Toledo, OH – The Herr’s Chase The Taste 200 at Winchester Speedway could get a little dicey for Tom Hessert, but in a very good way.
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards veteran is not only competing at one of his favorite tracks, he’ll also be on watch for something, or someone we should say, even more important. As the schedule goes, Hessert’s wife Meghan is due with their first child July 1. And as the points battle goes, Hessert’s in the middle of a title fight…each race crucial in the pursuit of what would be his first national championship.
“I don’t really have a formal plan as to what we’d do if I had to leave, but if I get the call, that’s exactly what’s going to happen,” Hessert said. “I need to be at Winchester, but, even more, I need to be there when our baby is born. How everything’s going to work out, I don’t know. What will be, will be, so I’m not worried about it.”
Hessert, an optimist by choice, believes he’ll be there for both.
“I’m working off percentages. Winchester’s only one day…one out of 365 days (a year), so the odds are in our favor that we can do both. It could get a little dicey though.”
As important as the birth of his child is, Winchester is clearly one of his favorite destinations.
“Winchester is phenomenal…everything about it…the history…it’s been around forever as racetracks go. It’s not just another race as far as I’m concerned. It’s Winchester, and I want to be there. We haven’t had the best luck finishing there, but we’re always fast.”
Hessert has indeed been fast on the short tracks. In fact the Cherry Hill, New Jersey driver has won three of the last six races at Salem Speedway, a track very similar in size and configuration to Winchester.
As far as who may substitute for Hessert in the event he had to make a fast exit for home, that’s still up in the air.
“It’s really up to Kerry (Scherer) and Briggs (Cunningham). This isn’t all about me; that’s for sure. The 22 and 77 are looking to win an owners championship also. Whatever they see that’s best for the team, that’s what we need to do. This isn’t something I’ve ever gone through before, so there’s no secure plan.”
Back to the baby.
“I want the baby to be born on July 4 so he or she can come in with fireworks! That’d also work out good with the Winchester schedule.
“We’re both really pumped. We’ve been doing all sorts of stuff at the house…putting together baby things.”
If the timing is a little precarious for Hessert, it works out well for Meghan.
“She teaches third grade in Haddonfield, New Jersey. She’s loves it. We live really close to the school…having the summers off is not too bad either.”
Back to the championship.
“I feel like I’m more of a contender than I’ve ever been. We’ve been fast everywhere. We’ll be good at Winchester. Maybe I’ll get the call in Victory Lane.”
Calypso Short Track Challenge to Winchester
The Herr’s Chase the Taste 200 is the fifth race of the 2015 Calypso Lemonades Short Track Challenge. The series-within-the-series consists of the 11 ARCA Racing Series short track events on this year’s schedule. Short tracks, as deemed by series officials, are tracks one-mile in length or less. Through the first four races of the Calypso Lemonades Short Track Challenge, Kyle Weatherman is leading the point standings with Austin Wayne Self only five points behind.
Discounted Tickets On Sale at Area Menards
Discounted tickets for the June 28 Herr’s Chase the Taste 200 at Winchester Speedway remain available at nine Menards stores near the track. As the ARCA Racing Series continues through its 63rd season, race fans in Indiana and Ohio have the chance to “Save Big Money” on tickets to see the action live. Until Saturday, June 27, fans can buy tickets for the June 28 race for $20 at stores in: Anderson, Ind.; Celina, Ohio; Muncie, Ind.; Richmond, Ind.; Sidney, Ohio; and Tipp City, Ohio. Three stores in Fort Wayne are also offering the discount.
ARCA History at Winchester
The ARCA Racing Series reaches way back at Winchester – to 1957 when Don O’Dell won the inaugural event in 1957. Ten-time series champion Frank Kimmel is the leading ARCA winner at Winchester with six victories (1996, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2013) followed by three-time series champ Tim Steele, who won four times (1993, 1995, 1997, 2001). 1988 series champion Tracy Leslie won twice at Winchester in 1988 and 1999. Leslie’s son Billy Leslie, with his father spotting, won from the pole in 2007. Cunningham Motorsports went back-to-back as victors with Dakoda Armstrong in 2011 and Alex Bowman in 2012.
Other ARCA winners at Winchester include Jack Bowsher (1964), Ralph Latham (1972), Bobby Watson (1972) and two-time series champion Marvin Smith, who won back-to-back races in 1982 and 1983. Other winners are Bob Keselowski (1990), Gary Bradberry (1994) and Bob Strait (1998).
King of the Wing Sprints, Top Speed Modifieds support ARCA at Winchester
The Herr’s Chase the Taste 200 serves as the grand finale in a triple-header race weekend that includes the Davey Hamilton-promoted ‘King of the Wing’ sprint cars and the Top Speed Modified Tour on Saturday, which accompanies ARCA Racing Series practice and Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell. The explosive and festive weekend culminates with the Herr’s Chase the Taste 200 grand finale Sunday afternoon. The Winchester Old Timers Club cars will also be on display all weekend.
Last year’s ARCA race brought the fans to their feet when 2014 champion Mason Mitchell and SCOTT rookie Brandon Jones collided in turn four coming to the checkered flag, with Jones surfacing as the winner in his first series attempt.
The Herr’s Chase the Taste 200 at Winchester Speedway is live on CBS Sports Network at 2:00 p.m. ET., Sunday, June 28. ARCAracing.com will also feature live timing and scoring of all ARCA on-track activities Saturday and Sunday.
ARCA PR & Photo