Concord, North Carolina (August 1, 2016) – The second of two annual visits by the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards at Pocono Raceway wrapped up this weekend with the running of the ModSpace 150.
The 60-lap event, featuring VMS’s three team effort, was highlighted by Dalton Sargeant’s third-place finish behind race winner Chase Briscoe and John Wes Townley. Christopher Bell, who made his third series start with Venturini Motorsports, finished seventh in his Pocono debut and Tom Hessert went on to claim eighth place in his seventeenth track appearance.
The series will shift back to short track competition this weekend for the ARCA 200 at Berlin Raceway for the 14th event of the season.
Dalton Sargeant Scores his Seventh Top-5 of the Season
Dalton Sargeant rebounded from his season low finish the previous week to capture third-place in Friday afternoon’s ModSpace 150 at Pocono Raceway. Sargeant’s performance, his seventh top-5 of the season, also marked the fifth time the 18-year old driver finished inside the top-3 in ARCA Series competition this season.
Driving his familiar No.55 Toyota Racing Development – Windows 10 Camry, Sargeant qualified fifth keeping his Toyota up front the entire afternoon.
“Once again it was a total team effort,” said Sargeant. “We had to change up our pit strategy a bit but fortunately kept good track position and were there at the end. The guys in the pits did a heck of a job today giving me two great stops. I’m really proud of my Venturini Motorsports team. We made gains on the car all day, made good strides…it won’t be long before we get to victory lane.”
Sargeant will strap into this seat again for his 11th time of the season this weekend at Berlin Raceway. Despite running a partial series schedule Sargeant moved up one spot and now occupies the seventh position in ARCA’s overall driver point standings.
Christopher Bell Finishes Seventh in Pocono Raceway Debut
Christopher Bell made his first ever visit to Pocono Raceway this weekend finishing seventh in Friday’s ModSpace 150. Bell, driving his Venturini Motorsports prepared No.15 JBL Toyota, showed a lot of speed, pressuring race winner Chase Briscoe for the top spot before ultimately fading back in the final laps of the race.
After qualifying 13th in his first ever attempt at Pocono’s 2.5-mile triangle, Bell was able to find his rhythm and race inside the top-5 running order most of the afternoon.
“It was a great learning experience today,” said Bell. “It wasn’t necessarily the finish I was looking for but overall we had a solid day. I got really loose during my qualifying run and started further back than I expected but was able to drive up front and race for the lead. I’m really looking forward to getting back in the ARCA car at Salem and Chicago.”
Bell was one of three drivers in Friday’s ARCA race pulling double duty action at Pocono. Driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Bell came back from 5-laps down inSaturday’s truck series race to finish 10th in the series Pocono Mountains 150.
This was Bell’s third ARCA Series attempt with Venturini Motorsports and third consecutive top-10 finish. Bell won in his series debut at Salem Speedway and finished 10th in his first ever road course race at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Tom Hessert Optimistic with Eight Place Finish at Pocono
Leading the field with his seventeenth ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards start at Pocono Raceway, Tom Hessert finished eighth in Friday afternoon’s 60-lap ModSpace 150.
Hessert, who qualified 10th behind the wheel of his No.25 Cometic Toyota, turned in a solid performance earning his 100th career top-10 in the ARCA Series. Focusing on track position, Hessert was able to keep his Toyota solidly inside the top-10 the entire afternoon enroute to his eighth top-10 finish of the season.
Armed with a new crew chief, Hessert was reunited with Dave Leiner as part of a mid-season change atop the pit box. Leiner, who was Hessert’s crew chief when he first entered ARCA Series competition in 2010, will call the shots for the remainder of the season.
“We were in the game this weekend,” said Hessert. “Although we didn’t have the finish I was hoping for I’m feeling really good about moving forward. We’ve got a great bunch of guys working hard each week. I’m looking forward to the upcoming schedule – we’ve got a short track race and a couple of dirt races coming up. I’m excited and like our chances.”
Hessert, sitting five points behind Matt Kurzejewski, currently occupies the fourth spot in ARCA’s driver point standings.
Next up for Hessert and his Venturini Motorsports backed team is the 29th running of the ARCA 200 comingSaturday, August 6th under the lights at Berlin Raceway.
Credit: Venturini Motorsports