Cayuga: Tom Hessert preview

Tom Hessert & ABR Look For Recovery In Cayuga HAGERSVILLE, ONTARIO (June 25, 2008) - - After two disappointing finishes at Pocono Raceway and Michigan International Speedway respectively, Andy Belmont Racing (ABR) and SunTrust Rookie-of-the-Year...

Tom Hessert & ABR Look For Recovery In Cayuga

HAGERSVILLE, ONTARIO (June 25, 2008) - - After two disappointing finishes at Pocono Raceway and Michigan International Speedway respectively, Andy Belmont Racing (ABR) and SunTrust Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Tom Hessert are ready to return to top-five status and rebound with a career run in Sunday's Cayuga ARCA RE/MAX 250.

[IMAGE]Never having the opportunity of visiting Cayuga Motor Speedway in the past may present challenges for much of the ARCA RE/MAX Series field but Hessert is hoping that the experience of veteran Andy Belmont and his Andy Belmont Racing team will put the team in contention for the win in the 10th event on the 2008 season.

"Cayuga is going to be very interesting," Hessert admitted. "A lot of us are going to the track this weekend blindsided. We can't do much about it so we have to look at this on a positive angle. We'll plan to be one of the first to go out in practice and find our comfort zone and hope to be a contender all weekend long."

A new face will help call the shots for Hessert for the remainder of the season as Andy Belmont Racing announced that David Leiner will assume the role as crew chief on the No. 1 Maaco America's Bodyshop machine beginning with Sunday's event.

"We're happy to welcome David (Leiner) to the Andy Belmont Racing family," said Andy Belmont. "He has an exceptional history in racing and we feel that with his additional expertise he can rise this team up another notch. We're expecting great things."

When asked if the rookie ARCA RE/MAX Series competitor prefers the short track or superspeedways on the tour, he replied. "It's racing. I enjoy being in the cockpit and I enjoy racing hard. We've had some success on both the short track and speedways this year but the time is coming where we'll have all the dots connected and we will notch our first career victory together. I hope it's this weekend in the Maaco America's Bodyshop Ford Fusion."

Expecting Cayuga Motor Speedway to be a similar United States short track racing circuit the ultra conservative Hessert will take a laid back approach for practice before switching gears for qualifying and the race.

"We can't afford to have any hiccups in practice," added Hessert. "We'll go out there and drive hard during our qualifying runs but I'm not going to put myself or our team in a position where we might have to roll out the back-up. We just need to focus on getting a solid setup. I need to learn the track then the rest of the pieces will fit together."

Andy Belmont Racing will bring "Daisey" to Cayuga Motor Speedway this weekend. Daisey started life at Team Red Bull Racing and driver Brian Vickers before being acquired by ABR in 2007. The team has since converted the former Dodge Charger into a stout Ford Fusion. Hessert qualified an impressive fourth at Salem Speedway before finishing 15th. This is the same automobile that Hessert notched his third top-10 finish of the season with at Toledo Speedway last month.

"This car has a good track record," Hessert noted. "I know what the car likes and what it doesn't. As a driver at a track like Cayuga Motor Speedway, I think they can play into our benefit. We'll start with a conservative short track setup and adjust our car based upon what we learn from on-track activity Saturday. I have a good feeling."

Before crossing the border to Canada, ABR will head to Greenville-Pickens Speedway in South Carolina to make the final touches on the No. 1 Maaco America's Bodyshop Ford Fusion with the goal of securing the team's first top-five finish of the 2008 season.

"We've adjusted the car a little bit from Toledo, so the main purpose for Greenville-Pickens is to make sure the car is ready for action. This car has qualified and finished in the top-10 this year but not on the same weekend. I want to put both of those words together and put an all-around start and finish that we all can be happy about," sounded Hessert.

From Cayuga Motor Speedway, ABR will return to the United States and steer towards Sparta, Kentucky where the team will participate in an open ARCA RE/MAX Series test at Kentucky Speedway on Tuesday, July 1st in preparation for the 11th installment on the schedule, the Kentucky ARCA RE/MAX 150 set for Friday night, July 18.

Entering Cayuga, Hessert, in Jennifer Belmont owned Ford Fusions controls eighth in the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series championship standings just 345 markers from the lead. In nine races this season, Hessert has claimed three top-10 finishes including a very stout sixth place run in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway followed by top-10 performances at Rockingham Speedway and Toledo Speedway respectively. He has controlled the ARCA field for once for 21 laps. The former USAC star will make his 12th career ARCA start Sunday.

-credit: abr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Andy Belmont , Brian Vickers , Tom Hessert
Teams Red Bull Racing