namars: Tom Hessert heads to Chili Bowl

Tom Hessert kicks off 2003 schedule with the Chili Bowl. CHERRY HILL, NJ January 1, 2003 . . . With a season of competition, a season of learning and gaining experience, under his belt, Tom Hessert is anxious to get the 2003 season started....

Tom Hessert kicks off 2003 schedule with the Chili Bowl.

CHERRY HILL, NJ January 1, 2003 . . . With a season of competition, a season of learning and gaining experience, under his belt, Tom Hessert is anxious to get the 2003 season started. The Cherry Hill, NJ high school student will be competing in his first Chili Bowl Midget Nationals.

For many the multi-day midget racing event run indoors at the Tulsa, Oklahoma Expo Center is considered the World Series of midget auto racing or, perhaps, the Super Bowl of midget auto racing.

The Chili Bowl, January 8th thru 11th, is presented on a one-quarter-mile clay track that is created on the concrete floor of the Tulsa Expo Center by event organizers Emmett Hahn and Lanny Edwards. This will be the 17th edition of the event.

"I am really excited about being able to compete in the Chili Bowl. With more than 150 entries expected for the event and only 24 making the final night feature event it is going to be some very tough competition. Just to be able to make the 50-lap feature will be quite an accomplishment.

Right now we are shooting to make the starting field and then I will think about a plan for the feature race. No matter what it is going to be an exciting four days," said the 16-year-old midget racer.

Qualifying and feature races are presented starting on Wednesday, January 8th and continue until the final 50-lap feature starting 24 qualifiers on Saturday, January 11th.

Hessert will come up against Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart ( a past winner of this event), Sammy Swindell, two time American Racing Drivers Club champion Bryan Kobylarz and a host of other outstanding auto racing talents from around the country.

Again this season Hessert will be driving Mopar powered midgets entered by Hessert Motorsports of Cherry Hill, NJ. The race cars will be maintained by Keith Kunz and Pete Willoughby (Kunz Motorsports), two of the most respected names in the racing industry.

Once the Chili Bowl action is complete Hessert will be headed to the Eastern Motorsport Press Association convention where he will participate in weekend (January 17th and 18th) activities involving more than 100 media. Many well known racers, officials, personalities and others in the motorsports industry will be on hand for the annual convention that takes place at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center in Trevose, PA.

Hessert will be announcing his plans for the complete 2003 season shortly and it is expected that those plans will include some road racing events in addition to his full slate of United States Auto Club midget racing events with a few NAMARS sanctioned midget races included.

-ernie saxton

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Series MIDGET , USAC