Hessert Leads the Way During ARCA Testing at Talladega Superspeedway
Allison 8th, Kimmel 13th; Tests Resumes Thursday for International Motorsports Hall of Fame 200
TALLADEGA, AL – Eighteen drivers paced the biggest and baddest race track on the planet Wednesday during an open ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards practice session at Talladega Superspeedway in preparation for the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 200, a part of a spectacular triple header on Saturday, May 3.
Veteran Tom Hessert led the way with a speed of 184.551 mph, followed by Justin Boston at 183.733 mph. The rest of the top five included John Wes Townley (183.448 mph), Leilani Munter (183.367 mph) and Mark Thompson (183.084 mph).
Justin Allison, grandson of two-time Talladega winner and original member of The Alabama Gang Donnie Allison, was eighth at 182.442 mph. Defending International Motorsports Hall of Fame winner and 10-time ARCA Champion Frank Kimmel, was 13th at 180.553 mph. Alabama’s Thomas Praytor (Mobile) and Joey Gattina (Alabaster) were also on hand. Testing resumes Thursday.
“We need some speed in our car,” said Kimmel, whose son Frank Kimmel II was also testing today and will make his Talladega debut on May 3. “And that is why we are here. We didn’t qualify well in Daytona (in February) and it felt good to come away with a runner-up finish. This is the same car so we are here for a couple of days to try different things to find some speed and make sure we are a contender when we come back here in a couple of weeks.
“This is by far the coolest racetrack that we compete on. We love the people here. The employees at Talladega are second to none and treat you like family, and the fans are the same. Nowhere we go do we hear so much passion for racing. I can tell them that we are going to have a great ARCA race at Talladega. If you want passing, get ready.”
The International Motorsports Hall of Fame 200 will kick off an incredible Saturday at 10 am CT. At 12:10 pm, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers will challenge Talladega for the first time in NASCAR’s all new “Knockout” Coors Light Pole qualifying, which will feature group, three-round elimination. It’s the most anticipated qualifying of the year and will showcase an incredible urgency for drivers to make their way to the front. At 2 pm, the NASCAR Nationwide Series will take to the 2.66-mile venue for the Aaron’s 312.
Ticket options? The track has many for fans of all ages, as well as hundreds of acres of FREE Camping. To find out more, call the Talladega ticket office at 1-877-Go-2-DEGA.
NASCAR returns to Talladega Superspeedway in 2014 with the Aaron’s Dream Weekend, which is set for May 2-4. The NASCAR Nationwide Series and ARCA Racing Series will take to the track on Saturday, May 3 while NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series machines take the green flag on Sunday, May 4. For ticket information, log onto www.talladegasuperspeedway.com.