Patrick Sheltra Notches Top-15 In Nashville; Captures Rookie Of The Race Honors LEBANON, Tennessee (Tuesday, August 14, 2007) - - For the second straight race, Patrick Sheltra reeled in a top-15 run which propelled him two spots in the ...
Patrick Sheltra Notches Top-15 In Nashville; Captures Rookie Of The Race Honors
LEBANON, Tennessee (Tuesday, August 14, 2007) - - For the second straight race, Patrick Sheltra reeled in a top-15 run which propelled him two spots in the championship standings following Saturday's TOYOTA ARCA 150.
Sheltra, a native of Indiantown, Florida rolled into the Music City looking to improve his past performance at Nashville Superspeedway. In April, Sheltra showed an uncharacteristic 25th place run.
Carrying a new sponsor for the 15th ARCA race of the season, Sheltra was hoping to give J&S Bulk Transport something to cheer about.
In the first and only practice session of the weekend, Sheltra roared his No. 60 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS to 14th on the charts after notching a lap at 31.082 seconds or 154.392 MPH.
"The car is really good. We're strong. I know we still have a lot left on the table. What a turnaround from the last time we were here. Our focus is to keep running strong and put ourselves in contention for a top-five championship finish. We'll be good the rest of the weekend," offered Sheltra.
Sheltra drew the 16th position for ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying. During his time trials attempt, the avid dirt racer maneuvered his Sheltra Motorsports machine around the 1.333-mile track in 30.726 seconds or 156.180 MPH, picking up three tenths of a second from his practice run. Ironically, Sheltra qualified 16th, the same position he drew.
"I think we're in good shape for the race. I have a feeling that the early run hurt us a little bit, but we're still in prime position. The Sheltra Motorsports team has done a great job preparing the car and I think we're going to have a solid run during the race," sounded Sheltra.
Almost unbearable temperatures greeted the ARCA teams on Saturday with hotter conditions expected for race time. Sheltra spent the morning relaxed and in comfort.
At the start of the TOYOTA ARCA 150, Sheltra battled to put his No. 60 towards the lead pack, but the car developed a tight condition early on forcing Sheltra to slip to 17th when the first caution flag waived on lap 11.
Sheltra reported the car was good; he just needed it to turn a little bit better. Carrying an on-board camera, Sheltra knew that staying in the action would keep eyes focused on his Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS.
Picking up the pace on the restart, Sheltra had moved into the 13th position on lap 19 for an incident in turn four.
On the restart, Sheltra would continue to inch his way through the field and rose to 11th during the long green flag run. He maintained that position despite losing a lap to the leaders, only to have the yellow flag waive on lap 73.
During the caution, Sheltra brought his machine to the attention of crew chief John Hayden, filling up the car with fuel before returning to action for the remaining forty laps.
A caution quickly erupted on the restart, but Sheltra escaped cleanly. During the final laps of the race, Sheltra's tight condition returned forcing him to battle a group of four cars, one lap off the pace. Despite a gallant effort, Sheltra settled for 13th, the third car of that group.
"I was hoping for a top-10 run, but it was a clean day," said Sheltra, the ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie of the race. "This is a better performance for our Sheltra Motorsports team since our last visit here in April. I want to thank the guys and all of our sponsors for their hard work and support this weekend."
He continued, "This was a huge race for us, but I think we did exceptionally well. We just missed the setup a tiny bit. We gained two spots in the points, so that's good, but next week, we're heading into my turf and I'm really excited about it. We're heading to Springfield looking to win that race and I honestly think we can."
In addition to the race, the Sheltra Motorsports team also raced with heavy hearts. The team honored Jacob Grimmett, who died in a tragic car accident on July 28. Grimmett was close friends with Sheltra Motorsports crew member Christopher Wink and former car owner Dan Kinney.
Sheltra advanced from eighth to sixth in the championship standings following his top-15 run in Nashville. He sits 120 points from working his way into the fifth position currently held by fellow rookie Phillip McGilton.
Next up for the ARCA RE/MAX Series is the 16th event on the 2007 schedule with the first of two showings on the dirt. The Allen Crowe 100 from the Illinois State Fairgrounds is set for Sunday, August 19 set to roll off at 1:00pm Eastern Time.