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Connor Hall Leads the Way in ARCA Menards Series Open Test at Daytona

On a day that started off delayed due to a wet track surface, the ARCA Menards Series open test at Daytona was also cut short Friday afternoon by inclement weather. Connor Hall (No. 22C Chad Bryant Racing Ford) had just moved to the top of the leaderboard as a group of drivers had started to work the draft, raising speeds above 180 miles per hour.

Hall’s fast lap of 49.711 seconds/181.046 miles per hour just narrowly nipped Ronnie Osmer’s fastest lap. Osmer (No. 02O Our Motorsports Chevrolet) timed in with a lap at 49.754 seconds/180.890 miles per hour, just 0.043 seconds off Hall’s fastest lap.

“We were working on single car runs this morning,” Hall said. “We had a game plan to work on the car and getting air where we wanted it. We made some gains and learned some things we liked and didn’t like. That’s what testing is all about. We were focused on what we needed to be better on last year. We have a great racecar. We are happy but not totally happy so we’ll get back to work tomorrow.”

Chad Bryant Racing’s Jacob Heafner (No. 77H Chad Bryant Racing Ford) was third at 49.767 seconds/180.843 miles per hour.

“It was a learning curve atthe beginning,” Heafner said. “I calmed myself down and got to driving. It is a big change coming from late models on short tracks. We worked a little on single car runs and then got out there in the draft a little. We’re learning a lot and ready to come back in February.”

Ty Gibbs (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) was fourth quick at 49.772 seconds/180.825 miles per hour and Andy Suess (No. 02S Our Motorsports Chevrolet) rounded out the top five at 49.828 seconds/180.621 miles per hour.

Others that teamed up to work the draft and exceed 180 miles per hour included Gus Dean (No. 32 Win Tron Racing Chevrolet), Riley Herbst (No. 18H Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet), Dominique Van Wieringen (No. 30D Rette Jones Racing Ford), and her brother Tristan Van Wieringen (No. 30T Rette Jones Racing Ford). Bret Holmes (No. 23 Bret Holmes Racing Chevrolet) rounded out the top ten.

Thirty-seven drivers took time of the 50 that have registered. No incidents were reported throughout the day.

The two day test in preparation for the ARCA Menards Series season opening Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire, set for Saturday, February 10, will continue tomorrow morning at 9 am ET with the afternoon session set for 1 pm ET. Live timing and scoring will be available throughout the day at ARCARacing.com.

Chad Bryant Racing sets sights on Daytona ARCA test

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.: The season-opening Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire on February 8, 2020, is the ARCA Menards Series’ Super Bowl event and Chad Bryant Racing (CBR) is eyeing one of the most coveted trophies of the season.

To help prepare the Mooresville, N.C.-based team for the first race of the season, the organization will partake in this weekend’s open ARCA Menards Series test session at the 2.5-mile superspeedway with two familiar faces and a promising young rookie.

Chad Bryant Racing will field three automobiles during the two-day test on January 10th and 11th while planning to return to the “World Center of Racing” in a month with at least two entries eyeing the team’s first win of the season.

ARCA Menards Series veteran Tom Hessert III (@tomhessert) will drive the team’s No. 2 Chad Bryant Racing Ford Fusion this weekend. Hessert, a native of Cherry Hill, N.J. is a six-time ARCA winner, four with Cunningham Motorsports, the predecessor of Chad Bryant Racing.

The 33-year-old is a former pole sitter at Daytona and owns three top-five and five top-10 finishes in 11 career starts between 2008 to 2018.

“I am extremely excited to get back to Daytona this weekend,” offered Hessert. “Chad and I are great friends and when he asked me to come test, I jumped at the opportunity.

“It’s kind of a reunion for me, as I spent so much time racing out of that shop with Chad and Paul (Andrews, crew chief and team manager). I hope to be able to lend some of my experience to my teammates this weekend and help prepare them for the race next month.”

Returning to Chad Bryant Racing at Daytona is Hampton, Va. native Connor Hall (@connor_hall77).

An exceptional short track racer – Hall burst onto the ARCA Menards Series scene last February with an impressive showing in his ARCA debut driving the No. 22 Ford Fusion for CBR.

Recovering from a mid-race spin to finish a strong 11th in his first superspeedway race last February, the 22-year-old is thrilled to reunite with Andrews and improve on what they started nearly 12 months ago.

LetLoveLive Animal Rescue will support Hall in his third career ARCA Menards Series start, while Breeden Concrete, Knot Done Yet Sportfishing and Structural Steel Products will serve as associate partners for Daytona.

“I’m extremely happy and fortunate to be back with Chad Bryant Racing,” said Hall. “As always, I’m looking forward to working with Chad (Bryant), Paul (Andrews) and the No. 22 team. The test and next month’s race wouldn’t be possible without LetLoveLive and their initiative, as well as Breeden Concrete, Knot Done Yet Sportfishing and Structural Steel Products. I’m ready to get to work but have some fun too.”

Newcomer Jacob Heafner (@JacobHeafner) will round out the trio of cars this weekend at Daytona for CBR.

Heafner, a native of Dallas, N.C. will turn his first laps in an ARCA Menards Series car this weekend and return to the facility to partake in his series’ debut aboard the No. 77 Ford Fusion in February.

Heafner, 20, efforts will be supported by PowerHouse Recycling, a marker leader in certified electronics recycling and IT asset management services.

The veteran Late Model Stock racer and 2018 Hickory Motor Speedway Late Model champion is eager for his first laps around the historic Daytona high banks.

“I’m so blessed to have this incredible opportunity to drive for Chad Bryant Racing at Daytona,” sounded Heafner. “While I’m very eager to get on track, I understand the magnitude of this race and I’ll be incredibly focused on working with Chad (Bryant) and the rest of my Chad Bryant Racing team to take in as much knowledge as I can, while following the advice and guidance of my teammates.

“Looking forward to a strong weekend of testing and gaining some momentum for the actual race.”

Team owner Chad Bryant, who is also a championship-winning ARCA crew chief says his team lineup for the Daytona test is full of experience and talent – two potent combinations needed to make Daytona successful.

“We’re heading to Daytona and ready to get another year underway,” he said. “I can’t thank all the people on this Chad Bryant Racing team including Paul (Andrews) and Todd (Myers) for their dedication and leadership to bring a strong fleet of cars to the race track.

“Tom is going to be a great asset to assist Connor and Jacob who are not only eager to learn but focused on going fast and turning heads. My goal is to come out of the test with our goals conquered and the bigger picture on the race next month.”

For more on Tom Hessert III, please follow him on Twitter (@tomhessert).

For more on Connor Hall, please like him on Facebook (Connor Hall Racing) and follow him on Instagram (@connorhallweb) and Twitter (@connorhallweb).

For more on Jacob Heafner, please like him on Facebook (Heafner95) and follow him on Instagram (@heafner95) and Twitter (@JacobHeafner).

For more on Chad Bryant Racing, please visit ChadBryantRacing.com, like them on Facebook (Chad Bryant Racing) or follow them on Twitter (@ChadBryantRace).