Hessert Returning Full-Time
November 4, 2008 | 2:56 P.M. EST
In his first full season of stock car competition, Hessert III came out strong with a solid sixth-place finish in the Daytona season opener, and finished up with a fifth-place finish in the Toledo season finale. The team seemed to gain momentum as the season progressed; it certainly showed at Talladega Superspeedway in early October where the Cherry Hill, New Jersey driver qualified a career-best second and led 51 laps in the race.
In all, Hessert earned seven top-10 finishes in 21 events in 2008.
"I'm glad to be back with Andy Belmont Racing for another season," said Hessert. "We had a really positive learning year; we can build on that success and hopefully get to victory lane in 2009."
In addition to the re-signing of Hessert, Andy Belmont Racing announced that the veteran ARCA team will again utilize Roush Yates engines.
"I'm very stoked to have Tom back with the team next year," said Andy Belmont of Andy Belmont Racing. "He did an exceptional job in his rookie year of competition and together for another season, we know that we are capable of raising the bar and being a threat for the championship. We've been very pleased with, not only the horsepower that Roush Yates provides, but the outstanding service as well. Roush Yates has put us solidly in position to win races, and we look forward to the same quality in 2009."
Dave Leiner, a veteran crew chief in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, will also be returning with the team for 2009.
"Dave Leiner (crew chief) came aboard during the middle of the year and that seemed to be the turning point of the race team," added Hessert. "We were running well before that but with his experience and knowledge, we found that connection we were looking for."
A very aggressive schedule is in the making. ABR will test at Talladega Superspeedway in November preparing for February's ARCA 200 at Daytona.
"We came real close to reaching our goals of a pole and a win at Talladega," said Leiner. "A front row qualifying spot and leading over half the race was just short of our goal. We're pressing forward and looking forward to bigger and better results in 2009."
Leiner, a Michigan native, has worked with several winning ARCA RE/MAX Series drivers over the years including Tim Steele, Bobby Gerhart, Blaise Alexander, Boston Reid and Kyle Krisiloff.
Maaco America's Bodyshop will return as the sponsor of the No. 1 Ford Fusion for the full 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series tour.