Michigan: Tom Hessert preview

Tom Hessert Ready For Irish Hills Debut BROOKLYN, Michigan (June 10, 2008) - - SunTrust Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Tom Hessert approaches the ninth installment on the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule with high hopes as the series invades ...

Tom Hessert Ready For Irish Hills Debut

BROOKLYN, Michigan (June 10, 2008) - - SunTrust Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Tom Hessert approaches the ninth installment on the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule with high hopes as the series invades Michigan International Speedway for Friday's Racing for Wildlife 200.

Hessert, the sensational ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie enters Michigan looking to bounce back from his Pocono Raceway debut. After encountering problems in practice and qualifying, Hessert bolted to the front of the field only to fall victim to engine fatigue and a disappointing finish.

With Pocono behind them, Hessert is ready to master his Michigan International Speedway debut behind the wheel of Andy Belmont Racing's (ABR) No. 1 Maaco America's Bodyshop Ford Fusion.

"I've never competed at Michigan International Speedway before but boy am looking forward to it," said Hessert, a freshman ARCA RE/MAX Series driver. "I'm competing on a large number of tracks for the first time this season and I'm not approaching Friday's race any different, I am just going to go out there and do my job."

Late last month, ABR and Hessert participated in the open ARCA RE/MAX Series at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) with satisfying results. "The test went as well to be expected," commented Hessert, a former USAC driver. We accomplished everything we were looking to do and I feel confident from what I learned and having the experience and guidance from my crew chief Andy Belmont will be a positive influence on me this weekend."

Belmont and his ABR team will bring chassis number 69 to MIS this week. This piece was acquired from Yates Racing and the team has run this same automobile at Kansas and Kentucky Speedway earlier this year. Running strong at Kentucky the team feels that their car is capable of a similar performance Friday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway.

"We learned a lot from the car in the first race at Kansas Speedway and we showed up to Kentucky and had a top-five in our hand and ran out of gas with the whole green-white-checkered fiasco. I really like the car, it's fast and smooth and I believe with a little adjusting, we'll hit all of our marks this week."

"Barney" will serve as Hessert's backup automobile this weekend at Michigan International Speedway. This racecar is the same piece that ABR ran at Rockingham Speedway in May which awarded the team with a top-10 finish. The piece was acquired from Roush-Fenway Racing.

Slipping a few spots from their tough run last weekend at Pocono Raceway, Hessert knows that a strong run is crucial to putting him back in the top-five. "It's not going to be easy but we're not going to give up. Every spot is important and we're not going to give up without a fight."

Entering Michigan, Hessert, in Jennifer Belmont owned Ford Fusions controls seventh in the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series championship standings just 235 markers from the lead. In eight 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 11th career ARCA start Friday.J Boudreaux's Butt Paste will join Hessert in his inaugural trip to Michigan International Speedway as a major associate sponsor in this weekend's event.

The Racing for Wildlife 200 (200 miles/100 laps) is the ninth of 21 events on the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule. The trip to the Irish Hills track is a two-day show. Practice begins Thursday, June 12th with a two hour practice session planned from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying is slated to begin at 3:00 p.m. Thursday afternoon. The field will take the green flag on Friday, July 13th shortly after 5:00 p.m. The race will air live on SPEED beginning at 5:00 p.m. Additional race coverage including live timing and scoring will be available online at arcaracing.com. All times are local.

-credit: abr

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Andy Belmont , Tom Hessert
Teams Yates Racing