Talladega: Tom Hessert race report

Hessert Has Third Top-10 of 2010 Tom Hessert's and the ...

Hessert Has Third Top-10 of 2010

Tom Hessert's and the #77 Cunningham Motorsports team's 8th place finish in the Talladega ARCA 250, this weekend, doesn't show how competitive they were.

After testing at the Speedway in March, Hessert was expecting to unload off the trailer fast. During the practice session, Tom and the crew struggled to find which of the changes that had been made since the test were causing the slower practice times. With the mock qualifying run, Tom posted the 13th quickest practice lap. The team made some changes prior to qualifying, allowing Hessert to qualify 6th fastest of the 42 qualifiers. Hessert commented that, "the guys made good changes. The car was much better than practice. We will race good."

And race good-he did. Hessert started 6th and remained there through the first 8 laps, when he told crew chief, John Monsam, that his car was overheating. At this point he had to drop out of the lead pack draft and get some air to the motor, to allow it to cool down. This move caused him to drop to 18th. When the first caution came out on lap 18, Hessert brought his car to the pit crew's attention. He came out of the pits in the 15th spot. By lap 33 Tom was back to 9th, when he hooked up with teammate Dakoda Armstrong, as they began their climb toward the front. They moved through the field in the outside line, reclaiming the lead for Cunningham Motorsports, when Hessert took over the point on lap 45. For the next 5 laps, the Cunningham teammates swapped the lead. As the caution came out on lap 51, both Cunningham Motorsports teammates pitted, with Tom returning to the track in 7th. As he fell back into line, he and Armstrong continued to work together to maintain their spots in 5th through 8th. During the caution on lap 77, Tom experienced a problem with his batteries, when he lost power, telling his crew chief, "We are barely moving in (turn) 3." After switching batteries, Tom and Dakoda drafted together on the restart, picking off positions on each lap. With 4 laps to go in the 94 lap event, Hessert was back to 3rd. Coming out of the last corner of the race, Tom was getting a huge push from Craig Goess, but contact with that car got Tom really loose. As Hessert gathered up the car, he lost 5 positions, finishing 8th. After running a great race, a disappointed Hessert said, "We were getting a good push from the 81 (Craig Goess), moving toward the front. But after a little contact, I hit the apron and shot up the track. It is not the finish I was hoping for half way through the race."

The 8th place finish moved Hessert into the 4th spot in the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards points. The next race for the #77 team is May 23 when the Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care at Toledo Speedway takes the green flag.

-source: cunningham motorsports

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Tom Hessert , Craig Goess , Dakoda Armstrong