KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Tom Hessert is just 150 miles away from his career-best points finish in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards.
While he won’t catch championship leader Chase Briscoe, he’s well entrenched in second-place, 185 points in front of Matt Kurzejewski.
Hessert, in the No. 25 3M-Cometic Toyota for Venturini Motorsports, can solidify his runner-up championship status in Friday night’s season-ending Kansas 150 at Kansas Speedway.
In his first season driving for Venturini Motorsports, Hessert has relied on a strong second half surge to put himself in position for the career best championship effort in the series.
“After starting the season in a bit of a hole we’ve made some huge gains on Briscoe and other drivers over the last eight or nine races,” said Hessert. “I’m really proud of this team and our ability to stick in there. Although we’re going to come up short for the championship our perseverance never wavered and got us to this point now. It’s been a solid season.”
After starting the season with misfortune at Daytona and finishing deep in the pack at Pocono and Michigan, Hessert and his team rebounded during the second half of the season. Highlighted by his sixth career victory at the DuQuoin State Fairground’s dirt mile in early September, Hessert currently rides a string of eight consecutive top-10 finishes going into the final race of the year.
“I’m definitely a racing purist and like how ARCA’s championship format rewards each driver based on the entirety of a driver’s season performance. We had a dominant car at Daytona and if we don’t cut a tire late in the race or have axle issues at Michigan … who knows how everything from there plays out? We could easily be having a completely different conversation.”
Friday’s Kansas finale will mark Hessert’s eight career start on the 1.5 mile oval. His career best finish on the Kansas track came in 2010, when he ran sixth.
The Kansas 150 marks the 16th consecutive ARCA race at Kansas since the series debuted on the 1.5 mile superspeedway in 2001.
CREDIT: Venturini Motorsports / ARCA Communications