Patrick Sheltra Enjoying Successful ARCA Season "Sheltra Motorsports Team Still High On Second Place At Toledo Speedway" BROOKLYN, Michigan (May 28, 2008) - - ARCA RE/MAX Series veteran Patrick Sheltra wasn't ready for a two week break, ...
Patrick Sheltra Enjoying Successful ARCA Season
"Sheltra Motorsports Team Still High On Second Place At Toledo Speedway"
BROOKLYN, Michigan (May 28, 2008) - - ARCA RE/MAX Series veteran Patrick Sheltra wasn't ready for a two week break, especially after finishing second in last Sunday's Hantz Group 200 by Federated Car Care at Toledo Speedway.
However, Sheltra is utilizing his down time to focus on the remaining 14 ARCA RE/MAX Series events, which resume with the first of two trips to Pocono Raceway Saturday, June 7.
"We're feeling really good about our program," said Sheltra, who in seven races this season has earned four top-10 finishes including the career-best runner-up run at Toledo. "We told everyone at the end of last year that we weren't coming to play this year. We've run in the top-10 in all seven races this season. We may not have finished in the top-10, but our cars have been there."
With top-10 finishes at Iowa Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Kentucky Speedway and Toledo, Sheltra is very aware that if not for his 34th finish at Rockingham (DNF/engine failure) the team could be sitting much closer to the top of the standings. As it is, the Indiantown, Florida driver is eighth in points 150 away from leader Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
"There has been no room for error this year in ARCA and that's forcing everyone to step up to the plate. Other than the DNF, we've been veryconsistent. If we weren't in the top-10, we were close (15th at Daytona and 11th at Salem). Competition is tight, tighter than I think we've ever seen in the ARCA RE/MAX Series. It's going to be great publicity for the series but will be stressful on the teams. I believe the championship will not be decideduntil we come back to Toledo for the season finale in October."
Sheltra credits much of his early-season success to the dedication of his Whitesville, Kentucky-based Sheltra Motorsports team.
"John Hayden, Keith Strunk, Chris Wink, Eric Wettstain, Bill Mares, Mike Royal, Shane Russelburg, Alex Timmerman, Getty Cavitt and Chris Knight have all done their job this year," explained Sheltra.
"John (Hayden) is my crew chief and our communication is ten times better this year than last year. Working with him and team manger Keith Strunk has been able to show the knowledge and determination that we have here Sheltra Motorsports team, and we've seen the results on track. The rest of the team knows how important they are. It doesn't work without them."
Sporting a mixture of Chevrolet Monte Carlos and Dodge Chargers this season, Sheltra is excited to return to his camouflage paint scheme and the Dodge Charger nameplate for his third trip to Pocono.
"The success with Dodge this year has been overwhelming," Sheltra noted. "We debuted in Kansas with good results. We went to Kentucky and had a shot to win the race. Now we'll go to Pocono Raceway, a different track but with the same attitude. We're taking a new car for the race. It's a former Penske Racing Cup car that Ryan Newman drove."
Last season, Sheltra recoded finishes of 24th and 11th at the tricky triangular 2.5-mile track. The good news for Sheltra is that his performances have picked up at tracks he has prior experience, and the 22-year old driver is hoping the trend continues next month.
"It would be great to score our first win at Pocono. Pocono Raceway is really a unique track but I love the racing there. It challenges a driver and everyone knows that I'm up for a challenge. It would be big, not only for me but for my family, friends, fans, team and our marketing partners to walk away with the trophy. I think a lot of people are impressed with our program and have come to the realization that we've become serious contenders on a weekly basis. I really think we'll will win this year; it's just a matter of time. I hope we can seal the deal at Pocono."
Sheltra to Test at Michigan
Before Sheltra and his Sheltra Motorsports team head to Pocono Raceway, the team will participate in an open-test at Michigan International Speedway next Wednesday, May 28 to prepare for the event following Pocono, the Michigan ARCA 200 set for Friday, June 13th. The MIS event will be televised live on SPEED beginning at 5:00 p.m. EST.
Overall Sheltra has 32 ARCA RE/MAX Series starts to his credit with a career best finish of second at Toledo Speedway (May 2008). He has two additional top-five finishes (third) at Illinois State Fairgrounds mile-dirt (August 2007) and fourth at Berlin Raceway (July 2007). Other top-10 runs include Kentucky Speedway (May 2008), Kansas Speedway (April 2008), Iowa Speedway (April 2008), Kentucky Speedway (June 2007), DuQuoin State Fairgrounds (September 2007) and Toledo Speedway (October 2007). An eighth place qualifying run at Kansas Speedway (April 2008) is Sheltra's best qualifying effort to date.