DuQuoin: Patrick Sheltra race report

Patrick Sheltra Returns To Top-10 In DuQuoin DUQUOIN, Illinois (September 5, 2007) - - After a tough showing this past Friday night at Gateway International Raceway, Patrick Sheltra redeemed himself by spending the weekend competing on the ...

Patrick Sheltra Returns To Top-10 In DuQuoin

DUQUOIN, Illinois (September 5, 2007) - - After a tough showing this past Friday night at Gateway International Raceway, Patrick Sheltra redeemed himself by spending the weekend competing on the dirt.

His weekend would extend over to Monday's traditional Labor Day event for the ARCA RE/MAX Series at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds. Coming off a solid top-10 the night before in his dirt car, Sheltra was hoping the finish would transfer over to his primary focus, the No. 60 Sheltra Motorsports Chevrolet.

In his first appearance on the dirt this season, Sheltra stormed to life with a outstanding third place run at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Moving ahead to DuQuoin, Sheltra knew the competition would be tough but was banking on the superb performance on the dirt to rekindle the flame in the Southern Illinois 100.

"I'm back," said Sheltra to his No. 60 Chevrolet Monte Carlo upon walking into the garage area Monday morning.

With practice set for 9:00am, Sheltra quickly got into race mode studying the track following the driver's meeting before jumping into his race suit and putting the helmet on and climbing into his race machine.

During the short one-hour session, Sheltra's time were not to his liking. Whipping his machine around the one-mile oval in 34.975 seconds at 102.931 MPH, Sheltra claimed the 16th position.

"We're loose, bad loose," Sheltra offered. "We weren't this way in Springfield; we'll make some adjustments and see what we can do."

Closing watching the times of his competitors during ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying, Sheltra noted the decrease of speed and time as qualifying progressed.

"The track is slowing down," Sheltra explained before his run.

Sheltra's qualifying lap of 35.251 seconds or 102.125 MPH wasn't a big of a drop as some of his other competition, but Sheltra gained some positions in the starting grid by grabbing the 12th position.

"I think we going to be good for the race," sounded Sheltra. "The guys on the Sheltra Motorsports team did a good job making some good adjustments and they worked. Hopefully we can march forward in the race."

At the start of the Southern Illinois 100, Sheltra quickly stayed hovered inside the top-12. With tight racing conditions in store for the 40-car field, Sheltra knew the race had to looks of not being a "give and take" event.

By lap 10, Sheltra had slid back to the 13th position. The caution flag would waive three laps later with Sheltra joining a plethora of other competitors on pit road for their mandatory pit stop.

Sheltra would restart the event on lap 19 in the 20th position. The next 11 laps, Sheltra would move up five spots before another caution would fly on lap 35 with the Florida native still controlling the 15th position.

Several teams ahead of Sheltra on the track would opt to bring their machines to the attentions of their crew moving Sheltra to sixth on the restart.

Eight laps later, Sheltra muscled his No. 60 into the fifth position. He would continue to hold that top spot for the next 14 laps before a couple competitors would make the move back into their original position after pitting dropping Sheltra to seventh.

Sheltra would hold that seventh position for the final 10 laps of the race and it appeared that Sheltra would cross the line seventh, but a competitor ahead of the No. 60 spun in the final corner on the last lap with Sheltra blowing by and crossing the line sixth, collecting his second straight top-10 on the dirt this season.

"Not to bad of a day," said Sheltra, who recorded his fourth top-10 finish of the season. "We only made one pit stop and we able to take control of the top-10. I'm really happy with the run. Hopefully we can keep the momentum going into Chicagoland on Saturday."

Sheltra continues to control the seventh position in the ARCA RE/MAX Series point standings as the series heads to the final mile-and-a-half track of the season at Chicagoland Speedway for the Chicagoland ARCA 200 on Saturday, September 8.

GATEWAY RECAP: Patrick Sheltra suffered misfortunate for the second straight week at Gateway International Raceway on Friday night. After qualifying mid pack, Sheltra quickly made his march towards the top-10. Unfortunately, Sheltra was involved in an accident on lap 62. The team was able to make repairs and send their rookie driver back into the event. However, eight laps later, Sheltra would bring his Chevrolet to the garage with an ill-handling racecar and a disappointing finish."

"I hate this. We've run so well the last several weeks and right now we can't catch a break. The accident was a bad deal. I'm glad everyone was okay. I don't know, just plum frustration is how I am feeling right now. The dirt race is next and we finished third at Springfield, so hopefully we can bounce back and put our season back on track on Labor Day."

-credit: patricksheltra.com

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Series ARCA
Drivers Patrick Sheltra