It was an eventful first practice on a beautiful sunny day at New Jersey Motorsports Park for the ARCA Racing Series. Tom Hessert III was on the top of the charts at session’s end, three tenths ahead of Justin Marks, who won ARCA’s last road race at Palm Beach in February. Robb Brent, Chris Buescher and Tim George Jr. rounded out the top five.
For George, there were two near misses in practice. In the 11th minute, the RCR development driver found himself in a three-wide pack with Chad McCumbee and Frank Kimmel headed into turn 1. The pack sorted itself out with George and Kimmel clearing McCumbee. George also narrowly missed contact with the No. 82 of Robert Mitten, who got off track and nearly spun back onto the racing surface in turn 3.
Unable to miss contact was current points leader Craig Goess, who endured a hard wreck in the esses that heavily damaged both ends of his car. The Eddie Sharp Racing team has unloaded the backup and is rushing to prepare it for second practice at 1:35 p.m.