A great night for midget racing, not for Tom Hessert. IRWINDALE, CA. /CHERRY HILL, NJ April 27, 2003 . . . The Mopar Twin 25s featuring the United States Auto Club National Championship Midget Racing Series was a big hit at Irwindale, California...
A great night for midget racing, not for Tom Hessert.
IRWINDALE, CA. /CHERRY HILL, NJ April 27, 2003 . . . The Mopar Twin 25s featuring the United States Auto Club National Championship Midget Racing Series was a big hit at Irwindale, California Speedway.
"It was great to see fans there that do not normally attend midget auto racing events. There were a lot of fans attending as a result of being in the area because of the NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series races at Fontana, California this weekend. Steve Lewis and his people really know how to promote an event. We are looking forward to being part of his Twin 25s at Indianapolis Raceway Park the night before the Indianapolis 500," said young Tom Hessert.
"And with that being said we just missed the setup when it came to racing here tonight. The guys that tested here a week or two back really had it together. And the track conditions changed with hot weather in the afternoon and very cold weather in the evening. I don't know that anyone expected it to get that cold."
Hessert, driving the Cherry Hill, NJ Classic Cars Mopar powered midget maintained by Keith Kunz Motorsports, was able to turn a very respectable 17.237 seconds on the half mile paved oval for 22nd quick time out of 32 midget racers on hand.
In the second qualifying event of the night Hessert came from the fourth row to finish fifth.
And in both 25-lap features, paying a $50,000 bonus to anyone that could win both and coming from last to win in the second one, Hessert earned an 18th in the first 25-lapper and a 14th in a second 25-lapper.
"We improved on our starting positions in all the events but not enough to be a factor. The car was not handling. And in the second feature there was oil on the bottom of the track that forced us to run a higher groove that just tightened up the car. It was a night that we would have welcomed a few cautions there was just one caution in each feature and that just allowed the field to string out with all the green flag laps.
It just was not a good weekend. The one thing I can say is that I learned a lot and gained a lot of experience at a fine racing facility. I look forward to coming back and when we do we will do things differently," said the 16-year-old Cherry Hill, NJ high school student.
Tracy Hines won the first 25 lap USAC Midget feature and Michael Lewis was the winner in the second 25 lap race.
The next outing for Hessert will be at Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on May 16th.