Hessert Fastest During Thursday ARCA Open Test at Talladega TALLADEGA AL (9-18-08)--ARCA RE/MAX Series SunTrust Rookie Tom Hessert, III closed the final day of a two day ARCA Open Test at Talladega Superspeedway this week with 51.52-second...
Hessert Fastest During Thursday ARCA Open Test at Talladega
TALLADEGA AL (9-18-08)--ARCA RE/MAX Series SunTrust Rookie Tom Hessert, III closed the final day of a two day ARCA Open Test at Talladega Superspeedway this week with 51.52-second (185.84 mph) mock qualifying run around the 2.66-mile superspeedway. Hessert, in an Andy Belmont-prepared Maaco Auto Painting America's Body Shop Ford, topped a field of more than 20 testers in both the morning and afternoon portions of Thursday's ARCA Open Test.
"Yesterday we focused on race trims and making long runs," said Hessert. "The car was competitive but we stayed out of the draft and focused on race runs so this morning we made one run like we did yesterday than taped up and made pretty much a full qualifying run. Andy Belmont and Dave Leiner and all of the guys on the team focused on race setup and they did an excellent job. At a track like Talladega it's in the hands of the team. It's not a real technical track like Salem is for a driver. It's much more important for the team to provide a good car at Talladega. We didn't get in the draft this afternoon either. I think we're going to save all of our drafting for race weekend. The car's really good. It's the same car we ran at Daytona so hopefully we can get the pole and run well in the race."
The two day ARCA Open Test was designed to prepare race teams for the October 3rd ARCA RE/MAX 250 at Talladega Superspeedway. The race marks the Series' 46th appearance to Talladega since 1969. The morning portion of the test session was reserved for single car runs, with afternoon testing sessions consisting of a mixture of single car runs and drafting sessions.
Hessert was followed on the final afternoon practice charts by fellow SunTrust Rookie and championship point contender Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in a Roush Fenway Racing prepared Aflac Ford, Ben Stancill in a TRG Motorsports Chevrolet, Steve Blackburn in a Harley Davidson Pikeville-RideHonda.com Dodge and Eddie Sharp Racing's Justin Lofton in a Lofton Cattle Toyota. Cincinnati, Ohio's Jeff Fultz, who was testing the No. 2 Red Bull Toyota on behalf of current ARCA RE/MAX Series point leader Scott Speed, was sixth quickest on Thursday afternoon.
During Wednesday's ARCA Open Test at Talladega, Ben Stancill was fastest in his No. 48 TRG Motorsports Chevrolet after grouping with Venturini Motorsports teammates Joey Logano and Brian Scott, Roush Fenway Racing teammates Colin Braun and Stenhouse, Jr. and Larry Hollenbeck.
Three races remain in the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series, the Loud Energy Drink 150 at New Jersey Motorsports Park on September 28th, the ARCA RE/MAX 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 3rd and the Hantz Group 200 presented by Belle Tire at Toledo Speedway on October 12th. Check arcaracing.com for complete race day schedules, ticket information and broadcast schedules.