Cunningham Motorsports has announced that Tom Hessert will drive the #77 Dodge in the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards for the full 2010 season. Hessert will be running for the championship in his third full ARCA Series season.
"I'm very excited and honored to have this opportunity," said Hessert. "Cunningham Motorsports has a strong tradition of running up front, winning and contending for championships. Our team is really coming together with a lot of talent focusing on our run for the 2010 championship."
Team owner Kerry Scherer made the announcement Saturday afternoon during ARCA's annual press conference in Covington, Kentucky, which preceded the same-night championship awards banquet.
"We are very excited to have Tom Hessert join our organization," said Scherer. "With the talent he has and the resources we have available, we are looking forward to contending for the 2010 championship."
Scherer also said that the team would be utilizing Ilmor-Penske engines.
"I'd like to thank Penske Racing," added Scherer. "They're a wonderful partner. None of this would be possible without their continued support. Under the leadership of Cunningham Motorsports' General Manager Paul Andrews, we are very excited about the season ahead."
Cunningham Motorsports finished second in championship points in 2009 with rookie Parker Kligerman driving. The Cunningham-Kligerman duo missed out on the '09 title by just five points to champion Justin Lofton and his Eddie Sharp Racing team.
Hessert finished eighth in championship points in 2008 and 2009 earning a pole at Talladega Superspeedway and a career-best finish of third at Toledo Speedway.
Scherer also announced that the #22 Cunningham Motorsports Dodge team car will be driven by Dakoda Armstrong for select ARCA Series races in 2010.
"I am super excited and can't wait to get to the test in Daytona," said Armstrong. "I'm ready to go to Daytona and get the 2010 season started."
Armstrong, a Penske Development driver, competed in six races for Cunningham Motorsports in 2009 earning one top-five and three top-10 finishes. The Dodges will be prepared under the leadership of NASCAR veteran Paul Andrews out of the new shop in Mooresville, North Carolina. In addition to his role as General Manager for Cunningham Motorsports, Andrews will also serve as Armstrong's crew chief.
"I'm looking forward to the 2010 season, with the potential of working with one driver for the entire year," said Andrews. "Dakoda showed a lot of promise in the races that he ran last year for Cunningham Motorsports. We are preparing for the Daytona test and are excited about heading to Daytona in February."
Armstrong's Dodge will also be powered by Ilmor-Penske engines.
In preparation for the Daytona opener in 2010, both Armstrong and Hessert will participate in the three-day ARCA Series open test coming December 18, 19 and 20 at Daytona. Both drivers are expected to kick off their 2010 seasons in the 47th annual Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona Saturday, February 6, live on SPEED.