Patrick Sheltra Iowa test notes

Sheltra Motorsports and driver Patrick Sheltra were one of 15 ARCA RE/MAX Series teams to participate in the open-test at Iowa Speedway Tuesday in preparation for next Saturday night's Prairie Meadows 200, the 10th installment on the 2009 ARCA ...

Sheltra Motorsports and driver Patrick Sheltra were one of 15 ARCA RE/MAX Series teams to participate in the open-test at Iowa Speedway Tuesday in preparation for next Saturday night's Prairie Meadows 200, the 10th installment on the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule.

The veteran ARCA team based in Whitesville, Kentucky made a adjustment to their testing schedule after ARCA officials cancelled what was supposed to be the most recent ARCA race at Cayuga Motor Speedway this past Sunday. The misfortune turned into a blessing for the Grace Sheltra owned team as the team badly wanted to concentrate their efforts on Iowa Speedway, a race they finished ninth in last year.

Taking to the track on Tuesday morning, Sheltra was comfortable with the handling of his No. 60 Buffalo Wings & Rings Dodge Charger but the Indiantown, Florida native registered with his crew and leader John Hayden that they needed a lower gear to get the full effect of the team's automobile.

With the change set the afternoon, the conditions were better but the team will make a few more tweaks hoping to give the 23-year old young-gun a shot at his second career ARCA RE/MAX Series victory.

Here are some quotes and notes from today's session:

PATRICK SHELTRA, NO. 60 BUFFALO WINGS & RINGS DODGE CHARGER

SHELTRA: (ON TUESDAY'S SESSION) "It was decent. We need to find a little more but that's what testing is for to begin with. We know what we need for the race and that's the most important element. I am glad that we tested though, it should improve our performance for the race."

SHELTRA: (ON IOWA SPEEDWAY) "It's a nice facility. This will be my third ARCA start here next Saturday and I really enjoy coming back here. It's in the middle of nowhere which isn't a bad thing and the people are really friendly. The track has a nice layout and provides great racing. I wished we came here twice a year."

SHELTRA: (ON SHORT TRACK DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MANSFIELD AND IOWA) "There's a big difference. You really have to manhandle Mansfield. It's a tricky track. This place is bigger and wider than Mansfield so those are the pluses. You can race side-by-side here and that makes it more exciting for the fans but a little more nerve racking for the teams. Honestly, the two tracks are night and day and I would much rather race at Iowa than at Mansfield."

SHELTRA: (YOU'VE RACED HERE UNDER THE LIGHTS AND DURING THE DAY. WHICH DO YOU PERFER?) "Anytime we can race under the lights it's a good thing. It's cooler for the drivers in the car and it usually sparks up the intensity levels with the drivers which usually means a better race. The first night race we had a good car just got trapped a lap down. The car changes and acts though so different from the day compared to the night, so we have to be ready for that and prepared to adjust our Buffalo Wings & Rings car as needed."

SHELTRA: (LAST YEAR'S FIRST TIME IOWA WINNER MATT HAWKINS PASSED AWAY EARLIER THIS YEAR; ANY THOUGHTS?) "Actually, a bunch of us drivers were talking about Matt during lunch today. He was a good race car driver and I know because I've experienced it for myself this year what a first win means to you. He always raced me hard and clean and he was a good face in the ARCA garage. We are still thinking about him and wished he was racing with us. We'll remember him someway next weekend."

SHELTRA: (YOU'VE ALWAYS RUN CHEVROLETS HERE IN THE PAST. THIS YEAR YOU ARE RUNNING A DODGE) "Yeah, Dodge has been our strong point during the season. The car that we are testing today is the same piece we finished third with at Pocono Raceway earlier this month. I'm hoping we don't tear it up too much next weekend because it's the car that we want to take back there (Pocono). We feel that this car is better fitted for this race track and Ernie Elliott has been building some stout engines for us this year, so we're thinking that this is the car that put our season back on the straight of narrow."

SHELTRA: (ON THE RECENT BAD LUCK) "It's been frustrating. We really thought we were going in the right direction with our third place finish at Pocono then we went to Michigan and were running in the top-five and the engine let go. Our intent was to bounce back at Mansfield but it was another weekend that didn't go as planned. I sure would like to roll into victory lane at Iowa and put a period to our recent string of misfortune."

SHELTRA: (HAVE YOU BEEN PLEASED WITH THE ARCA SERIES AS A WHOLE THIS YEAR?) "Yeah, for the most part. The ARCA folks are good people. I think this year more than in the past I haven't been afraid to speak my mind. They are aware of some changes I would like to make, but that's only because I would like to see the series get better and ultimately make our team stronger. We've invested a lot in the ARCA RE/MAX Series over the past three years and I've improved as a driver because of my time spent in the ARCA RE/MAX Series. It's a good driver development series. As a sanctioning body, especially in these though times, I think they are handling themselves well."

SHELTRA: (YOU HAD AN APPERANCE FOR YOUR MARKETING PARTNER BUFFALO WINGS & RINGS BEFORE YOU CAME TO IOWA. HOW DID IT GO?) "Man it went fantastic. Leonard (Ranieri) is responsible for putting the puzzle together for us with Buffalo Wings & Rings corporate, so on our way to Iowa we stopped at his Buffalo Wings & Rings in Richmond, Indiana and met a bunch of people and had a great time! Leonard's coming to Iowa next weekend, so I'm looking forward to hopefully taking him back to victory lane."

SHELTRA: (YOU HAVE A BIG WEEK AHEAD; NATIONWIDE?) (Yeah (laughs). We're leaving Iowa tonight and driving back to Indianapolis and we're heading out first thing in the morning to head to Daytona to run the NASCAR Nationwide Series race for MacDonald Motorsports. I'm excited about running the race. I think our chances are good and I really want to impress a lot of people. From Daytona, I'll have a couple of days to unwind before gearing up for trip back to Iowa next weekend."

-credit: PatrickSheltra.com.

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Series ARCA
Drivers Patrick Sheltra