|General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 – Pocono Raceway|
|Sargeant Leads VMS Trio Finishing Fourth, Byron Eighth and Hessert Brings Home Top-15
Concord, North Carolina (June 4, 2016) – The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards made its 62nd appearance Friday in General Tire’s #AnywhereIsPossible 200 at Pocono Raceway.
For Venturini Motorsports (VMS) it was the seventh ARCA event of the year and the end of an extended travel stretch, which started over a week ago at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Looking to extend their team success at Pocono, Friday started with rain and the cancellation of Menards Pole qualifying. The starting field set by Thursday’s practice speeds seemed favorable.
VMS drivers Dalton Sargeant and William Byron would start second and third, while Tom Hessert would start 16th. The day ultimately determined by pit strategy made for an exciting race during the 80-lap/200-mile race. Sargeant would be top team finisher crossing the final stripe in fourth, behind race winner Grant Enfinger. Byron finished eighth and Tom Hessert ended up 15th.
Sargeant Scores another Top-5 in Pocono Debut
In his first ever Pocono appearance Sargeant, driving the No.55 Toyota Racing Development – Window 10 Camry, gained valuable experience earning his fourth top-5 finish in five season attempts. His only finish outside the top five is a 6th place finish at Talladega.
“I’m excited where this team is going,” said Sargeant. “We had another solid finish and I learned a lot out there today, especially with the fuel mileage strategy.”
During a day which fuel mileage strategy dominated the race, Sargeant completed his final pit stop on lap 37 of 80, the same strategy that ultimately won the race for driver Grant Enfinger.
“Towards the end of the race we worked our way back into second but were forced to conserve gas in the final laps giving up a couple of spots. In the end it seems I saved a little too much, had another lap of gas left after the checkers. We’re so close, I’m confident we’ll get us a win here soon.”
Sargeant’s next appearance will be the Corrigan Oil 200 at Michigan International Speedway on Friday, June 10.
Byron Settles for Eighth at Pocono
“Definitely not the day we wanted,” said a disappointed Byron. “After being up front all day we lost track position after that last pit stop. Fuel strategy really came into play today and in the end it just didn’t fall into our favor.”
After racing exclusively inside the top-5 and occupying the second spot inside of the final 20-laps, Byron was forced into a green flag pit stop for fuel which knocked him down to thirteenth position inside the final 15-laps. Byron did his best to come back up through the field but was only able to recapture five positions before the checkered flag dropped while in the eighth position.
“It was a lot of fun being back with Venturini Motorsports. It’s a good group to be around. They gave me a really strong Liberty University Toyota today. I was hoping for more but in the end we completed all the laps and got valuable track time at a place I’ve never seen. Today’s experience will help when I come back with the truck series.”
Pocono was Byron’s final scheduled race of the season with VMS. He’ll return to racing action next week with Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series for the Rattlesnake 400 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 10.
Hessert with Disappointing 15th Place Finish
“Tough day for this 25 team,” said Hessert. “After the problems we had in practice we ended up getting our Toyota pretty good, but never had track position to show it.”
After running over debris in Thursday’s practice, Hessert and his No.25 Turn One-Cherry Hill Classics Toyota team were forced to make repairs losing out on valuable practice time. As a result, his sixteenth place practice speed ended up being his starting spot after Menards Pole Qualifying was canceled due to rain.
Starting back in the eighth row proved to be costly as the 80-lap event turned into a track position and pit strategy race from the onset.
Hessert and crew chief would elect to pit for fuel on the first caution of the day coming on lap-6. Restarting 26th, Hessert would count on the early pit strategy for later success. The strategy didn’t work as the team was never able to get in sequence and capitalize. Hessert, who eventually cracked the top-5, would fall short on fuel, forcing a late race stop and loss of track position. Hessert would settle for 15th.
Despite the disappointing finish, Hessert maintains his third spot in the ARCA Series driver championship point standings.
Looking to rebound, Hessert eyes next week’s Corrigan Oil 200 at Michigan International Speedway on Friday, June 10.
Credit: Venturini Motorsports