Heartbreak for Hessert After Dominant First Half at Berlin
Posted August 9, 2016
August 8, 2016 (Concord, NC) – Tom Hessert turned a lap at 16.648 seconds in Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell at Berlin Raceway on Saturday night, breaking the track record set by Grant Enfinger in 2015. The pole was the second of the season for Hessert and fourth of his career.

The Cherry Hill, N.J. native would lead the field to green in the No. 25 So Good! Entertainment-Relax Wraps Toyota and lead every lap until the second round of pit stops under the caution at Lap 106.

Hessert would lose one spot on pit road to Sargeant and restart in the second position behind his Venturini Motorsports teammate. As the field entered Turn 1 at the 7/16-mile track, John Wes Townley drove into the left rear of Hessert’s car to touch off a huge wreck that collected Venturini teammate Landon Huffman and several other contending cars.

“Unfortunately we got beat out of the pits, which put us on the outside for the restart. But we just got dumped down there,” Hessert said. “I don’t know what happened. I think the 05 (Townley) just missed the corner or something. He cleaned us out pretty good.”

The race would be red flagged to clean up the damage and Hessert brought his Toyota to the attention of his Venturini crew as soon as the race returned to yellow flag conditions. Despite two separate trips down pit road to make repairs, Hessert returned to the track one lap down. When all was said and done, Hessert finished three laps down in the seventh position.

Berlin marked the second consecutive week Hessert worked with crew chief Dave Leiner, who took over for Ryan London after the Iowa race. “Thanks to everyone at Venturini. Dave’s done an excellent job the last couple of weeks. It’s a shame to only have six more races to work together this season, but we’re going to make the best of it and try to win a couple races.”

Venturini Motorsports will field three cars for the 54th running of the Central Illinois 100. Hessert will be joined by dirt standouts Jake Griffin and Tanner Thorson at the Illinois State Fairgrounds dirt mile on Sunday, August 21.
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