Cunningham Motorsports celebrating 20 seasons of excellence in ARCA

Cunningham Motorsports celebrating 20 seasons of excellence in ARCA

(TOLEDO, Ohio – January 23, 2015) – The 2015 season will mark yet another milestone for Cunningham Motorsports in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards. One of the top go-to teams for driver development and more, the organization is celebrating its 20th consecutive year of fielding ARCA teams since its inception in 1996.Tom Hessert with Paul Andrews and Kerry Scherer in Victory Lane at Talladega 2014

What began as CSG Motorsports – a three-wide partnership between renowned sports car enthusiast Briggs Cunningham, financial advisor/consultant Kerry Scherer and veteran driver Mark Gibson – evolved into Cunningham Motorsports in 2000 to include a 50-50 split between partners Cunningham and Scherer.

Most recently, Cunningham felded two full-time teams (Dodge Chargers) in 2014 for SCOTT Rookie of the Year Austin Wayne Self in the 22 and veteran Tom Hessert in the 77. Hessert, who won twice last year, is on track to return in the 77 in the 2015 season while the 22 remains more fluid as necessary.

“We’re very excited to have Tom Hessert returning as our driver of the No. 77 Cunningham Motorsports car,” Scherer said. “Tom will run the first five races and see where he’s at, much the same as he did last year. Tom had a great season in 2014, finishing third in the points, and winning at Talladega and Salem. There’s no doubt he’s got what it takes to win the championship, and we’re confident he’ll get that opportunity again in 2015.”

The 22 will start the year with rookie Blake Jones in the car at Daytona.

“Blake Jones is definitely driving the 22 at Daytona; that’s a done-deal,” Scherer added. “We’ve had our eye on Blake for years. We tested him a couple years ago and assisted him at a K&N race at Bristol. He and his father are interested in doing more races.

“We also know that Austin Cindric (son of Penske Racing headman Tim Cindric) will drive for us in some races this year. His dad is interested in doing some races that don’t conflict with Austin’s current full-time racing schedule. We don’t have it completely nailed down, and we’re still working on some other deals that will involve the 22 part-time or full-time.”Cunningham Motorsports Composite Car in shop

At any rate, Cunningham Motorsports is busy building cars for the new season with the new ARCA Racing Series composite bodies.

“We’ve got the first car already finished…it turned out beautiful. We bought two brand new chassis. The one’s already re-skinned with the new composite body and the other one’s next. We’ve already set aside four chassis that will be dedicated to the new composite bodies.”

Hessert opened the season last year with a fourth place finish at Daytona, and backed that up with a big win at Talladega in early May.

“We’re definitely doing the first five and go from there,” Hessert said. “I hope to be able to run them all…that’s the goal. Excited to have Chad Bryant (2014 Cometic Crew Chief of the Year) back as my crew chief. Chad I worked together in 2013…actually won Salem in the spring of 2013. Worked together on couple more last year, but the plan is to have him crew chief the 77 everywhere this year.”

Tom Hessert Victory Lane at Salem 2014Hessert has, in many ways, become the new bench mark for Salem, having won three of the last five ARCA races at the historic southern Indiana short-track.

“We don’t lead a lot laps (at Salem) but we lead the right one. The wins there are very special to me. We’ve always run really well there but it’s really come together for the last few. Salem’s definitely one of my favorite tracks. It’s so cool to have the packed house…the exciting finishes. Just a fun race to watch for the fans.”

In addition to crew chief Bryant, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion crew chief Paul Andrews will head-up the overall operation as team general manager. The Cunningham Motorsports race shop is located in Mooresville, North Carolina and has been since 2010. Prior to ’10, the shop was in Charlotte from 2000 through 2009, and before that, in Statham, Georgia.

Cunningham Motorsports has a long winning history (25 career victories) in ARCA competition reaching back to 1997 when series veteran Mark Gibson wheeled the Cunningham car to victory lane at Gateway Int’l Raceway, out-dueling ARCA champion Tim Steele during a spectacular back-and-forth battle over the last 15 laps, Gibson making the winning pass on the final lap. Gibson also won with Cunningham at Texas Motor Speedway in 1998.

Chase Miller wheeled the Cunningham car to the winner’s circle at Pocono Raceway in 2006 with Scott Lagasse, Jr. going to victory lane at Kansas Speedway in 2007.

In 2009, no team out-paced Cunningham Motorsports in the win column with a record 10 wins between Parker Kligerman (nine victories) and Patrick Long at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

Dakoda Armstrong, who went on to compete in the NASCAR Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series, won three times with Cunningham at Talladega and Salem in 2010 and Winchester in 2011. Outside of Hessert’s wins at Iowa (2012), Salem and Talladega, Alex Bowman, who currently competes fulltime in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, put up four wins with Cunningham at Salem, Winchester, Iowa and Kansas in 2012.

Cunningham Motorsports has also produced a record four SCOTT Rookies of the Year in four of the last six seasons – Kligerman in 2009, Armstrong in 2010, Bowman in 2012 and Self in 2014.

@DonRadebaugh
dradebaugh@arcaracing.com

Comments
roush-yatesfan

Don........appears Cunningham will be making the switch to.............FORD. The composite body photo appears to be a Ford Fusion skin!

robert m.

It looks like dodge has lost another team to ford!  It just a matter of time. they will not have any team running dodges. Chrysler is speding over 2 billion dollars on advertising.

Tim D.

ARCA Racing.