CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA (January 31, 2017) – Tom Hessert, the popular 10-year veteran of the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, announced today his return to Venturini Motorsports (VMS) with an abbreviated 2017 race schedule beginning with the series’ season opener at Daytona International Speedway.
Coming off of a career best, second-place finish in last year’s ARCA National Championship standings, Tom Hessert will return to the series for five selected events in 2017. With six ARCA victories in 179 starts, Hessert is slated to pilot VMS’ No.25 Toyota at Daytona Int’l Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Illinois State Fairgrounds, DuQuoin State Fairgrounds and the Fall Salem Speedway race.
“Although it’s going to be a different look for me this season I’m really excited to rejoin Venturini Motorsports and the 25-team,” says Hessert. “I’m not sure if it was necessarily by design but the schedule we put together includes some of my favorite tracks – tracks I’ve had a lot of success on in the past.”
Hessert, a native of Cherry Hill, NJ, has proven himself as one of the elite drivers in the ARCA Series with wins at Talladega Superspeedway, Iowa Speedway, DuQuoin dirt mile and three times at the historic Salem Speedway. A product of road racing and open-wheel midgets, Hessert is a six-time series winner with 53 top-5 and 106 top-10 finishes throughout his ARCA career.
During his first full season driving for Venturini Motorsports, Hessert doubled his career numbers earning two pole positions – Talladega Superspeedway and Berlin Raceway – and winning his sixth career victory at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds dirt mile, enroot to his 2016 runner-up Championship Standing finish behind championship driver, Chase Briscoe.
“This is a great organization and we shared a lot of success together last year. Despite the scaled back schedule we’ll be strong once again. I’m ready to get things going in a couple weeks at Daytona and excited to make some new sponsorship announcements in the near future.”
Not ruling out a full season return in 2018, Hessert knows his partial schedule will be difficult at times.
“I race because I love it. And I’m not ruling out another full season return – but the decision to scale back this year was just a personal decision I made during the offseason. I’ve got great support from my family and everyone on the team.”
Laughing, Hessert adds, “I’m not sure what I’m going to do with myself. It’s probably going to drive me nuts not being inside the race car every weekend. Who knows, maybe I’ll sell more cars.”
In addition to his racing career, Hessert maintains a busy schedule as General Manager within his New Jersey based family owned Barbera’s Autoland car dealership.
Hessert will make his 10th Daytona Speedweeks appearance on Saturday, February 18th during the 54th annual Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200 driven by General Tire at Daytona Int’l Speedway.
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, Brandon Jones and John Wes Townley. 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.