives and 36 top-10s.
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series is their final stop in the Great Lakes state with a stop at Berlin (Mich.) Raceway for the running of the Hantz Group 200 set for Saturday, July 9th. Hessert will make his fourth start at the Marne, Michigan race track looking to secure his fourth consecutive top-10 effort.
For more on Tom Hessert III, please visit tomhessert.com.
NAME: Chris Knight, Knight Motorsports Management
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