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Patience Yields Tom Hessert Top-Five; Points Lead At Toledo Speedway

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Tom Hessert, Menards 200

Patience Yields Tom Hessert Top-Five; Points Lead At Toledo Speedway

Chris Knight
Knight Motorsports Management
Ken Schrader Racing
May 21, 2012

Tom Hessert Tom Hessert
TOLEDO, Ohio (May 21, 2012) - - A gallant effort by Tom Hessert III Sunday afternoon at Toledo Speedway yielded the Cherry Hill, New Jersey native his second consecutive top-five finish of the year and ultimately the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards championship point’s lead following the conclusion of the Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care.

After practice on Saturday, the team led by veteran crew chief Donnie Richeson adjusted their No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet Impala accordingly for Menards pole qualifying presented by Ansell. During time trials, Hessert laid down the 10th quickest lap and noted that his racecar was impeccably improved from earlier in the day.

The green flag waived shortly after 2:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon with the 25-year old hovering in the top-15 through the race’s first 70 circuits. An extremely loose No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet Impala saw Hessert manhandling his automobile in order to stay with the lead group.

Lap 66 offered the first opportunity for Richeson to bring his pilot to pit road for two right side tires and fuel which sat him for 14th for the impending restart on lap 69.

Hessert’s strong day was nearly thwarted when the No. 42 of Clay Rogers went for a spin on the frontstretch on lap 73 and in the direct path of Hessert. Superb car-control and attentiveness by the ARCA veteran allowed him to escape the scene of the incident completely unscathed.

By the halfway point, the former CARS Pro Cup Series (formally known as the USARacing Pro Cup Series) had climbed back to 10th and clearly on the move.

Chaos however broke out on the backstretch on lap 111 immediately throwing a yellow-flag over the track and another opportune time for Richeson to bring the No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet Impala for his final planned stop of the day. A jam-packed pit road with mere inches separating the racecars leaving the congested area, Hessert would find himself 13th for a lap 117 restart.

11 laps later, Hessert had cleverly maneuvered his Ken Schrader Racing (KSR) vehicle into ninth and posting some of the quickest laps in the field. With 50 laps remaining, Hessert found himself eighth and the slickness of the sun-covered track aiding them in their effort in catching the cars ahead of him.

By lap 152 after a brief caution, Hessert found himself sixth on the grid and in the clutches of the No. 58 of Chad Hackenbracht. By lap 181, Hessert was finally able to make the move by Hackenbracht rising to fifth overall.

With the track under green flag conditions, Hessert quickly began reeling in the third and fourth place cars of Grant Enfinger and Clint King – but ran out of laps to make the passes. Instead, Hessert took the checkered flag in fifth, notching his fourth top-10 finish in the year’s first five contests.

The team’s efforts during the 200-lap contest allowed the former NASCAR Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car star to swallow a 55-margin to previous championship leader Brennan Poole and gain sole control of the championship standings and hold a 15-point cushion over second-place competitor Chris Buescher.

“Overall, it was a strong day for everyone on this Federated Auto Parts Racing team,” said Hessert. “We had to chase the handling of our car a little bit, but I don’t think we were alone in that department. In the end, our car was handling at it’s best and we just needed a couple more laps to get around those guys ahead of us. But, still we’ll take fifth and the points lead and see if we can’t keep this momentum on our side heading to Elko. I’m just really proud of Donnie (Richeson) and the guys and can’t thank Ken Schrader (team owner) for the opportunity.”

Next up on the tour is the sixth stop of the season at Elko (Minn.) Speedway, a new track for the series’ 60th anniversary tour. The Akona 200 presented by Federated Car Care is set for Saturday, June 2. The green flag is set to fly shortly after 8:00 p.m. in the one-day show with live radio coverage available through the ARCA Racing Network online at ARCARacing.com.

Exiting Toledo, Hessert has 88 career ARCA Racing Series starts. In those outings, he has maneuvered two poles, one win, 21 top-fives and 47 top-10s.

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

Hessert has joined the Twitter crave. Follow and connect with him @TomHessert.

PHOTO CAPTION 1: The No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet driven by Tom Hessert III in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards for Ken Schrader Racing (KSR).

PHOTO CAPTION 2: Tom Hessert, driver of the No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards for Ken Schrader Racing (KSR).


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

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