Patrick Sheltra 11th In Shortened Road Course Debut; Steady Showers End Top-10 Bid At NJMP MILVILLE, New Jersey (September 28, 2008) - - A steady stream of showers forced an early end to Sunday's Loud Energy 150 at New Jersey Motorsports Park...
Patrick Sheltra 11th In Shortened Road Course Debut; Steady Showers End Top-10 Bid At NJMP
MILVILLE, New Jersey (September 28, 2008) - - A steady stream of showers forced an early end to Sunday's Loud Energy 150 at New Jersey Motorsports Park with ARCA RE/MAX Series sophomore driver Patrick Sheltra bringing his No. 60 Ferguson Pipe-FloraGanics Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS home in the 11th position.
It wasn't an easy weekend for the Whitesville, Kentucky based Sheltra Motorsports team. After sitting out most of the two practice sessions of the weekend due to a fuel pickup issue, Sheltra, the 22-year old bounced back with a solid 21st place qualifying effort on Saturday afternoon.
Heading into the 19th event of the 2008 season, Sheltra knew his mission was to stay on track and deliver a solid outing. At the start of the inaugural Loud Energy Drink 150, the Indiantown, Florida native wasted no time maneuvering his Grace Sheltra owed automobile to the front.
Picking up positions one at a time, Sheltra had moved into the 16th position by lap five. Continuing to stay on course, Sheltra had moved into the 10th position on the frontstretch on lap 23 before his machine "wheel hopped" forcing the No. 60 to make a 360 spin. Without hesitation, Sheltra grabbed a gear and dug right back into action.
A few laps later, the full-course yellow flag waived allowing Sheltra to take advantage of the opportunity to bring his neon green Chevrolet down pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. Exiting the pits in the 14th position, Sheltra was clear to sail to the front.
Two laps after the restart, Sheltra would be forced to take obsessive action to miss several tires which had worked its way on course. Sliding sideways, Sheltra only lost one position before the full course yellow waived again.
Little did the second year ARCA team know that they would never have a chance to go back to green flag racing conditions as Mother Nature slowly muscled her way into the 14-turn facility dampening the race track long enough for ARCA RE/MAX Series officials to call the race on lap 48.
Before the yellow, Sheltra had been sitting 14th but several cars ahead of the No. 60 ducked on pit road thinking they would go back to green which cycled Sheltra into the 11th position.
Sheltra completed 48 of the scheduled 67 circuits.
"We'll take that," he said after climbing from his car. "It was a challenging weekend for our team but we battled back for a solid finish. We were close to a top-10, but we'll take this finish and move on to Talladega. I had a lot of fun out there racing despite our minor hiccups. I learned a lot and look forward to any road course racing I will be doing for the 2009 racing season."
Unofficially, Sheltra moves to seventh in ARCA RE/MAX Series driver points just 10 markers behind Tayler Malsam. Ironically, Sheltra was sitting in the same position this time last year in his freshman year of ARCA competition.
Next up for the ARCA RE/MAX Series is the next-to-last event which steers the tour to Talladega, Alabama for the running of the ARCA RE/MAX 250 at Talladega Superspeedway.