April 6, 2016 (Concord, NC) – Venturini Motorsports (VMS) will be returning to the Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville for this weekend’s ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Music City 200.
ARCA series veteran driver Tom Hessert, who will be running a full season effort, will join rookie drivers Christian Eckes and Cole Williams; both who’ll be making their series debuts under the lights Saturday night in Nashville.
Hessert, driver of the No.25 Slinger Apparel-MEGA Truck Series
Toyota Camry, is ready to rebound from his less than satisfactory finish at Daytona in the season opener. After qualifying fourth and running up front during the early stages an unexpected flat tire occurred roughly half way through the race, which confined Hessert to a 28th place finish.
“Unfortunately with Daytona and our flat tire that happened about halfway through the race, we were relegated to a pretty bad finish and we’re facing a bit of a points deficit right now so we’re going to Nashville trying to win that race and I think we can achieve that. That’s our goal, that’s what we need to do and I think we’ll be able to accomplish that,” said Hessert.
Williams, a Sellersburg, Ind. native, is set for his ARCA series debut at Nashville driving the No.55 Cardinal Services Toyota Camry. Although Williams is new to ARCA, Williams is already familiar with the historical Tennessee State Fairgrounds short track having earned the Pro Late Model track championship at Nashville in 2014. He also won three of seven Pro Late Model events at Nashville in 2015.
“I’m excited for the weekend,” says Williams. “We tested last month and have a very fast Toyota. The biggest adjustment for me between the heavier ARCA car and the Late Model was the corner entrance. I’m used to driving in so much deeper in the Late Model. The ARCA car is so much heavier…biggest thing is how much I had to back up my corner with the ARCA car to get it to roll through the corner right.”
Eckes, the 15-year old from Middletown, NY, will make his series debut driving VMS’s No.66 New York Bus Sales Toyota Camry. Eckes, an up and coming talent will compete in three ARCA events this season with Venturini Motorsports – Nashville, Madison and Iowa Speedway. He’s also signed with JR Motorsports’ Late Model Program competing the full schedule in the CARS Tour.
“This is a great opportunity and exciting time in my career,” says Eckes. “After testing last month I feel we have a great set up and car for the weekend – but my focus remains on running the full 200 laps and gaining as much experience as I can.”
Eckes will become the fifth 15-year-old driver to compete for VMS in the ARCA Series since the competition age requirement was lowered to fifteen in 2012 – joining previous VMS drivers – Erik Jones, Kyle Benjamin, JJ Haley and Todd Gilliland. Benjamin became the first fifteen year old series winner (2012). Gilliland broke Benjamin’s record with his win last season at Toledo, two days after his fifteenth birthday, becoming the youngest winner in series history.
The Music City 200 from the Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville is slated to begin Saturday, April 9 at 8:00 PM CST.
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, Justin Allgaier, Brian Scott, Alex Bowman, Ryan Blaney, Brennan Poole, John Wes Townley, 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.