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Tom Hessert Eager For Solid Run On Kansas Turf

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Tom Hessert, Kansas Lottery 98.9, Ken Schrader Racing

Tom Hessert Eager For Solid Run On Kansas Turf

Chris Knight
Knight Motorsports Management
October 4, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Kansas (October 4, 2011) - After mechanical failures in the two most recent ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards races at the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds and Salem (Ind.) Speedway respectively hampered the efforts of a potential win, Tom Hessert III and his Ken Schrader Racing (KSR) team are prepared to leave their bad luck in the rearview mirror and deliver a strong outing in Friday night’s Kansas Lottery 98.9 at Kansas Speedway.

Hessert III, driver of the No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet Impala for Ken Schrader Racing recently participated in an open-test session at the 1.5-mile oval hoping to give his team an added boost towards the 18th race of the season.

Through the eight-hour test session, Hessert guided his Ken Schrader-owned automobile to the ninth quickest lap around the facility in a time of 32.608 seconds or 165.604 miles per hour, less than a second off the quickest effort posted by Scott Lagasse Jr.

In order to give the KSR organization a shot at their first win of the season, the team has vigorously been working on the No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet Impala looking not only for a path to victory lane but also an opportunity to return Hessert back to the top-10 on the grounds of Kansas Speedway.

Last October, Hessert started 17th before blasting to a respectable sixth place run which mathematically left the Cherry Hill, New Jersey native in the hunt for the 2010 ARCA championship.

“I feel Kansas is a great place to put our No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet Impala back on the right path,” offered Hessert, a former competitor in the USARacing Pro Cup Series. “The test went pretty good. We worked on the car pretty hard throughout the day. Kansas is a very sensitive track so while horsepower is important there, so is handling. I’m looking forward to seeing how the changes will help our car and if we can’t learn a thing or two during practice on Friday.”

Another component that Hessert dwelled upon for Friday night’s dash is the distance of the event. “It’s a short race. 99 laps can go by fast, especially if you get behind early,” he explained. “You can’t afford to have any mistakes and if you do – you hope you can recover from them quickly. More than likely, it’s going to be a two-stop race as far as fuel as tires are concerned. I think you’ll see some strategy come into play and that could be the winning piece to the puzzle. It will definitely be interesting to see how the race unfolds.”

Beginning with Friday night’s Kansas Lottery 98.9, Hessert and his No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet will boast a pink paint scheme in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness which is promoted through the month of October. The KSR team will also hoist the identical paint scheme in the season finale, the Toledo ARCA 200 presented by Federated Car Care at Toledo Speedway on Sunday, October 16.

“I’m a big supporter of Breast Cancer Awareness,” sounded Hessert. “It’s a big deal at KSR and I’m honored to be a part of the campaign to help spread the word and encourage men and women to get tested. Real men wear and sport pink. Who knows it might be the medicine to lift our spirit around the garage and on the track.”

In conjunction with the Federated Auto Parts special paint schemes, R&R Enterprises has produced an exclusive line of merchandise to support the team's campaign. Schrader's wife, Ann, will be participating in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Charlotte, N.C., on October 22 and 23, in honor of two longtime friends, Lisa Meloni and Laura Jones, who have lost their battle with cancer.

KSR, Inc., its partners, and fans will donate to Mrs. Schrader's Avon Walk for Breast Cancer fundraising goal through the sale of the "pink" campaign merchandise, which will be offered for a limited time. Direct donations may be made to Mrs. Schrader's fundraising efforts at http://hop.to/legsforlisa.

“The tee-shirt is really cool looking, it turned out really nice,” continued Hessert. “I encourage not only my fans but also race fans in general to log onto the team’s website and order some merchandise for a really great cause.”

With just two races remaining on the circuit, Hessert occupies the seventh position in the championship standings and within an arm’s reach of fifth. A good run on Friday night would help propel the team towards making up part of that deficit.

“It’s been a competitive season this year and we’re a lot better than seventh,” added Hessert. “We’ve had some really strong runs but some bad runs have kept us from taking a stab at the championship. Hopefully we can have two good showings at Kansas and Toledo and see where the points fall into place and maybe, we’ll inch our way up the ladder.”

The Kansas Lottery 98.9 (99 laps / 148.5 miles) is the 18th of 19 events on the 2011 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. The 11th ARCA event held at Kansas Speedway is a one-day show. Practice begins Friday, October 7 with a two hour and 15 minute practice session planned from 9:00 a.m. -11:15 a.m. Menards Pole by Ansell qualifying is slated to begin later in the day at 5:35 p.m. The field will take the green flag approximately two hours later at 7:30 p.m. The event will be televised live on SPEED with additional race coverage including live timing and scoring throughout the 1,330th race for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards since it was formed in 1953 will be available through the ARCA Racing Network (ARN) online at arcaracing.com presented by ARCANation.com. All times are local.

In addition to Federated Auto Parts, Cherry Hill Classic Cars will serve as an associate marketing partner for Hessert’s 82nd career ARCA start. In his previous 81 outings, he has maneuvered one win, 18 top-fives and 42 top-10s.

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

To join Hessert and Ken Schrader Racing in their plan to spread the message about Breast Cancer awareness and to order you own “Pink” KSR memorabilia, please visit SchraderRacing.com.

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

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