Tom Hessert spotlight

Young Tom Hessert excited about final events on pavement. CHERRY HILL, NJ/COLUMBUS, INDIANA, October 11, 2002 . . . . The fact that the final four events of the season on the United States Auto Club National Midget Series are on paved tracks is...

Young Tom Hessert excited about final events on pavement.

CHERRY HILL, NJ/COLUMBUS, INDIANA, October 11, 2002 . . . . The fact that the final four events of the season on the United States Auto Club National Midget Series are on paved tracks is pretty exciting to young Tom Hessert.

The Cherry Hill, NJ high school student has been traveling the nation driving a Mopar powered Kunz Motorsports prepared midget in the USAC and NAMARS sanctioned midget racing events. Though he has not run a full season, getting a late start on the season as he had to wait until he turned 16, Hessert is currently 18th in the USAC National Midget Racing Series point standings. The youthful racer has "turned a lot of heads" with some impressive outings.

At the recent Twin 25 USAC Midget events at Indianapolis Raceway Park, Hessert came away with an 11th place finish, his best effort of the two 25 lap features that made up the richest night of midget auto racing in the history of the sport.

"It was quite exciting to be part of that event. So many people in the stands. It was a great promotion by Steve Lewis (the promoter who also publishes Performance Racing Industry Magazine and promotes the PRI Trade Shows). It was the night before the Formula One race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway so we had the opportunity to meet a lot of interesting people. And the TV exposure was good for us as we start our sponsorship search efforts for next season," said Hessert. "I love the opportunity to race on such a great paved track. And I think we did pretty well against some very good talent."

This Saturday, October 19th, Hessert will have his Kunz Motorsports prepared Mopar midget in action at Big Daddy's South Boston (VA) Speedway to run in a 50-lap United States Auto Club National Midget Racing Series event.

"This gives us another opportunity to race on a paved track. It gives me a chance to gain some more experience on asphalt and that is important for my goals in the sport. In fact the rest of the events we run this year will be on paved tracks. I love that," said Hessert.

Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway is a 4/10th mile paved track promoted by Joe Mattioli III, son of the owner of Pocono Raceway.

The October 19th event will be taped by ESPN2 for showing on November 3. NASCAR Winston Cup star Tony Stewart will be on hand to do an autograph session. Stewart won the USAC midget race at South Boston in 2001 but, because of his involvement in a chase for the Winston Cup title, car owner Joe Gibbs will not allow him to compete this time.

It is expected that many Winston Cup racers, crew members and fans will be on hand as the NASCAR Winston Cup Series will be performing the next day, Sunday, at Martinsville, VA Speedway, just a short distance from South Boston, VA.

Hessert will head to the West Coast area on November 23 to run in a USAC sanctioned midget event at Tucson, AZ Raceway Park, a 3/8th-mile paved oval. That event will be followed by a 100-lap USAC Midget race at Irwindale, CA Speedway on November 28th (Thanksgiving Day evening). That race will be taped for showing on December 1 by ESPN2. And the final event of the season for the USAC National Midget Racing Series takes place November 30th at the famed Las Vegas Motor Speedway on their 3/8th-mile paved track. This will be a 40-lap event that will be taped by ESPN2 for showing on December 8th.

At present Tom Hessert is the youngest driver performing regularly on the USAC National Midget Racing Series.

Tom Hessert Jr., Tom's dad, is a former IMSA sports car racing champion who also had some opportunities to compete in NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series events. He is presently a successful automobile dealer in Southern New Jersey.

Hessert's plans for 2003 will be announced shortly. The team is presently seeking sponsorship for their 2003 auto racing efforts.

-esc-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series USAC
Drivers Tony Stewart , Tom Hessert