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Tom Hessert & ABR Look For Recovery In Cayuga

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Tom Hessert, Cayuga ARCA RE/MAX 250

Tom Hessert & ABR Look For Recovery In Cayuga

Chris Knight
Andy Belmont Racing
June 24, 2008


Tom Hessert Tom Hessert
HAGERSVILLE, ONTARIO (June 25, 2008) - - After two disappointing finishes at Pocono Raceway and Michigan International Speedway respectively, Andy Belmont Racing (ABR) and SunTrust Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Tom Hessert are ready to return to top-five status and rebound with a career run in Sunday’s Cayuga ARCA RE/MAX 250.

Never having the opportunity of visiting Cayuga Motor Speedway in the past may present challenges for much of the ARCA RE/MAX Series field but Hessert is hoping that the experience of veteran Andy Belmont and his Andy Belmont Racing team will put the team in contention for the win in the 10th event on the 2008 season.

“Cayuga is going to be very interesting,” Hessert admitted. “A lot of us are going to the track this weekend blindsided. We can’t do much about it so we have to look at this on a positive angle. We’ll plan to be one of the first to go out in practice and find our comfort zone and hope to be a contender all weekend long.”

A new face will help call the shots for Hessert for the remainder of the season as Andy Belmont Racing announced that David Leiner will assume the role as crew chief on the No. 1 Maaco America’s Bodyshop machine beginning with Sunday’s event.

“We’re happy to welcome David (Leiner) to the Andy Belmont Racing family,” said Andy Belmont. “He has an exceptional history in racing and we feel that with his additional expertise he can rise this team up another notch. We’re expecting great things.”

When asked if the rookie ARCA RE/MAX Series competitor prefers the short track or superspeedways on the tour, he replied. “It’s racing. I enjoy being in the cockpit and I enjoy racing hard. We’ve had some success on both the short track and speedways this year but the time is coming where we’ll have all the dots connected and we will notch our first career victory together. I hope it’s this weekend in the Maaco America’s Bodyshop Ford Fusion.”

Expecting Cayuga Motor Speedway to be a similar United States short track racing circuit the ultra conservative Hessert will take a laid back approach for practice before switching gears for qualifying and the race.

“We can’t afford to have any hiccups in practice,” added Hessert. “We’ll go out there and drive hard during our qualifying runs but I’m not going to put myself or our team in a position where we might have to roll out the back-up. We just need to focus on getting a solid setup. I need to learn the track then the rest of the pieces will fit together.”

Andy Belmont Racing will bring “Daisey” to Cayuga Motor Speedway this weekend. Daisey started life at Team Red Bull Racing and driver Brian Vickers before being acquired by ABR in 2007. The team has since converted the former Dodge Charger into a stout Ford Fusion. Hessert qualified an impressive fourth at Salem Speedway before finishing 15th. This is the same automobile that Hessert notched his third top-10 finish of the season with at Toledo Speedway last month.

“This car has a good track record,” Hessert noted. “I know what the car likes and what it doesn’t. As a driver at a track like Cayuga Motor Speedway, I think they can play into our benefit. We’ll start with a conservative short track setup and adjust our car based upon what we learn from on-track activity Saturday. I have a good feeling.”

Before crossing the border to Canada, ABR will head to Greenville-Pickens Speedway in South Carolina to make the final touches on the No. 1 Maaco America’s Bodyshop Ford Fusion with the goal of securing the team’s first top-five finish of the 2008 season.

“We’ve adjusted the car a little bit from Toledo, so the main purpose for Greenville-Pickens is to make sure the car is ready for action. This car has qualified and finished in the top-10 this year but not on the same weekend. I want to put both of those words together and put an all-around start and finish that we all can be happy about,” sounded Hessert.

From Cayuga Motor Speedway, ABR will return to the United States and steer towards Sparta, Kentucky where the team will participate in an open ARCA RE/MAX Series test at Kentucky Speedway on Tuesday, July 1st in preparation for the 11th installment on the schedule, the Kentucky ARCA RE/MAX 150 set for Friday night, July 18.

Entering Cayuga, Hessert, in Jennifer Belmont owned Ford Fusions controls eighth in the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series championship standings just 345 markers from the lead. In nine races this season, Hessert has claimed three top-10 finishes including a very stout sixth place run in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway followed by top-10 performances at Rockingham Speedway and Toledo Speedway respectively. He has controlled the ARCA field for once for 21 laps. The former USAC star will make his 12th career ARCA start Sunday.

Boudreaux’s Butt Paste will join Hessert in his inaugural trip to Cayuga Motor Speedway as a major associate sponsor in this weekend’s event.

The Cayuga ARCA RE/MAX 250 (156.25 miles/250 laps) is the 10th of 21 events on the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule. The first ARCA event held at Cayuga Motor Speedway is a two-day show. Practice begins Saturday, June 28 with an hour and half practice session planned from 12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying is slated to begin at 3:30 p.m. The field will take the green flag on Sunday, June 29 shortly after 1:30 p.m. The race will not be televised however, additional race coverage including live timing and scoring will be available online at arcaracing.com. All times are local.

For more information on Tom Hessert, III please visit TomHessert.com

For additional input on Andy Belmont Racing, please logon to AndyBelmont.com

TEAM CONTACT:

Andy Belmont, Andy Belmont Racing
andy@andybelmont.com
704.682.3410

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