Tom Hessert Ends Nearly Two-Year Long Win Drought at DuQuoinby Kyle Pokrefky September 5, 2016 0 comments
DUQUOIN, Ill. — Tom Hessert shattered a nearly two-year long winless streak in the ARCA Racing Series on Sunday, breaking through the competition to win the General Tire Grabber 100 at DuQuoin State Fairgrounds.
His first career ARCA win on dirt, Hessert notched his sixth career win in the Toledo, Ohio-based series and his first with new team Venturini Motorsports.
Sunday night’s race was notable for being the first-ever under the lights for the ARCA Racing Series at DuQuoin and wraps up the series’s late-summer swing through Illinois’s dirt miles.
“Awesome night, first night race here at DuQuoin is really special to win,” Hessert said. “I just have to say thanks to Dave Leiner, Billy Venturini and everyone at Venturini Motorsports. We had an awesome Detour Sunglasses Toyota.
“We really overheated like a lot of guys did in the beginning of the race, which was really tough. We were kind of limping her around and waiting for a caution and it kind of fell in the right points to get it cooled off and get back at it. A really cool night, really awesome.”
A frantic one-lap restart in overtime jumbled up the finishing order as Hessert and Venturini teammate Ken Schrader took the green flag in the respective first and second positions.
One mile later at the waving of the checkered, thundering across the finish line behind Hessert in the top-five were Kelly Kovski, Schrader, Chase Briscoe and Ryan Unzicker.
Mason Mitchell, Tyler Speer, Joe Cooksey, Thomas Praytor and Trista Stevenson respectively rounded out the top-10 positions.
Four caution flags flew during the inaugural DuQuoin ARCA night race with Briscoe being the cause for the first caution on a Turn 4 spin on Lap 13.
Will Kimmel was the reason for the second and third cautions of the night with a spin on Lap 57 and a downed right front tire on Lap 77 being the cause for his two cautions.
An assisted spin involving Matt Kurzejewski was the cause of the final caution of the night following the waving of the white flag on Lap 100. Per ARCA rules, a race must finish under green-flag conditions and a yellow may be thrown after the crossing of the finish line to start the final lap.
Up next for the ARCA Racing Series is the 100th race at Salem Speedway, the Eddie Gilstrap Motors Fall Classic, which is set to be run under the lights next Saturday.
Hessert, a three-time winner at the banked half-mile in southern Indiana, is looking to build off of the momentum he has been generating the last few weeks and hopes to go for his seventh career series win next week.
“Obviously, we have some nice momentum from tonight,” Hessert stated. “It’s the 100th race for Salem, and obviously, like you said, it’s one of my best race tracks. We’re going to head down there and try to win a fourth.”
Photo Credit: Kyle Pokrefky/The Fourth Turn
Finishing Order of the General Tire Grabber 100
- 25 – Tom Hessert
- 16 – Kelly Kovski
- 55 – Ken Schrader
- 77 – Chase Briscoe
- 24 – Ryan Unzicker
- 98 – Mason Mitchell
- 10 – Tyler Speer
- 2 – Joe Cooksey
- 9 – Thomas Praytor (-2)
- 15 – Trista Stevenson (-4)
- 69 – Will Kimmel (-5)
- 48 – Brad Smith (-7)
- 52 – Matt Kurzejewski (-10)
- 6 – Michael Lira (-22)
- 34 – Mike Basham (-35)
- 27 – A.J. Fike (-41)
- 22 – Grant Enfinger (-57)
- 73 – Dale Shearer (-64)
- 06 – Con Nicolopoulos (-77)
- 11 – Ed Pompa (-99)
- 0 – Wayne Peterson (-102)
- 00 – Bradley Frye (-104)
- 23 – Richard Doheny (-104)