WINCHESTER, Indiana (June 24, 2012) – – For the second consecutive ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race, bad luck struck Tom Hessert and his Ken Schrader Racing (KSR) team as two blown tires halted the team’s efforts towards a strong finish in Sunday afternoon’s Herr’s Chase The Taste 200 at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway.
With the Indiana-based track showing similar characteristics to Salem (Ind.) Speedway, one of Hessert’s favorites – the team led by crew chief Donnie Richeson had high hopes for the ninth race of the season.
Two practice sessions on Saturday afternoon allowed the duo to dial in their No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet Impala with the Cherry Hill, New Jersey native maneuvering the 10th and ninth quickest laps respectively leading into Menards pole qualifying presented by Ansell later Saturday afternoon. Qualifying was tight for a majority of the field with Hessert landing his Chevrolet bowtie in the 12th position.
Under warm conditions, Hessert and the 32-car field took the green flag shortly after 2:00 p.m. with Hessert quickly making his march towards the front. By lap 10, Hessert had circled his way into the 10th position and continued to hold that point through lap 20.
By lap 44, the 26-year old had muscled his way into ninth and continued to put pressure on his competition before falling victim to a flat right front tire on lap 73 which forced an unscheduled pit stop under green flag conditions. Returning to competition three laps off the pace, Hessert still was able to maneuver competitive lap times and was hovering in the top-15 before the final blow to for the KSR team occurred on lap 93 as another tire blew sending the No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet into the outside wall, ending their day prematurely.
In his second tango with Winchester’s high banks, Hessert was credited with an undeserving 21st place finish.
“The finish is frustrating because our No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet Impala was capable of finishing in the top-10,” said Hessert. “We made some huge strides on the car from the beginning of the weekend to the start of the race and it showed with us moving forward. We had some plans to make the car better on the first stop, I just hate that we never made it to that point. There wasn’t any warning on the tires. I guess it’s just one of those things when it rain it pours. We’re not going to let this bad luck phase us. We know we’re plenty capable of bouncing back and we plan to shake the monkey at New Jersey next Sunday afternoon.”
Unofficially, Hessert remains seventh in the ARCA championship standings with 10 races left on the 60th anniversary tour for the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA).
Next up is a trip to New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) for the lone road-course race of the season. The running of the All-American Race Weekend presented by Global Barter Corporation set for Sunday, July 1. Last May, Hessert finished fifth after starting second at the 2.3-mile paved Thunderbolt Raceway.
Exiting Winchester, Hessert has 92 career ARCA Racing Series starts. In those outings, he has maneuvered two poles, one win, 22 top-fives and 48 top-10s.
For more on Tom Hessert III, please visit tomhessert.com.
Hessert has joined the Twitter crave. Follow and connect with him @TomHessert.