New Jersey Native Readies for Home Town Track (Concord, NC) September 24, 2008 -- As a child, Tom Hessert III lived the nomadic existence of racing as many young boys yearned- traveling week in and out with his family while father Tom Hessert...
New Jersey Native Readies for Home Town Track
(Concord, NC) September 24, 2008 -- As a child, Tom Hessert III lived the nomadic existence of racing as many young boys yearned- traveling week in and out with his family while father Tom Hessert Jr. competed on the IMSA road racing circuit. It wasn't long before the tables were turned and the Hessert clan began supporting the 11-year old heir apparent to their racing throne on weekly excursions to racetracks near their Cherry Hill, New Jersey home. In the ensuing years, racing has come full circle for the Hesserts as Tom III practices his profession on the ARCA Racing and Hooters Pro Cup Series, morphing himself from an open wheel and road course driver into a full sized stock car racing expert.
Over halfway into his first full season on the ARCA/REMAX Racing Series, Tom Hessert III and Andy Belmont Racing have enjoyed unusual rookie season success, buoyed by a great start at the season opening event in Daytona. Hessert qualified the #1 MAACO America's Bodyshop Ford in the 11th spot and finished 6th, leading 21 circuits of the 80-lap ARCA 200 and earning Rookie of the Race honors in his first start at the historic speedway. Since that first race this season, the team has stayed among the top-10 in championship points and contended for the race win week in and week out. "I go to racetracks each week to win," said Hessert. "If you go there thinking that others can beat you, you should stay home."
That competitive mindset has vaulted Hessert from a humble rookie to a force to be reckoned with each week, yet the New Jersey native relishes his time with family and friends at his Cherry Hill home, away from the weekly mental and physical demands required of his profession.
"I love coming home to New Jersey as often as possible," said Hessert. "My family and friends are here, I love the area and there is so much to do. It's just a great place to live. We're on the road for days and sometimes weeks at a time on the race circuit, so coming home gives me time to regroup, rejuvenate and catch up. Staying at home and sleeping in my own bed is a simple luxury that I appreciate. I love being so close to New York, Philadelphia, Atlantic City and the Jersey Shore, there is so much to do, but then you can come back to Cherry Hill and sort of 'hide out' if you want to."
"I am thrilled that the New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville is so close to me and ready to host its first ARCA event. It's a first class facility and I'm really looking forward to racing there. I've been on the Lightning Course as a guest instructor and am really impressed with it- it has interesting, challenging corners and a lot of elevation changes for a track that was not built on mountainous land. I think there will be a big separation between the fast guys and the mid-pack guys during the ARCA RE/MAX race here and the regular stock car racers are going to have an issue. Not only am I looking forward to competing on this course in the MAACO America's Bodyshop/Boudreaux Buttpaste Ford, but because it's only 40 minutes from my home, I can sleep in my own bed and wake up and go to the track. I've never done that before. I won my 1st go-cart race in New Jersey, my 1st quarter midget race in New Jersey and the New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville is definitely a place I can look to collect my first ARCA RE/MAX Series win, if not before then."
"I always think of the advantages of a new facility like this on the competitive side first, but as a local resident, the New Jersey Motorsports Park has been a blessing to the Millville area. The economic impact generated by this facility is going to really make a difference here and I am very glad to see it. All the thanks need to go to the people who made NJMP a reality and to all the race fans that support our sport here in New Jersey and in every other state-it's for them tracks like NJMP are built and it's for them we race."