Patrick Sheltra Feeling Road Course Savvy Following Test WHITESVILLE, Kentucky (August 7, 2009) - - With an aggressive six-race schedule quickly approaching for the ARCA RE/MAX Series, veteran driver Patrick Sheltra and his Whitesville, Kentucky...
Patrick Sheltra Feeling Road Course Savvy Following Test
WHITESVILLE, Kentucky (August 7, 2009) - - With an aggressive six-race schedule quickly approaching for the ARCA RE/MAX Series, veteran driver Patrick Sheltra and his Whitesville, Kentucky based Sheltra Motorsports team took advantage of a little downtime to test at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) this past Tuesday preparing for next month's New Jersey ARCA 150.
Sheltra, who's become a familiar face on the ARCA tour for the past three year will tackle lefts and rights for just the second time in his ARCA career when the sanction returns to the newly built Millville, New Jersey road course for round 18 on the 2009 calendar.
Last year, the Indiantown, Florida native recorded an impressive 11th place finish in his road course debut. Sheltra credits the finish to his team and his aggressive practice schedule at NJMP and private sessions with the Skip Barber Racing school.
"Road Course Racing is a lot of fun, but it's no joke," said Sheltra, who currently locks the eighth position in the ARCA RE/MAX Series point standings. "We had a good car last year and we were capable of finishing in the top-10, but the rain came and the race was called. We're coming back for some revenge if you will and I can't wait."
He added, "We're bringing the same car back this year. We've worked on it this year to make it even better. It's one of the very few Chevrolets in our fleet. The boys built this car from the ground up last season, so we couldn't justify switching it over to a Dodge. It's a good contending piece, there's no hiding that."
Michael McDowell, a former ARCA RE/MAX Series driver was on-hand for the private test assisting another ARCA team when he offered his two-cents to the 23-year old phenom. McDowell even was gracious enough to climb into the No. 60 Buffalo Wings & Rings Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS to offer his feedback on the handling and setup of the Grace Sheltra owned automobile.
"Michael has always been helpful," said Sheltra. "He was a great competitor and friend when he raced over here and it was really cool for him to come over to us and offer some assistance. He said we have a good car so that pumps up my confidence even more coming back from the race."
Ted Musgrave, the 2005 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion and current driver coach for the two-time ARCA RE/MAX Series Hard Charger award recipient will be-on hand to assistance Sheltra when the team returns in a little over four weeks.
"I cannot tell you how much of an asset Ted has been for our organization," added Sheltra. "He is leading me in the right direction. He was unable to attend the test but he's no slouch when it comes to road course racing, so I feel with his guidance and coaching for race weekend, we might have that extra step on the rest of the competition."
While Sheltra is known for his fierce oval competition, "Mr. Showtime" was outspoken about competing at a place like New Jersey Motorsports Park.
"The ARCA RE/MAX Series is so diverse and adding the road course race last year just added more diversification to the series' platform. We raced at NJMP just shortly after it was opened last September and it was a nice facility. This year, it's even nicer. The place has grass!" he laughed. "We really put on a great show for the fans, so I encourage everyone to come out and enjoy the race, it's going to be one heck of a show!"
Sheltra has 59 ARCA RE/MAX Series starts to his credit with one career victory at Salem Speedway (April 2009). During his ARCA tenure, Sheltra has accumulated nine top-fives and posted 19 top-10 finishes. A third place qualifying effort at Rockingham Speedway (April 2009) is Sheltra's best time trials efforts to date. He has controlled the ARCA field five times for 109 laps.