May 3, 2017 (Concord, North Carolina) – Venturini Motorsports (VMS) and the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards return to ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ this weekend for Friday afternoon’s General Tire 200 at Talladega Superspeedway.
As part of their ongoing partnership, VMS and Musselman’s will serve up some sweetness by delivering two helpings of Apple Sauce with team drivers’ Tom Hessert and Noah Gragson featuring Musselman’s Squeezables and Big Cup brands on their team backed Toyota Camry race cars.
Musselman’s BIG CUP satisfies appetites of teens and adults with active lifestyles, while Musselman’s Squeezables is the healthy snack Mom can provide to her children who are on-the-go.
After a two race hiatus, Tom Hessert returns to his familiar seat driving the No.25 Musselman’s Squeezables Apple Sauce Toyota. A former Talladega race winner, Hessert will make just his second attempt of the season. Hessert, a formidable series veteran and proven restrictor plate racer earned the pole position and finished fifth earlier this year in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway.
Hessert who started from the pole position last season at Talladega knows sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good on the big track.
“Talladega is one of my favorite tracks on tour but also one of the toughest”, says Hessert. “Restrictor plate racing is exciting for the fans but difficult for drivers in the sense of how much of the race is truly out of your control. Just like Daytona it’s one of those places it’s sometimes better to be lucky than good. I know Venturini will unload a fast Camry – It’s gonna be my job to make sure we qualify upfront and give our Musselman’s Toyota a shot at the win.”
Eighteen year-old rookie Noah Gragson will make his fourth ARCA Series start and third for VMS at Talladega driving the No.55 Musselman’s Big Cup Apple Sauce Toyota. Gragson, a native of Las Vegas, Nevada, is also competing full-time this season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with Kyle Busch Motorsports. Gragson, who made his season debut with VMS at Daytona will be making his first ever appearance at Talladega.
“I’m excited to make my first start at Talladega,” says Gragson. “These big tracks can be intimidating going into your first race. Thankfully I’ve got a couple restrictor plate starts under my belt now giving me some personal experience to lean on going into this weekend. I think that’s a huge confidence booster. I’m excited to reunite with the Venturini bunch and race for win!”
Prior to Friday’s event Musselman’s driver Noah Gragson will visit with students and staff from the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB) located in Talladega, Alabama.
Venturini Motorsports enters Talladega recipients of the General Tire Pole Award the last two seasons. However, the team competing in its 35th year of ARCA competition is still looking for their first Alabama victory. Team patriarch and 2-time ARCA Series champion Bill Venturini holds the all-time track speed record with a 1987 pole qualifying speed of 205.432 mph.
The General Tire 200 from Talladega Superspeedway will air live on FOX SPORTS 1 on Friday, May 5 at 5:00 PM local time. Follow ARCARACING.com for more race news and @VenturiniMotor on Twitter for race updates.
ABOUT MUSSELMAN’S APPLE SAUCE
A family tradition, deeply rooted in quality. Musselman’s BIG CUP satisfies appetites of teens and adults with active lifestyles, while Musselman’s Squeezables is the healthy snack Mom can provide to her children who are on-the-go.
Musselman’s was founded in Biglerville, PA, in 1907 by Christian and Emma Musselman. The original plants in Biglerville and Gardners, PA, provided much needed canned goods for the servicemen during WWI including corn, tomatoes, and of course apples. They focused on the processing of the abundant local fruit in the area, producing apple sauce, apple juice, and their now-famous Musselman’s Apple Butter.
In 1984 the C. H. Musselman Company was purchased by a cooperative of local fruit growers (Knouse Foods, Inc.). The Musselman’s name, which reflects quality, tradition and value was preserved and remains a thriving brand today under the ownership of the growers who still tend to their fruit orchards.
Knouse Foods, Inc., established as a growers’ co-op in 1949, has a long history of providing outstanding fruit products. They believe making healthy, delicious fruit products is more than just a job; it’s a way of life. And that’s why the growers who have spent their entire lives nurturing their orchards and harvesting their fruit also own the company. That pride and care are the key ingredients that make Knouse fruit products the very best.
For more information visit www.Musselmans.com & #MusselmansRacing
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, Justin Allgaier, Alex Bowman, Brian Scott, Ryan Blaney, Brennan Poole, 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 (www.NIASHF.org) and now find themselves enshrined with such sports icons as Joe DiMaggio, Mario Andretti, Vince Lombardi, Tommy Lasorda and Rocky Marciano.