LONG POND, Pennsylvania (June 8, 2011) – – Second generation racer Tom Hessert III aims for his second career ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards victory at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway in Saturday afternoon’s Pocono ARCA 200.
Hessert III, a native of Cherry Hill, New Jersey will make his seventh career start at the track nicknamed the “Tricky Triangle.” But, Hessert is hoping to play some tricks of his own on his competitors that would surge his No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet Impala to their first victory of the season.
In his previous six starts, the former road racer has maneuvered one top-five and two top-10s including a track best of fourth last August. A seventh place qualifying effort in 2009 is his best time trials effort to date.
“I’ve always enjoyed our stops in Pocono,” said Hessert, who finished third in the championship standings in 2010 for Cunningham Motorsports. “The track is really unique which provides a different mindset of racing. You cannot afford to miss a beat as concentration is everything with a track that has three different turns.”
Scoring his first career victory at Iowa Speedway last year, Hessert knows that notching another win on Saturday afternoon would be huge; especially considering the 2.5-mile track is close to home.
“We were in New Jersey a couple weeks ago and couldn’t seal the deal, but we’re going to give it our all this weekend,” added Hessert. “I’m going to have some friends and family at the track on Saturday, so it would mean that much more to be the first one to take the checkered flag in our No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet.”
After a successful 2010 ARCA season, Hessert joined Ken Schrader Racing (KSR), piloting the No. 52 Federated Auto Parts entries full-time. Through six races, Hessert has posted one top-five and four top-10 finishes including a sixth place finish in ARCA’s most recent contest at Chicagoland Speedway last Saturday night.
Hessert is relying on the experience and trust in his crew chief John Monsam, who also made the move to KSR for 2011 to arm the Federated Auto Parts Racing team with another solid finish.
“We had some bad luck at Daytona and Toledo, but everywhere else, we’ve been pretty competitive,” sounded Hessert. “The great thing about working with John (Monsam) is that he knows what I am looking for already. Usually, we have to make just a couple tweaks and we are finding ourselves in contention. We finished fourth together last August at Pocono, so I know we both would like to improve on that Saturday.”
Currently, Hessert occupies the seventh position in the ARCA Racing Series standings just 135 points from third. “We’re six races in and it’s already been a really competitive season,” he said. “As a team we just need to stay focused and concentrate on one race at a time and we should propel ourselves up in the point standings.”
In addition to Federated Auto Parts, Cherry Hill Classic Cars will serve as an associate marketing partner for Hessert’s 71st career ARCA start. In his previous 70 outings, he has maneuvered one win, 13 top-fives and 34 top-10s.
The Pocono ARCA 200 (80 laps / 200 miles) is the seventh of 19 events on the 2011 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. The 52nd ARCA race at Pocono Raceway is a two-day show. Practice begins Friday, June 10 with a one hour and fifty minute practice session planned from 10:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. Menards Pole by Ansell qualifying is slated to begin later in the day at 2:05 p.m. The field will take the green flag shortly after 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 11. The event will be televised same-day delayed on SPEED beginning at 8:00 p.m. EST. Live timing and scoring throughout the 1,319th race for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards since it was formed in 1953 will be available through the ARCA Racing Network (ARN) online at arcaracing.com presented by ARCANation.com. All times are local.
For more on Tom Hessert III, please visit tomhessert.com.