KANSAS COMPLETE; HESSERT NOW LOOKING FOR SOLID FINISH AT THE ROCK Kansas City, KS (10/02/09) -- ARCA RE/MAX Series and RAB Racing driver Tom Hessert competed in the 9th annual Kansas Lottery $150 Grand at Kansas Speedway Thursday afternoon where...
KANSAS COMPLETE; HESSERT NOW LOOKING FOR SOLID FINISH AT THE ROCK
Kansas City, KS (10/02/09) -- ARCA RE/MAX Series and RAB Racing driver Tom Hessert competed in the 9th annual Kansas Lottery $150 Grand at Kansas Speedway Thursday afternoon where Hessert and the No. 20 Cherry Hill Classic Cars team finished 14th on the 1.5-mile paved oval after battling through the 103 lap event.
Hessert, the 23-year-old Cherry Hill, NJ native, returned to Kansas Speedway on Thursday for only the second time in his ARCA RE/MAX racing career and for his first time competing with RAB Racing. With weather conditions uncooperative for the scheduled morning events, the field was forced to replace qualifying with practice time, requiring the field to start by owner points for the 150-mile event. This would give Hessert the 14th starting position after running inside the top-20 in 18th during the mid-afternoon practice session.
Throughout the day the sky threatened rain but conditions changed as the sun peaked out just in time for Hessert and the No. 20 Cherry Hills Classic Cars team to take the green flag for the start of the race. Holding steady in the top-15 for the first quarter of the race, the No. 20 Classic Cars Ford would come down pit lane during lap 28 for four tires and adjustments.
Hessert continued to turn laps, fighting loose conditions. On lap 54, the No. 20 Classic Cars pit crew made adjustments on the RAB Racing Ford and topped off with fuel before sending Hessert back out for the second half of the race. Hessert ran in the top-20 for the remaining laps before finishing 14th. The finish marked the 12th time Hessert has finished inside the top-15 in 20 ARCA RE/MAX appearances this year.
"The race was okay," Hessert said. "The car handled good but we did not have the outright speed to compete for a top-five or win. I'm not sure why but we just struggled today."
Heading into the final race of the season at Rockingham Speedway Hessert sits ninth in the driver standings with 4095 points, 105 markers out of the eighth position. To date Hessert has two starts at the track known as "The Rock." His first start and best finish came back in 2008 when he finished ninth. Hessert and RAB Racing's No. 20 Cherry Hill Classic Cars Ford team will test at Rockingham on Monday, October 4th in preparation for the 21st and final event of the ARCA RE/MAX Series tour.
"I'm looking forward to Rockingham in a few days," Hessert stated. "We're testing there again next week. We had a good test there last month and it will be beneficial to go back once more before the last race. We have a chance to pick up a few spots in the driver points for the championship if things go our way."
The ARCA RE/MAX Series will close out the 2009 season by running 200 miles on the one-mile Rockingham Speedway track for the American 200 on Sunday, October 11th.