Morning sunshine and cooler conditions greeted the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards teams on Saturday morning allowing the large numbers of teams and drivers the opportunity to tackle the 2.5-mile speedway for the first full-time this weekend after sloppy weather conditions hindered the teams to a very rain-shortened session on Friday.
When the track opened up for cars on Saturday, Patrick Sheltra in his No. 60 Buffalo Wings & Rings-PatrickSheltra.com Dodge Charger was one of the first to tackle the historic high banks of Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
Quickly, the great preparation by the Sheltra Motorsports team soared Sheltra into the third position where he stood for a good length of time. Eventually, other teams were able to drop Sheltra to sixth before the No. 60 Dodge Charger blasted back into the spotlight by inching itself back up the leader before dishing out the fastest lap of the morning nearing the noon hour by producing a lap of 49.502 seconds at 181.811 miles per hour. Sheltra outran Venturini Motorsports, who with its three main drivers had controlled the podium leader board before Sheltra's assault.
Sheltra is climbing back behind the wheel of an ARCA car at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway this weekend for the first time since surviving what easily could have been a career-halting accident in the closing laps of this past February's Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200. Sheltra, running third was hit from another competitor and spun into the wall only to be t-boned by another competitor at full speed seconds later. Sheltra spent three days in the hospital and was able to completely heal from his injuries six weeks later. Sheltra portrayed the ultimate come-back story where the Indiantown, Florida native returned to action in the very next race and claimed his first ever ARCA Racing Series victory at Salem (Ind.) Speedway in April.
PATRICK SHELTRA, NO. 60 BUFFALO WINGS & RINGS-PATRICKSHELTRA.COM DODGE CHARGER:
SHELTRA: (ON SATURDAY MORNING'S SESSION) "It was a great effort by the Sheltra Motorsports team. They really have been working their tails off on this car and we unloaded off the hauler super fast. We knew we had a good car and a good motor and we were able to further fine tune our Buffalo Wings & Rings Dodge Charger and go out there and set the fastest lap. It definitely was a good feeling."