Hesse hauls to career first checkers at Arlington

Cole Hesse checked out on everybody in racing to his Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod career first feature win Saturday at Arlington Raceway. (Photo by Sarah Moriarty)

ARLINGTON, Minn. (May 18, 2024) – Cole Hesse became a first-time winner, on a night of firsts Saturday at Arlington Raceway.

The Gibbon hotshoe made the most of the lower line, made his way to the front of the field by lap five and then made his way to victory lane following his career-first Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod victory.

“Definitely down low was fastest, and it seemed like (turns) one and two were better for me,” said Hesse, who would pull away to a two second advantage before the end of the race. “I’ve got one trophy now and hopefully I can add more. That’s always the goal.”

Hesse had started in the second row and was in command before halfway. He was a quarter of a lap ahead of second running Jeff Carter, who held Matt Looft in check for the entire distance.

“I’ve always said that finishing second running against (six-time national champion) Looft was like winning,” said Hesse, starting his second full season in the class. “This win takes a huge weight off my shoulders. It’s a real confidence booster.”

First-time winners this season were Chad Porter in the Friesen Performance IMCA Modifieds, Zach Glaser in the IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Cars, Josh Larsen in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars and Justin Dose in the Mach-1 IMCA Sport Compacts.

The exception to the night of firsts at Arlington was Blake Luinenburg, who followed his opening night checkers with the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock feature win.

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