Chicagoland: Patrick Sheltra race report

Patrick Sheltra Fights With The Bulls; Delivers Top-10 At Chicagoland Joliet, Illinois (August 28, 2009) - - A never give up attitude awarded Patrick Sheltra and the Sheltra Motorsports team with a solid top-10 finish Friday night at Chicagoland...

Patrick Sheltra Fights With The Bulls; Delivers Top-10 At Chicagoland

Joliet, Illinois (August 28, 2009) - - A never give up attitude awarded Patrick Sheltra and the Sheltra Motorsports team with a solid top-10 finish Friday night at Chicagoland Speedway and further propelled the Indiantown, Florida native forward in his quest of finishing inside the top-five in the ARCA RE/MAX Series championship chase.

After posting times in the top-20 during practice Thursday afternoon, Sheltra qualified his No. 60 Buffalo Wings & Rings Dodge Charger 15th yielding the 23-year old phenom with his 11th top-15 qualifying effort of 2009.

From the drop of the green flag Sheltra began setting up his competition for a series of passes but a lap one spin forced Sheltra to back off the gas and wait for a restart.

On the restart, Sheltra began mashing the pedal and quickly began clicking off positions and had solidly moved into the top-10 by lap 15.

Despite a gallant effort Sheltra battled handling conditions throughout the middle portion of the Ansell Cut Protection 150 which backslid the Grace Sheltra owned machine from the top-10.

A yellow flag inside 20 laps remaining allowed for a trip to pit road to the attention of crew chief John Hayden for a chassis adjustment, four tires and a splash of gas allowing Sheltra to use full throttle for his race back to the front.

Back to green, Sheltra began slicing and dicing through the field and had stormed back into the top-10 only to fall victim once again to a loose racecar. Fighting for spots, Sheltra had slid back to 13th inside the final 10 laps.

The team's desperate wish for a caution would come to fruitation when the No. 11 of Bryan Silas spun inside five laps remaining which would set up for a green-white-checkered finish. With Silas's misfortune Sheltra had moved into the 12th position.

Sheltra radioed his crew including driver coach and former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Ted Musgrave that he was going to dig deep on the final run and leave nothing on the table. When the green and white flag flew together, Sheltra didn't disappoint throttling through the gears, Sheltra would hammer down and move through turns three and four in the ninth position -- which is where he would cross the start finish line awarding the avid hunter his very first top-10 effort at Chicagoland Speedway.

"We had a pretty good night all things considered," said Sheltra. "The car was good for a while there and then it just got so loose I was sideways almost all the way around. We made a charge late in the race and it paid off. I'm proud of this team and for Buffalo Wings & Rings and all of our marketing partners. This is a trend we can get used to."

Unofficially with Sheltra's seventh top-10 of the year, he has climbed to seventh in the championship standings and tightens the gap even further inside the chase for the fourth position with just six races remaining.

Next up for the ARCA RE/MAX Series is a returning trip to Toledo Speedway where Sheltra finished second and fourth respectively last year.

-credit: sm

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Series ARCA
Drivers Ted Musgrave , John Hayden , Bryan Silas , Patrick Sheltra