Tom Hessert Enthusiastic; Confident Motoring To Springfield
Topics: Tom Hessert, Allen Crowe 100, Ken Schrader Racing
SPRINGFIELD, Illinois (August 16, 2011) - The recent uphill climb for Tom Hessert III in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards continued two weeks ago at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway where the Ken Schrader Racing posted their best finish of the season of fourth. Trekking to the Illinois State Fairgrounds (Springfield) for Sunday’s Allen Crowe 100, it would be safe to assume that Hessert’s chances of improving the team’s season statistics can lift considerably.
Set to make his fifth career start at the one-mile dirt paved oval, Hessert returns to Springfield not only hungry for his second career-win but also gunning to put his car owner, Ken Schrader back in victory lane there for the first time since 1998. Hessert’s veteran experience in an ARCA car, not to mention his healthy USAC experience have him pegged as a pre-race favorite in Sunday’s contest.
On the stretch of an impressive streak of four top-fives and eight top-10 in the last nine races, the Cherry Hill, New Jersey native is eager to improve on his track-best third place finish last August (2010) and return to victory lane with crew chief John Monsam at his side.
“Heck, it’s always exciting to go dirt racing, especially in the ARCA Racing Series,” said Hessert, a former USARacing Pro Cup Series star. “These cars are a blast to drive. You have to be prepared though for the track conditions to change quickly and having a game plan pre-set before the start of the race.”
Even though, Hessert returns to Springfield with Monsam at his side, the duo is flying under a different manufacturer and paint scheme – but the 25-year old is quick to point out that none of that matters at such an abrasive track like Springfield.
“As far as Springfield is concerned, it’s more of a driver’s race track. You have to know how to handle the track. You have to know how to pedal the throttle and work the car through the turns. It’s not a long race by any means, so starting up front is imperative to having a good run. Usually, we only make one pit stop too, so it’s crucial to make sure that the stop goes as smoothly as possible, so you can put yourselves in contention at the end.”
Pleased with the direction of his KSR team over the last month and a half, Hessert won’t be completely satisfied until the No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet Impala SS celebrates in victory lane.
“We’re getting closer,” he added. “John and I have been working a lot together on how to make our car stronger for the end of the race. We used some strategy at Pocono and it paid off for us. We know what we’re looking to unload with at Springfield on Sunday, so if we’re able to put the KSR machine back in victory circle for the first in 13 years at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, it would be big on a lot of accounts.”
Six races remain in the 2011 ARCA Racing Series schedule with Hessert currently locking the sixth position in the championship standings with Tim George Jr., a slim 10 points ahead.
“At this point, we’re focused on finishing strong and trying to win races,” Hessert sounded. “Just like last year, the competition has been ultra-competitive with little room for error. We’re just going to give everything we have these last half of dozen races or so and just do the best we can for Federated Auto Parts and all the supporters of Ken Schrader Racing.”
In addition to Federated Auto Parts, Cherry Hill Classic Cars will serve as an associate marketing partner for Hessert’s 78th career ARCA start. In his previous 77 outings, he has maneuvered one win, 16 top-fives and 40 top-10s.
The Allen Crowe 100 (100 laps / 100 miles) is the 14th of 19 events on the 2011 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. The 29th ARCA event held at the Illinois State Fairgrounds is a one-day show. Practice begins Sunday, August 21 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 Sunday afternoon shortly after 1:00 p.m. The event will not be televised but race coverage including live timing and scoring throughout the 1,326th 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.
For more on Tom Hessert III, please visit tomhessert.com.
NAME: Chris Knight, Knight Motorsports Management
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