Berlin: Tom Hessert race report

SECOND CONSECUTIVE TOP-10 FINISH FOR TOM HESSERT AND RAB RACING Marne, MI (7/29/09) -- Tom Hessert fought an ill-handling race car for most of the Wolverine Power Systems 200 but perseverance to get the car right paid off with a 10th-place...

SECOND CONSECUTIVE TOP-10 FINISH FOR TOM HESSERT AND RAB RACING

Marne, MI (7/29/09) -- Tom Hessert fought an ill-handling race car for most of the Wolverine Power Systems 200 but perseverance to get the car right paid off with a 10th-place finish for the No. 09 Cherry Hill Classic Cars team at Berlin Raceway on Saturday.

The "never give-up" attitude allowed Hessert and company to maintain their 9th-place spot in the ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship point standings, just 60 markers behind 8th place Patrick Sheltra.

The Cherry Hill, NJ native circled the .4375-mile track in 17.563 seconds (89.785 mph) during time trials on Saturday. The lap was the 17th-fastest time of the session and lined Hessert up on the inside of row nine for the evening's main event.

When the green flag dropped just past 8:30 p.m. for the 200-lap event, 23-year-old Hessert was able to quickly work his way up through the 43-car field. Despite handling issues on the No. 09 machine Hessert was up to the top-10 before a welcoming opportunity for relief came around lap 50.

Crew chief, Keith Hinkein brought the Cherry Hill Classic Cars Ford down pit road for fuel, two tires and a trackbar adjustment to help the handling on the white and blue machine.

Hessert would maintain his position as green-flag racing resumed again but it was quickly found that the No. 09 Cherry Hill Classic Cars Ford was better on short runs and the characteristics of the new tires along with the adjustments made on the machine did not seem to help the handling problem. Hessert fought hard to maintain his position in the top-10 but as the laps wore on the No. 09 machine turned more to the tight side.

With 30 laps remaining in the event Hessert brought the No. 09 machine down pit road in one last attempt to free up the car. This time the 09 team would change four tires and make a chassis adjustment and another trackbar adjustment.

Once again, the adjustments seemed to help the No. 09 machine on the short runs but fall off on long runs. A green-white-checkered finish would determine the winner of the 22nd annual Wolverine Power Systems 200 presented by Generac and Tom Hessert would capture the checkered flag in the 10th position.

"Berlin was a tough night," said Hessert. "We fought hard throughout the race to keep track position and race smart. During practice the car was very good, but as the weather changed our race car got too tight. Racing smart, making good adjustments and solid pit stops from my team were key in bringing home another top-10 finish."

Up next for Hessert and the No. 09 Cherry Hill Classic Cars team is the Pennsylvania ARCA 200 at Pocono Raceway on Saturday, August 1st. Hessert finished 36th at the "tricky triangle" 33-laps down due to an accident in 2008.

"Pocono has not been kind to me," stated Hessert. "All three times that I've been there I have had something bad happen. RAB has a strong record there and they are very confident that we are going to have a great race car, which makes me feel good."

"Pococno is important to me," continued Hessert. It's so close to home, and I'm looking forward to having my best race yet with RAB Racing at the tricky triangle".

-credit: rabr

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Tom Hessert , Patrick Sheltra