Chicagoland: Series spotlight - Tom Hessert

Hessert Hoping for Chicago Improvement with ARCA Lead in Sight (JOLIET, Ill.) - Just five points away from the lead in the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards, Tom Hessert is the closest he's ever been in three full seasons to the...

Hessert Hoping for Chicago Improvement with ARCA Lead in Sight

(JOLIET, Ill.) - Just five points away from the lead in the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards, Tom Hessert is the closest he's ever been in three full seasons to the top of the standings. In Friday's Ansell Protective Gloves 150, however, lies a major challenge.

Statistically, Chicagoland Speedway is Hessert's worst track on the ARCA schedule. In 2008, Hessert started 21st and finished 30th for owner Andy Belmont in his first race at the 1.5-mile Joliet oval. Hessert improved last year for owner Eddie Sharp, but only to 25th place.

Despite this, the driver of the No. 77 Cherry Hill Classic Cars Dodge is confident, armed with the belief that his current team has him set for success.

"In one of my previous Chicago races, we blew up, and the other I had engine trouble. That was with two different teams," Hessert said. "I am confident in Cunningham Motorsports. We have had reliable cars that have gotten us to the point in the season. We will continue to do the best that we can and focus on maximizing the points we get each race and let it play itself out."

Hessert won at Iowa Speedway in July, and will enter a new car at Chicagoland.

"We have a new car that the guys in the shop have built. We tested (at Chicagoland) last week and tried some things that worked and that didn't. It is a neat track with a rough surface. The shape and size of Chicagoland are similar to Kansas, but the surface, with the bumps and bruises, resembles Kentucky. The track has multiple grooves, which makes passing easier."

Though firmly locked into the championship battle, Hessert understands that even a single slip-up can do damage to his position in the standings, as seasoned veteran Frank Kimmel holds the top spot in a pack which features the top five drivers separated by just 45 points.

"The guys we are racing for the championship will be tough (at Chicagoland)," Hessert said. "We are focusing on doing the best that we can do in each of the remaining six races."

-source: arca racing

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Series ARCA
Drivers Frank Kimmel , Tom Hessert