Tom Hessert; Ken Schrader Racing In Search Of Victory Lane At DuQuoin
Topics: Tom Hessert, Southern Illinois 100, Ken Schrader Racing
DUQUOIN, Illinois (September 1, 2011) - After finishing second two weeks ago on the dirt track of the Illinois State Fairgrounds (Springfield), Tom Hessert III and his Ken Schrader Racing (KSR) team return to the dirt on Monday in search of building on their Springfield performance in the Southern Illinois 100 presented by Federated Auto Parts at the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds.
Entering Monday’s Labor Day tradition, momentum is definitely on Hessert’s side.
In the last seven races, the No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet Impala has finished inside the top-10 rewinding back to Winchester (Ind.) Speedway in June. Picking up the throttle even more, the last four outings have found Hessert stalking the leaders for his second career win as he’s mounted top-five finishes at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, Springfield and last Friday’s contest at Madison International Speedway.
Knowing it’s just a matter of when not if that Hessert will roar his No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet Impala to victory circle, the Cherry Hill, New Jersey native wouldn’t mind if it came in ARCA’s annual stop at the one-mile oval.
“I’ve been ready for DuQuoin,” offered Hessert. “Our cars have been really good lately and with our second at Springfield, we’re thirsty for a win. We’re bringing the same car that we raced at Springfield to the track on Monday, so I think our chances are as good as anyone else.”
The win would not only be huge for Hessert, who is considered one of the most popular drivers in the ARCA garage but even bigger for Ken Schrader Racing and Federated Auto Parts who is a presenting sponsor for the 16th race of the season.
“I know it’s been a while since KSR has been in victory lane and I couldn’t put together a better picture other than to do it on Monday in a race supported by our great sponsor Federated Auto Parts. It’s been a blast carrying their colors in 2011, but I’m ready to get my suit drenched in water and Gatorade.”
While some drivers and teams tend to compare the Illinois State Fairgrounds and the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds as sister tracks, Hessert knows that’s far from the case.
“There’s so much that’s different at DuQuoin than at Springfield. The car handles different, your line is different, carrying the speed in certain areas of the track changes and pit road is dramatically different. By no means is DuQuoin a piece a cake but you don’t really have a lot of time to fool around either because the race is over before you know it.”
Currently locking the fifth position in the championship standings with just four races remaining, Hessert knows that moving up the ladder is still possible but he also knows that defending his current spot is just as important.
“The competition has been so strong this season that even with our strong runs lately we’ve haven’t been able to make as big of a dent as we want to do in the points. We’re not going to give up. We’re going to stay focused and hope to keep our strong runs alive and hopefully earn a win or two before the end of the year,” sounded Hessert.
On top of everything, Hessert has the ammunition in the back of his mind of last year’s Southern Illinois 100 where he took the checkered flag in second behind Steve Arpin, keeping him away from victory, something he was accustomed to in his USAC days.
“One more spot. That’s all we need on Monday,” concluded Hessert.
The Southern Illinois 100 presented by Federated Auto Parts (100 laps / 100 miles) is the 16th of 19 events on the 2011 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. The 29th ARCA event held at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds is a one-day show. Practice begins Monday, September 5 with a one hour practice session planned from 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Menards Pole by Ansell qualifying is slated to begin at 11:00 a.m. The field will take the green flag that afternoon shortly after 1:00 p.m. The event will not be televised but race coverage including live timing and scoring throughout the 1,328th 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 80th career ARCA start. In his previous 79 outings, he has maneuvered one win, 18 top-fives and 42 top-10s.
For more on Tom Hessert III, please visit tomhessert.com.
NAME: Chris Knight, Knight Motorsports Management
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