Patrick Sheltra Returns To The Tricky Triangle Aiming To Make Statement LONG POND, Pennsylvania (July 27, 2010) - - The last time ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards pro driver Patrick Sheltra visited the 2.5-mile triangle of...
Patrick Sheltra Returns To The Tricky Triangle Aiming To Make Statement
LONG POND, Pennsylvania (July 27, 2010) - - The last time ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards pro driver Patrick Sheltra visited the 2.5-mile triangle of Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, he left the Messina Wildlife Animal Stopper 200 with the ARCA championship point's lead intact. Returning to Long Pond, Pennsylvania just seven weeks later, two mechanical hiccups have slipped the Indiantown, Florida native to fourth in the overall chase. Despite the unexpected setbacks Sheltra is poised to make a dent in Saturday's Weis Markets 125 and re-ignite his Sheltra Motorsports team's championship drive with 10 races remaining on the 2010 calendar.
Armed with the same No. 60 Recycling Services / Ferguson Pipe Toyota Camry that Sheltra boasted a impressive fourth place finish in the 50th ARCA race held at the racetrack on June 5 that optimizes a road course feel instead of an oval, Sheltra is banking on the team's success in June to return in a double-header feature that will follow upon the completion of the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Pocono Mountains 125.
"It's good to be going back to Pocono," said Sheltra, who make his ninth career start at Pocono this weekend. "We had a super good Toyota Camry the last time we were here and I feel like with what we learned in the race and what additional information we acquired back at the shop, we should be able to put our year back on track and hopefully be fighting for our first win of the season."
An engine failure at Iowa Speedway (July 10) and a rear-end failure in the most recent ARCA Racing Series event at Mansfield Motorsports Park (July 17) has obviously left Sheltra bruised, but the confident driver is vowing to keep his team's morale high and not let the magic his team embraced in the first eighth races of the year completely disappear.
"I have a great team behind me and I cannot do it without all of them," sounded Sheltra, who made his debut at the track nicknamed "The Tricky Triangle" in 2006 driving for the renowned Ken Schrader.
"We showed from the moment we unloaded at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in February that we were here to beaten and were not going to go down without a fight. Yeah, the last two races have hurt us, but the circumstances were really out of our hands. You cannot predict what happened to us in the last two races, sometimes that's just how the cookie crumbles. We're definitely down but no way out. We're remaining confident and have re-focused our efforts on the second half of the ARCA season were we plan to be making similar statements that we made in the first half. No question tough, we're also hoping to raise the bar just a little bit more on the performance end that will enable us to grab that coveted championship at Rockingham in October."
Traditionally, the summer trip for the ARCA Racing Series at Pocono presents an 80-lap contest but with the addition of the NCWTS to the track's Saturday lineup, the ARCA race has been shortened to just 50 laps or 125 miles setting the stage for a fierce sprint at being crowned the winner of round 11 in 2010.
"It's a short race," offered Sheltra. "It's going to be over quick. You cannot afford to have any errors anywhere. You have to be on your game as well as on your toes and stay out of any carnage and just hope that you won't have any other downfalls fall your way. I'm used to short races on the dirt, so who knows, this just might play into our favor."
Locked 125 markers behind point's leader Justin Marks, Sheltra was quick to mention that there is still a long way to go this season. "We crossed the half-way mark of the year at Mansfield. We have a very diverse schedule coming up. From the big track of Pocono to our shortest track to Berlin (Mi.) Raceway to the road course at New Jersey Motorsports Park and even the two dirt races, anything could and probably will happen. Realistically, this championship is still up for grabs; we just want to have a shot at it."
Sheltra Motorsports is led by veteran crew chief Jon Wolfe.
-source: sheltra motorsports