Tom Hessert Runs Out of Time at Daytona Finishes FifthFebruary 20, 2017
Concord, NC (February 20, 2017) – Saturday’s ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season-opening Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200 Driven by General Tire at Daytona International Speedway is officially in the rear view mirror.
The Florida rains held off but a dramatic multi-car crash on lap 75 forced ARCA officials to waive the red flag and freeze the field, ending the scheduled 80-lap feature prematurely.
Tom Hessert returned from the long offseason primed and ready to avenge his career-long search for Daytona glory. Last year’s second-place driver in the national point standings showed consistent speed throughout Speedweeks highlighted by his fifth career General Tire Pole Award leading up to Saturday’s ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season opener at Daytona International Speedway.
Starting from the top spot, Hessert, a native of Cherry Hill, NJ, led the first 21-laps of the series’ most anticipated race of the season from the driver’s seat of VMS’s No.25 Andrews-Renton Coil Spring Toyota.
Bringing the field down pit road under caution on lap 21 Hessert relinquished the lead. Attempting to regain the lead positon, Hessert used his Daytona experience to stay within striking distance keeping his Toyota firmly in the front running pack.
Chasing down the leaders during the final laps, Hessert’s fate was determined after the sixth caution flag and second red flag waived on lap-75 of the scheduled 80-lap event due to a huge multi-car wreck on the front stretch. Due to time restrictions impeding the start of the NASCAR Clash and apparent damage to the outside safe barrier wall the race was called and deemed official. Hessert, running fifth at the time of the caution flag was credited with his second top-5 finish in ten Daytona attempts.
Hessert will return to series action driving VMS’s No.25 Toyota at Talladega Superspeedway on May 5.
The next race for VMS and the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards is the Music City 200 at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville on April 8 where Christian Eckes will make his return with VMS in the No. 15 Toyota and drivers Raphael Lessard (No.25) and Zane Smith (No.55) will make their series debut.