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Obstacles Can’t Keep Tom Hessert From Top-10 Run At Mobile

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Tom Hessert, Mobile ARCA 200

Obstacles Can’t Keep Tom Hessert From Top-10 Run At Mobile

Chris Knight
Knight Motorsports Management
Ken Schrader Racing
March 14, 2012

Tom Hessert Tom Hessert
MOBILE, Alabama (March 14, 2012) - - Tom Hessert III had high hopes for this past weekend’s inaugural ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards contest at Mobile (Ala.) International Speedway, however obstacles throughout the weekend would prove to be no match for the Cherry Hill, New Jersey native and his team.

With crew chief Donnie Richeson calling the shots of the No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet, Hessert along with his Ken Schrader Racing (KSR) team started off the Mobile ARCA 200-weekend strong but the team would become a victim of another competitor’s mishap near the end of practice that destroyed the team’s primary Chevrolet forcing the North Carolina-based team to roll out the backup-car for Menards pole qualifying presented by Ansell.

Despite no track time in his back-up automobile which last competed at the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds last Fall, Hessert negotiated the 14th quickest lap in qualifying – thus giving the team optimism for the second race of the season.

Starting at the rear of the field when the green flag dropped, Hessert began muscling his way through the highly competitive field and found himself up to the 23rd position by lap 15.

Reporting to Richeson of a tight in the center and loose off handling condition with his No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet, the ARCA veteran would continue his climb through the field finding himself 18th by lap 35.

A caution on lap 48 would allow Hessert to inch up the leader board as other teams pitted with the driver resuming the race in the 11th position. Another yellow a short time later would allow the No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet to enter pit road for fuel, tires and a chassis adjustment.

Restarting the race on lap 68 in the 17th position, Hessert would craft his way back into the top-10 by lap 85 where he sat eighth. Just past the halfway mark, Hessert remained in the top-10 locked in seventh but the race would take a long-green flag approach.

With Hessert’s automobile still fighting the handling condition from earlier in the race, he would slip back in the field and eventually fall into the clutches of leaders Grant Enfinger and Cale Gale, who would remove the former NASCAR Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car star from the lead lap.

Luckily, a caution would waive a few laps later with Hessert and Co. becoming the beneficiary of the “Lucky Dog” award thus putting the team back on the lead lap. It was also under that pause from racing that Richeson elected to bring his pilot down pit road for the final time of the race.

Restarting 16th on lap 173, Hessert would take advantage of several race cautions and a green-white-checkered finish in 30 laps to pedal himself into the top-10 where he took the checkered flag ninth inheriting his second top-10 finish of the season.

“After all that we had to handle and manage, we’ll gladly take ninth,” offered Hessert. “I just want to thank the guys on this Ken Schrader Racing team for busting their tails and putting together a competitive back-up car in a very small window. It was unfortunate what happened in practice, we just had nowhere to go. We weren’t sure what to expect in qualifying, but we were pleasantly surprised. We had some struggles during the race, but we made the best of the situation and had a little luck on our side to come back and finish in the top-10. This is the momentum we need to keep our solid start going in the right direction”

Hessert also offered his thoughts on ARCA’s inaugural trip to Mobile. “They had a great crowd, that’s for sure,” he sounded. “The track was mainly one-groove which made for some great close racing – but I thought the race was relatively calm and extremely competitive – that says a lot for the drivers in this series. I’m almost sure that they will have another race their next year.”

With his run, Hessert unofficially leaps to fourth in the championship standings accumulating 365 points, just 40 markers behind series leader Cale Gale, who isn’t expected to compete at Salem in six weeks. 15 points separate himself from third place runner Chad Hackenbracht and 25 from second, currently controlled by Brennan Poole.

Next up for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards is the third of 20 races on the 2012 tour at the historic Salem (Ind.) Speedway for the running of the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 on Sunday, April 29. Hessert will make his ninth start at the Southern Indiana race track next month.

Exiting Mobile, Hessert has 85 career ARCA Racing Series starts. In those outings, he has maneuvered two poles, one win, 19 top-fives and 45 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.


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

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