"Sheltra Motorsports Looking For Career Win No. 1 Saturday" LONG POND, Pennsylvania (June 3, 2008) - - Still riding high on his career-best second place run at Toledo Speedway in the most recent ARCA RE/MAX Series (ARS) event, Patrick Sheltra...
"Sheltra Motorsports Looking For Career Win No. 1 Saturday"
LONG POND, Pennsylvania (June 3, 2008) - - Still riding high on his career-best second place run at Toledo Speedway in the most recent ARCA RE/MAX Series (ARS) event, Patrick Sheltra and his Sheltra Motorsports team return to Pocono Raceway this weekend looking to seal the deal and capture their first career victory in Saturday's Pocono ARCA 200 at Pocono Raceway.
Sheltra, the sophomore ARCA RE/MAX Series driver has enjoyed a very successful second season. In seven races this season, Sheltra has netted one top-five and four top-10 finishes including six races in the top-15.
The solid season has Sheltra eighth in points in one of the tightest championship chases in ARCA history. With that being said, Sheltra knows that Saturday's event poses no room for error and he needs to back up his Toledo performance.
"Pocono. I'm ready," said Sheltra. "Everyone is still feeling really good about our run at Toledo Speedway. I think we proved to everyone that we're a threat this year. We hope to continue that statement this weekend at Pocono."
Aiming to make his fourth career start at the 2.5-mile triangle speedway Sheltra aims for his first top-10 finish at the historic Pennsylvania track. "We came close to a top-10 finish last August," Sheltra recalled. "I think with what I've learned and what we've learned as a team, our chances of a top-10 finish this weekend are very realistic."
For the third time this season, Sheltra and his Whitesville, Kentucky based Sheltra Motorsports operation will bring a Dodge Charger to the track. This time however, the team will bring a new piece to the track. With two top-10s already in the books under the Dodge banner, the team is hoping for the same type of results this weekend. In their first two Chrysler-nameplate races of the season, the Dodge program rewarded the team with finishes of seventh and eighth at Kentucky Speedway and Kansas Speedway respectively. The new manufacturer also catapulted Sheltra to record a career best qualifying effort (Kansas) while also leading the field for four laps at the 1.5-mile race track of Kansas Speedway.
"I'm confident in our Dodge program," added Sheltra. "Even though we're not bringing the same car to the track this weekend, I'm not worried at all. The Sheltra Motorsports team has been working hard all year long. They've brought top-10 cars each and every week and I don't expect anything to change this weekend."
Crew Chief John Hayden has elected to bring Sheltra Motorsports chassis number 11 to Pocono Raceway this weekend. This is a new automobile to the team acquired during the off-season. Chassis number 15 will serve as the team's back-up automobile. The team ran that model at the open ARCA RE/MAX Series test at Michigan International Speedway last week.
Sheltra sounded, "This is another Penske Racing Dodge. They have good pieces, very good pieces. Everyone's seen that with our car at Kansas and Kentucky, hopefully we can take this car to victory lane on Saturday."
With finishes of 22nd, 24th and 11th at Pocono Raceway in the past two years, the 22-year old knows an exceptional run will help him climb the point's ladder approaching the half-way mark into the 2008 season. Currently, Sheltra is 150 points from the top-spot and only 60 markers from the top-five currently locked by John Wes Townley.
"I've been saying it all here, the point's are tight. One wrong move and you could be out of the top-10. I think I've improved tremendously as driver this year. With the help of my team and spotter Kevin Huffines, I've become a smarter racer and that has awarded us the finishes we've earned so far this season. I need to keep that mentality in check again this weekend. We need to come out of Pocono with a top-10 finish."