Salem II: Patrick Sheltra preview

Patrick Sheltra Eyeing Salem Sweep For Team; Buffalo Wings & Rings SALEM, Indiana (September 17, 2009) - - Without hesitation, April 5, 2009 was one of the greatest days of ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Patrick Sheltra's life. After surviving and ...

Patrick Sheltra Eyeing Salem Sweep For Team; Buffalo Wings & Rings

SALEM, Indiana (September 17, 2009) - - Without hesitation, April 5, 2009 was one of the greatest days of ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Patrick Sheltra's life. After surviving and recovering from a vicious incident in the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway, Sheltra returned to the seat at the very next race at Salem Speedway and stormed to his first career victory in his third year of competition.

And with the ARCA RE/MAX Series returning to the half-mile short track for it's annual fall retreat, Sheltra is aiming high and preparing to conquer the Salem sweep and put his No. 60 Buffalo Wings & Rings Dodge Charger back in victory circle.

"Salem Speedway was always one of my favorite race tracks but after the win at Salem, it will forevermore be a place that I will never forget. While it's great going back to the track this weekend knowing that I'm the most recent winner; I'm focused on proving that we can win again -- and I think we can do it easily on Saturday night."

Oddly enough, you would think that the Whitesville, Kentucky team would want to race the same Dodge Charger that propelled the team to stardom but the John Hayden led organization hasn't raced the car since the second event of the season despite utilizing the machine as a back-up car for several races this year.

"For most of the year, we've tucked this car way in a corner," added Sheltra. "This car is so special to this team; we did not want to take any unnecessary risks of ruining it. I know that we have a great setup that should allow us to be just as fast if not faster than we were here in April this weekend."

The 23-year old continued, "Salem was our first race with Buffalo Wings & Rings and we were able to celebrate with them in one of the greatest places in racing, victory lane. Since then, we've been honored to hoist their logo and make all the wonderful people there apart of our family all year. The support we'll have from them this weekend will be tremendous and I hope we're able to complete the Salem sweep Saturday night."

The Indiantown, Florida native will make his sixth career Salem Speedway start Saturday night and look for not only his second victory but look to tie his record for the number of top-10 finishes in a single season. With three races left including Saturday night's anticipated thriller -- Sheltra should easily match that record and then some.

"Always improving your record is good but that's not primarily our focus. Right now, we want to win Salem. I want to win again for a bunch of reasons. I know John (Hayden, crew chief) and the guys are pumped up about going back -- so I'm just ready to get the party started again."

After finishing seventh in last weekend's Road Course event at New Jersey Motorsports Park, Sheltra has moved back into the seventh position in the ARCA RE/MAX Series championship standings and still has an arms reach of claiming fifth. With just three events remaining, 135 points separate Sheltra from marching into the top-five. "It's not going to be a easy but we are definitely capable of finishing strong at Salem, Kansas and Rockingham and if we give nothing less than 150 percent we should be able to walk away from another year of ARCA racing with our best point's finish ever," concluded Sheltra.

Crew Chief John Hayden has elected to bring Sheltra Motorsports Chassis No. 5 this weekend at Salem Speedway. This is the same piece the team roared to victory lane at Salem in April. It's also the same automobile the team finished 11th with last Spring. The former Joe Gibbs Racing chassis will be run for ninth time in Sheltra's career. Chassis No. 4 will serve as the team's back-up automobile. This is the same piece the team competed with at Berlin Raceway and Toledo Speedway this year. It's also responsible for Sheltra's first career top-five run, a fourth at Berlin Raceway in 2007.

Entering Salem, Sheltra has 64 ARCA RE/MAX Series starts to his credit with one career victory at Salem Speedway (April 2009). During his ARCA tenure, Sheltra has accumulated 10 top-fives and posted 22 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.

The Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic (200 laps/111 miles) is the 19th of 21 events on the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule. The 83rd ARCA race held at Salem is a one-day show. Practice begins Saturday, September 19 with an hour and a half practice session planned from 1:05 p.m. - 2:35 p.m. Menards Pole by Ansell qualifying is set for later in the day slated to begin at 4:00 p.m. The event will take the green flag shortly after 7:15 p.m. Saturday night. The race will be broadcasted live through the ARCA Racing Network (ARN) online at arcaracing.com. All times are local.

-credit: sm

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers John Hayden , Patrick Sheltra