Concord, North Carolina (September 5, 2017) – It was a rough ending for Venturini Motorsports Monday at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds ‘Magic Mile’.
Returning to dirt racing for the second time in three weeks Venturini Motorsports had high hopes going into the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards – Labor Day General Tire GRABBER 100.
Seeking its first team victory of the season, VMS produced a formidable driver lineup which included last year’s defending race winner, Tom Hessert and Midget car dirt ace Tanner Thorson.
Under hot late summer conditions the pair of drivers to the track early Monday morning for a brief practice session followed by qualifying. Thorson, driving the No.15 TurnOne Steering Toyota Camry showed his form setting a career best third-place qualifying effort for the 100-lap event. Hessert qualified fifth behind the wheel of his No.25 Musselman’s BIG CUP Applesauce.
Starting up front the tandem of Thorson and Hessert took the green flag and hovered inside the top-10 running positions throughout the day.
Fighting to find track position Thorson and Hessert both used a series of pit stops to better their machines as the laps counted down. Unable to find car balance the two drivers relied heavily on their experience to make a late race charge.
As the intensity on the track increased a late race caution on lap-95 restacked the filed for what was the first of two green-white-checkered flags to determine the winner. With Thorson restarting in the seventh position and Hessert in the ninth the green flag waived for overtime on lap-100.
Setting up for yet another dramatic ARCA overtime finish the field raced down the front stretch barreling three-wide into turn one with the lead pack laying it on the line. With front runners vying for top spot the three-wide action turned chaotic exiting turn two setting off an eight car crash collecting both Thorson and Hessert in the process.
Thorson, taking the brute of the damage came to a rest against the outside wall of turn two – unable to continue the dirt racer settled for a disappointing 18th place finish. Hessert able to avoid terminal damage slipped passed the incident badly damaged but able to continue – he would hold on and finish 10th.
With a quick turnaround the team returned to North Carolina early Tuesday morning to begin preparation for the next series event. The ARCA Series will return to action under the lights at Salem Speedway for the Eddie Gillstrap Motors Fall Classic 200 at Salem Speedway. Drivers Christian Eckes, Tom Hessert, and Bo LeMastus will lead the charge on Salem’s high-banks.
ABOUT VENTURINI MOTORSPORTS:
Venturini Motorsports (VMS), fielding cars for over 30-years in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, is one of the premier NASCAR driver development programs in the country. Multiple team championships and consistent on-track success, VMS has evolved into one of the most recognizable names in motorsports. Since 2007, VMS has assisted in the career development of notable NASCAR drivers such as Joey Logano, Erik Jones, William Byron, Christopher Bell, Justin Allgaier, Alex Bowman, Ryan Blaney, Brennan Poole, Kyle Benjamin, Daniel Suarez, and Brandon Jones. Over the years the Venturini name has become synonymous with modern-day racing in America. In 2012, the Venturini family was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame and now find themselves enshrined with such sports icons as Joe DiMaggio, Mario Andretti, Vince Lombardi, Tommy Lasorda and Rocky Marciano.