Patrick Sheltra 14th At Berlin Raceway MARNE, Michigan (July 27, 2009) - - Patrick Sheltra in the No. 60 Buffalo Wings & Rings-Boatwerks Waterfront Restaurant Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS finished 14th in Saturday night's Wolverine Power Systems ...
Patrick Sheltra 14th At Berlin Raceway
MARNE, Michigan (July 27, 2009) - - Patrick Sheltra in the No. 60 Buffalo Wings & Rings-Boatwerks Waterfront Restaurant Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS finished 14th in Saturday night's Wolverine Power Systems 200 presented by Generac at Berlin Raceway. While the race offered its challenges for Sheltra, his Sheltra Motorsports team was able to rally and tally their eighth top-15 finish in 12 races this season.
Steering the same Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS that Sheltra mounted his first career top-five finish in 2007 at Berlin Raceway, Sheltra was hoping for more of the same results.
With guidance from driver coach and former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Champion Ted Musgrave Sheltra headed into practice hoping to dial his machine in for his third trip at Berlin Raceway.
During the short hour and a half practice, Sheltra posted his fastest lap of 17.793 seconds at 88.619 miles per hour which amounted to the 16th quickest machine. During the session, Sheltra informed crew chief John Hayden that his car was loose, extremely loose. Several changes during practice made the Grace Sheltra owned machine better but still on the loose side.
In Menards Pole by Ansell qualifying, Sheltra drew a late draw which turned out to be advantage for the Indiantown, Florida native. During his two lap run Sheltra maneuvered a lap of 17.252 seconds or 91.398 miles per hour. The 23-year old phenom was a half-second quicker than his fastest practice run nearly two hours earlier.
"That's all I had," said Sheltra after posting his seventh top-10 qualifying run this year. "The car is good on new tires. I am not sure what we really have for the race but I'm proud of the Sheltra Motorsports team for never giving up."
At the start of the race, Sheltra quickly picked up a position by maneuvering past the No. 4 Dodge Charger before the yellow flag waived on lap one for an incident on the frontstretch. After a quick clean-up, it was back to racing.
As the race's first half progressed Sheltra hovered in the top-10 but as the laps began to tick away the handling of Sheltra's No. 60 machine worsen reverting back to a serious loose condition which cost the team positions in the running order.
A trip to pit road with the leaders called for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment to tighten up the former PPC Racing entry.
Back to green, Sheltra's machine began climbing back through the running order but to no ones liking the car handling began to reverse itself back to a uncontrollable lose feeling forcing Sheltra to get up the wheel and hang on.
Another stop on pit road just after halfway called for a two-tire stop and another chassis change to further tighten up the Chevrolet bowtie.
Once again, Sheltra was battling back towards the front before an innocent spin in turn one on lap 151 erased all the positions Sheltra had gained on the previous run. After a trip to pit road for damage control and a major adjustment, Sheltra returned to action.
Over the race's final 45 laps, Sheltra was now dealing with a car that was tight in the center of the corner but still drivable. A green-flag run allowed the leader to overtake the rear of the field with Sheltra losing a lap to the leaders inside the final 30 circuits.
Despite the setback, Sheltra was bound and determined to persevere. Mr. Showtime survived a green-white-checkered finish to cross the line 14th, his second top-15 finish at Berlin Raceway.
"We unfortunately missed the setup," said the dejected driver. "No matter what changes we made to the car it didn't matter. The car would be good for a couple laps but then it would take a strange turn and go back to wicked loose. I'm feeling bad for everyone but we did the best we could. We're going to inspect the car thoroughly and get down to the bottom of what the source of the loose condition really was."
Sheltra sounded, "I have to thank Ted Musgrave for his efforts to help us at Berlin. I really enjoyed working with him and I learned a lot. He's a great addition to the team and I'm looking forward to having him around the rest of the year."
Next up for the ARCA RE/MAX Series is a return trip to Pocono Raceway for the running of the Pennsylvania 200 on Saturday, August 1. Sheltra finished third in June knocking off his career best finish at the 2.5-mile triangle.