Patrick Sheltra Just Misses Top-10 Finish At Pocono Raceway "Sheltra Battles Back For Solid Finish At Long Pond" LONG POND, Pennsylvania (August 3, 2009) - - After finishing on the podium in June, Patrick Sheltra had high hopes for this ...
Patrick Sheltra Just Misses Top-10 Finish At Pocono Raceway
"Sheltra Battles Back For Solid Finish At Long Pond"
LONG POND, Pennsylvania (August 3, 2009) - - After finishing on the podium in June, Patrick Sheltra had high hopes for this past Saturday's Pennsylvania ARCA 200, but an untimely caution in the race kept the Sheltra Motorsports team off the lead lap which resulted in a 11th place finish in the 13th race of the 2009 ARCA season.
Armed with the same piece the team rocketed to their best ever Pocono finish just two months ago, the team had hoped to find a comfortable setup for their 23-year old phenom driver. In practice, Sheltra posted the 14th fastest effort by producing a time of 55.825 seconds at 161.218 miles per hour.
"We have a pretty good car," said Sheltra following practice. "We are trying to get the car handling a little better throughout the track. Hopefully we'll get to qualify and we can move forward from there."
Sheltra's hope of qualifying would be dashed when Mother Nature washed out Menards Pole by Ansell qualifying for the second consecutive event and for the fifth time in 2009. Sheltra would start the event from the 10th position based upon on the team's car owner points.
From the start of the Pennsylvania ARCA 200, Sheltra in typical fashion mashed the gas and moved into the eighth position but would be sidelined when the caution flag flew out by the end of lap one.
Sheltra didn't acknowledge much about his racecar right off the bat but would inform his crew chief John Hayden about his car handling's as the race progressed forward.
Another early race caution would see Sheltra hold firmly in the top-10, but during the race's long span of green flag racing, the No. 60 Buffalo Wings & Rings Dodge Charger began back-pettling through the running order settling safely in the top-15.
Green flag pit stops would begin approaching lap 40 with Sheltra ordered by crew chief John Hayden, a former ARCA driver himself to bring his Grace Sheltra owned machine to pit road for four tires, fuel and a minor chassis adjustment to battle a tight and loose handling Dodge Charger.
After a flawless performance on pit road, Sheltra returned to the track getting back in the gas but the yellow flag would fly just four laps later trapping the team one lap behind the leaders.
The mission for the rest of the 80-lap event would be to retain the lap lost. Over the course of the next thirty laps, Sheltra would fight hard with a strong group of lap down machines trying to be in position for the Aaron's Lucky Dog.
The opportunity for Sheltra to regain lead lap status would never come to fruitation but the handling and the performance of the Buffalo Wings & Rings Racing machine would.
During the last quarter of the event, coaching from spotter Kevin Huffines and driver coach and former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Ted Musgrave boosted the Indiantown, Florida's confidence which reacted to faster lap times.
With a caution flying inside the final five laps of the event, Sheltra and Hayden consulted and agreed to bring his car down pit lane for four tires and one can of fuel setting up for what was expected to be the last run of the day.
Restarting the event in the 15th position, Sheltra would climb four positions during the green-white-checkered finish to post his ninth top-15 finish of the year in 13 races.
"We had a top-10 car for sure," sounded Sheltra after the event. "We got trapped with the caution flag coming out without the pit cycle fully making its round. It's disappointing but we bounced back late in the race to end up the first car one lap down. The next eight races is all or nothing for the Sheltra Motorsports team."
He added, "I just have to thank Buffalo Wings & Rings, the team, Ted Musgrave, all of our marketing partners and Scott Herman of MTV's Real World Brooklyn and his posse for their support of our team and myself at Pocono."
Next up for the ARCA RE/MAX Series is the first of two stops to the one-mile dirt ovals with the first coming at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois for the running of the Allen Crowe 100 on Sunday, August 23rd.
Before turning his efforts towards Springfield, Sheltra Motorsports will participate in a private test session at New Jersey Motorsports Park on Tuesday, August 4 in preparation for the New Jersey ARCA 150 set for Sunday, September 13. Mr. Showtime will make his second start at the newly built road course next month.