Patrick Sheltra Makes Remarkable Recovery In ARCA's Kansas Lottery 150 "Sheltra Rebounds From Early Race Incident To Claim 11th" KANSAS CITY, Kansas (October 5, 2009) - - Even though Patrick Sheltra did not claim his ninth top-10 finish of the...
Patrick Sheltra Makes Remarkable Recovery In ARCA's Kansas Lottery 150
"Sheltra Rebounds From Early Race Incident To Claim 11th"
KANSAS CITY, Kansas (October 5, 2009) - - Even though Patrick Sheltra did not claim his ninth top-10 finish of the ARCA season last Thursday, Sheltra's performance in the Kansas Lottery 150 was a stupendous one concerning all the headaches the team faced at Kansas Speedway.
Gunning to keep their top-10 finish streak alive in all of the intermediate tracks this season, Sheltra and his John Hayden led team zeroed in on practice Thursday to dial in the team's No. 60 Buffalo Wings & Rings-MC2 Energy Drink Dodge Charger.
During the delayed two-hour session, Sheltra maneuvered the ninth fastest lap by putting together a lap of 32.595 seconds at 165.670 miles per hour.
"Our Buffalo Wings & Rings-MC2 Energy Drink car is really good," said Sheltra after practice. "This is the same car that we raced with at Chicagoland and we went back to the shop and made some changes. It's clear that the changes worked. I'm looking forward to the rest of the day."
With heavy showers and thunderstorms rolling into the Kansas City area the night before, ARCA officials were forced to rethink their race day scheduled which included practice, qualifying and the 20th race of the season. Track conditions would force ARCA officials to drop qualifying which would line Sheltra ninth on the starting grid. It would mark the third consecutive race that the Indiantown, Florida native would start inside the top-10 at Kansas Speedway.
From the drop of the green flag, Sheltra was quickly on the move. A quick caution would halt "Mr. Showtime's" start and keep his No. 60 neon and camouflaged machine at bay.
On the restart, Sheltra picked up where he left off by picking up several more positions and climb into the top-five before the race would take a dramatic turn for the Sheltra Motorsports team.
On lap 21, Sheltra was battling the No. 25 of Jesse Smith for position when the No. 60 turned sideways in two turn directly in the path of Brian Ickler. The No. 52 of Ickler made contact with the rear of Sheltra's machine crippling the sheet metal of the Grace Sheltra owned automobile.
To add insult to injury on his trip back to pit road, the right front-tire blew out on the No. 60 machine causing major damage to the sheet metal on the right side of the Buffalo Wings & Rings Racing machine.
Several trips to pit road for damage control allowed Sheltra to remain on the lead lap but clearly had to manhandle a mangled Dodge Charger for the remainder of the event.
On the restart, Sheltra fiercely began marching through the field and had moved into the top-15 where he remained for much of the event and was sitting in the 12th position when the final caution waived inside the final 10 laps of the event.
With nothing to lose and everything to gain, Sheltra came down to pit road for four tires hoping to have the rubber to propel Sheltra into the top-10.
On the green-white-checkered, Sheltra's machine stumbled costing the 23-year old phenom valuable time on closing in on his competition. Unable to communicate with his crew because of a radio issue, Sheltra was incapable of informing Hayden or his team of the restart issue.
Sheltra's machine came back to life but it was too little, too late as he was only able to pass the No. 19 of Alli Owens to move into the 11th position.
"It was an eventful day for sure," said Sheltra. "I learned a valuable lesson with a loose racecar. She just came around on me; definitely an aero-loose deal there. The guys did a magnificent job getting the car back together as best as they could. It was still really fast. The car tightened up near the end of the race and I felt like our best shot at a top-10 was coming in for tires near the end. Unfortunately, the car didn't take off on the start; we think we had a pick-up problem with the damage from earlier in the race because we had plenty of gas left off. Still, all things considered; it was a decent day."
He added, "I just want to thank Buffalo Wings & Rings and MC2 Energy Drink for their support of our race team at Kansas. I thought we were going to have a really good day but we made the best of what could have been a really bad day."
With his finish, Sheltra closed in on seventh place competitor Bryan Silas in the ARCA RE/MAX Series championship standings just 15 markers behind the fellow Floridian. Just 110 points keep Sheltra from moving into fifth place competitor Craig Goess Jr.
Leaving Kansas, Sheltra has 66 ARCA RE/MAX Series starts to his credit with one career victory at Salem Speedway (April 2009). During his ARCA tenure, Sheltra has accumulated 10 top-fives and posted 22 top-10 finishes. A third place qualifying effort at Rockingham Speedway (April 2009) is Sheltra's best time trials efforts to date. He has controlled the ARCA field five times for 109 laps.
Next up for the ARCA RE/MAX Series is the season finale at Rockingham Speedway with the ARCA RE/MAX American 200.