Daytona: Patrick Sheltra Thursday notes

Sophomore ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Patrick Sheltra was one of over 60 drivers to participate in Thursday's five-hour practice session in preparation for the 45th annual ARCA 200 at Daytona, the 2008 season opener set for Saturday afternoon.

Sophomore ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Patrick Sheltra was one of over 60 drivers to participate in Thursday's five-hour practice session in preparation for the 45th annual ARCA 200 at Daytona, the 2008 season opener set for Saturday afternoon. Sheltra, driving for his family-owned Sheltra Motorsports team will make his inaugural debut at the 2.5-mile superspeedway in his 26th career ARCA start.

Sheltra, the 21-year old Indiantown, Florida native clocked off the 13th fastest effort today with a time of 49.691 seconds at 181.119 MPH. The Whitesville, Kentucky based operation drew the 52nd position for ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying which is slated to roll off at 12:00pm local time.

PATRICK SHELTRA, NO. 60 FERGUSON PIPE ENTERPRISES, INC.-FLORAGANICS CHEVORLET MONTE CARLO SS:

SHELTRA: (ON HIS SPIN EARLY IN THE SESSION) "Rookie mistake. I'm really sorry to the Sheltra Motorsports bunch. I came from the track to the apron of the racetrack and she came around. Luckily, for us we didn't suffer any major damage. I pulled into the garage and the team surveyed the car inside and out before we took to the track for drafting."

SHELTRA: (ON TODAY'S PRACTICE SESSION) "Overall, it wasn't too bad. We're looking good on the charts, but we're going to adjust some things hoping to find a good setup for qualifying tomorrow. We know that the car will draft and that's real important, but we need to qualify strong. We're aiming for a championship this year and we can't afford to have any mistakes in the biggest race of the year."

SHELTRA: (ON DRAFTING) "It was good. We turned our fastest laps when we went out with the No. 75 (Brian Scott) and the No. 19 (Jake Bailey). Later in the session we realized that we had a car that could draft but liked being out front; (leading) too. We're going to try in the final practice and see if we can get our No. 60 Chevrolet to suck up a little better than what it did today. If we can accomplish that; were in great shape and its bad news for the rest of the field." J

SHELTRA: (ON TOMMORROW'S ARCA SIM FACTORY POLE QUALIFYING SESSION) "It's a really stout bunch here, I'll tell you that. I think we'll be safely in the top-25. I'll be happy with that. While qualifying is important, you car has to be able to draft. We messed around with that in the last two hours of practice. We know what we have to do and we're going to do everything in our power to make it happen."

SHELTRA: (ON THE IMPRORTANCE OF RACING AT DAYTONA) "Daytona is huge. There is no hiding from it. There is a plus and minus side to it. We start the season off there so if you have a bad run you're able to recover from it. If you have a good run, it only gives that extra motivation to go to the next race and keep the streak alive. I unfortunately missed Daytona in 2007, but it's comforting to know that I'll be guaranteed a spot in the show Saturday."

SHELTRA: (DO YOU CONSIDER THE ARCA 200 AT DAYTONA TO BE THE SUPERBOWL OF THE ARCA RE/MAX SERIES?) "Absolutely. There is a lot of prestige in this event and it truly signifies as the biggest event of the season. With that being said, we've done everything in our power to prepare for this race. We're just looking to come away with a strong and positive finish to kick-off the season in the right direction. On the other hand, to win a race at Daytona is something you'll never forget and that's exactly what we are after."

SHELTRA: (ON THE 2008 ARCA RE/MAX SERIES SEASON) "I'm really excited about this year. I'm not coming into blindsided like I did last year. That's important. I'm lucky to have a great group behind me and some superb marketing partners onboard as well. I know there's a lot of competition this year, but there's no doubt that we're going to give everyone a run for the trophy."

-credit: psm

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Series ARCA
Drivers Patrick Sheltra , Brian Scott