Kentucky Heartbreak for Hessert, ABR (Concord, NC) May 12, 2008 -- Andy and Jennifer Belmont didn't quite receive the anniversary gift they were looking for this weekend in Kentucky. "It was the biggest heartbreak of our racing career,"...
Kentucky Heartbreak for Hessert, ABR
(Concord, NC) May 12, 2008 -- Andy and Jennifer Belmont didn't quite receive the anniversary gift they were looking for this weekend in Kentucky. "It was the biggest heartbreak of our racing career," said team owner Jennifer Belmont.
The Andy Belmont Racing crew and driver Tom Hessert III rolled into Kentucky Speedway on Friday with high hopes for a good qualifying and good run for the Drive Smart! Buckle Up Kentucky 150 and fell one lap short of accomplishing their goal.
"We had a bad qualifying draw and that hurt our starting position," said Tom Hessert. "We were first out to qualify and the track was greasy and slimy and that hurt us a lot." The ABR crew had to settle for a 19th place starting position for the #1 MAACO America's Bodyshop Ford but knew early on the gains they made with chassis "69" were in the right direction. "We were just slicing our way through the field," said Hessert. "We pitted, restarted, and just kept gaining on it. It was pretty dicey getting through the field but we kept advancing and the yellow kept coming out. We were running in 3rd on that final restart, eleven laps into overtime, and the fuel pressure just dropped in turn 3 of the white flag lap- we were out of fuel. It was a heartbreaker."
"Our guys did a great job this weekend," said Andy Belmont. "It's just such a shame that circumstances way beyond our control took away a well deserved top-five finish. There were several guys out there that could have made better decisions and raced with more respect. I think the issue of policing driver conduct needs to be revisited."
On to Toledo-
The chassis on deck for the Hantz Group 200 in Toledo is Daisy, last raced in Salem. There rookie Tom Hessert qualified Daisy in 4th and was running in the 3rd position through the first 29 laps until getting hit from behind and caught up in a multi-car wreck. Hessert eventually piloted the car home to a 15th place finish, 4 laps off the lead.
"We're ready to rock in Toledo," said Hessert. "I've got a bunch of laps there, but this will be my first time in a stock car. We're taking a pretty good car there so we should be just fine."
Tom Hessert III turns 22 years old on May 22nd, just a few days after the Hantz Group 200 in Toledo. "A win in Toledo would be the best birthday present I could imagine," said Tom.