[media-credit name=”ARCA Racing Network” align=”alignright” width=”180″][/media-credit]SALEM, Indiana (April 25, 2012) – – A strong start to Tom Hessert III’s 2012 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards campaign forges ahead to Salem (Ind.) Speedway for Sunday’s running of the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200. And it goes without saying that likeable driver is a pre-race favorite entering the third race of the season.
Historically speaking, the Cherry Hill, New Jersey native is no slouch at the half-mile oval and he undoubtedly vows to prove that in his No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet Impala for Ken Schrader Racing (KSR). In eight previous starts at the bull-ring, the ARCA veteran has tallied two top-fives including a track-best of third in 2010 while also grabbing two additional top-10 runs on to that statistic.
After gripping two top-10 finishes at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and Mobile (Ala.) International Speedway in the two opening races of the Automobile Racing Club of America’s 60th anniversary season; Hessert is eager to surge ahead with his KSR bunch and deliver his first top-five outing of the year while also in search to returning to the team namesake to victory lane.
“Salem’s one of those places, either you love it or hate it,” explained Hessert. “For me, I have a lot of good memories and I really do enjoy competing there – but it’s a track where you’re always having to thread the needle and most importantly keep your eyes peeled. Things happen in a hurry there. But, honestly, I’m pumped about our chances for the weekend. We feel like we still have some unfinished business from Mobile, so we’re going into the weekend with high hopes.”
Salem’s another venue that has allowed drivers to rejuvenate themselves with daring passes that has propelled them into victory lane. With Hessert’s lone-victory occurring two years ago in dominant fashion at Iowa Speedway, the former NASCAR Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car star knows it’s just a matter of time before the shower spraying of gatorade and jubilation returns.
“Top-fives and top-10 runs are always great and something to be content with but this team and I are true racers at heart and we came so close on a couple occasions last year of returning to the KSR team to victory lane, but just weren’t quite able to get it done. Salem’s one of those places that I feel we’ll have one of our best chances. The guys deserve it as well as all the folks at Federated Auto Parts who have stood behind our team,” sounded Hessert.
In the race for the coveted championship crown, Hessert occupies fourth in the standings just 15 markers behind third place competitor Chad Hackenbracht and 40 points behind current leader Cale Gale, who isn’t expected to compete in Sunday afternoon’s showdown.
As Hessert’s season progresses – he will digest thoughts to his fans and fellow race fans alike by posting a blog on his website. The inside look from Hessert’s eyes will allow an account from another point of view and some insight that would not be visible from the garage area.
Entering Salem, 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.
The Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 (200 laps / 111 miles) is the third of 20 events on the 2012 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. The 91stARCA race held at Salem Speedway is a two day show. Practice begins Saturday, April 28 with a forty-five minute session planned from 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. Final practice also consisting of forty-five minutes begins at 1:15 p.m. and will conclude at 2:00 p.m. Menards pole qualifying presented by Ansell is set for later in the day slated to begin at 3:30 p.m. An on-track autograph session has been etched in on race day on Sunday, April 29 set to launch at 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The event will take the green flag shortly after 2:15 p.m. The race will not be televised but race coverage including live timing and scoring will be available through the ARCA Racing Network (ARN) online at arcaracing.com. All times are local.
For more on Tom Hessert III, please visit tomhessert.com.
Hessert has joined the Twitter crave. Follow and connect with him @TomHessert.