Patrick Sheltra Eyeing Platinum Performance In Nashville LEBANON, Tennessee (August 7, 2008) - - With the ARCA RE/MAX Series (ARS) making their annual trip to Nashville Superspeedway this weekend, sophomore driver Patrick Sheltra is ready to ...
Patrick Sheltra Eyeing Platinum Performance In Nashville
LEBANON, Tennessee (August 7, 2008) - - With the ARCA RE/MAX Series (ARS) making their annual trip to Nashville Superspeedway this weekend, sophomore driver Patrick Sheltra is ready to return top-10 status in Saturday's TOYOTA ARCA 150.
The 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series season started off on a great note for the Whitesville, Kentucky-based team but over the course of the last month, the team has suffered issues beyond their control which has knocked the team from a strong seventh to ninth in the championship chase with the season slowly beginning to wind down.
Now fresh off their best run in a month last weekend at Pocono Raceway where Sheltra battled back from a flat tire, two speeding penalties, being a lap down and a faulty brake line to net a solid 12th place finish, the team is recharged and ready for the lone concrete battle of the year.
"We're ready for a top-10 run," said Sheltra, who spent this past week in Indiana with his Sheltra Motorsports dirt team. "It seems like it's been forever, Michigan to be exact since we had a top-10 finish and that's too long. We've been too good but the racing gods haven't been on our side as far as luck. Hopefully, Nashville will be good to us."
The Indiantown, Florida native has two prior starts at the 1.33-mile speedway with the summer event last season awarding the 22-year old with his best result of 13th. Sheltra's Nashville qualifying efforts have been solid with an average start of 13th.
"Nashville is really a driver's race track. You have to keep focused, 100 percent. You also have to pay attention because things happen in a hurry there. The competition was pretty competitive last August and the way this season has been, I expect it to be more intense this weekend. We're ready for it because we have a strong car and an even stronger team than last year, so I think we can put ourselves in contention Saturday afternoon."
For the seventh time this season, Sheltra and his Whitesville, Kentucky based Sheltra Motorsports operation will bring a Dodge Charger to the track. With three top-10s already in the books under the Dodge banner, the team is hoping to record their first top-five under the Chrysler nameplate. The team answered their inaugural debut with Dodge with a respectable eighth place finish at Kansas Speedway. A week later the team proved that the finish was no fluke as Sheltra steered through late race carnage and confusion at Kentucky Speedway to record an seventh place finish. In June, Sheltra mounted his best finish in a Charger after recording a sixth place finish at the two-mile oval of Michigan International Speedway. The new manufacturer also catapulted Sheltra to record a career best qualifying effort (Kansas) while also leading the field for four laps at the 1.5-mile race track of Kansas Speedway.
"This is the second of at least five consecutive races we'll be running a Dodge," sounded Sheltra. "We ran a Dodge last weekend, now here and then off to the two dirt races and Chicagoland Speedway. We should be fast at all of them. Statically, Dodge took five of the top-12 positions last August at Nashville including the runner-up position, so hopefully history repeats itself with a Dodge being up front in the music city."
Crew Chief John Hayden has elected to bring Sheltra Motorsports chassis number 11 to Nashville Superspeedway this weekend. This is the same automobile the team participated with in both Pocono Raceway events this year. Chassis number 15 will serve as the team's backup automobile. The team ran that model at the open ARCA RE/MAX Series test at Nashville Superspeedway in addition to the test and race at Michigan International Speedway in June.
Sheltra Motorsports opted to participate in the seventh open-test session of the year at Nashville Superspeedway last month but the team wasn't exactly pleased with the results. "We were okay. We weren't bad, but we weren't great either," continued Sheltra. "That is what tests are for though, to get better. However, after our performance last weekend at Pocono Raceway we felt it was in the best interest of the team and our marketing partners to bring that car to Nashville this weekend and the one we tested with will serve as the backup. We need to win and we believe this car can help us conquer that feat." J C:\Documents and Settings\Chris\Desktop\2008 Racing Season\ARCA Events\Berlin\Photos\60 Berlin\957T1133_resize.JPG The never-give up attitude last weekend at Pocono Raceway propelled Sheltra to ninth in the championship standings with the top-five still within reach with just eight races remaining in 2008.
"We went up and that's positive," said Sheltra. "Last year we finished seventh even after missing the season opener and this year, you would be sitting at least seven positions back from that in 14th. That just goes to show you how much more competitive the ARCA RE/MAX Series has been this year. We're still gunning towards a top-five championship finish and with a little luck and some strong finishes we'll be able to conquer our goal."