Wonderful testing conditions greeted ARCA RE/MAX Series teams Tuesday at Kentucky Speedway allowing several ARCA RE/MAX Series teams to tackle the 1.5-mile speed plant of Kentucky Speedway in preparation for the sixth race of the season, the Drive Smart Buckle Up Kentucky 150 set for Saturday, May 10th.
The series returns to the facility for a 16th time since 2000 with ARCA driver Patrick Sheltra poised to make his third career start at the facility.
In last year's Spring race, Sheltra aboard his familiar No. 60 Chevrolet entry, qualified 23rd before notching his first career top-10 finish of ninth. This year however, the Whitesville, Kentucky based Sheltra Motorsports will unload a Dodge Charger for competition, the second of 10 scheduled races which the sophomore ARCA team will carry the Chrysler nameplate.
Seepage issues hindered and canceled testing on Tuesday, but drivers were communicating with the local media in attendance for the open test.
Here are some notes and quotes from today's session:
PATRICK SHELTRA, NO. 60 FERGUSON PIPE ENTERPRISES, INC.-AMERICAN CONCRETE INDUSTRIES, INC., THE CASITE COMPANY DODGE CHARGER:
SHELTRA: (ON KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY) "I really enjoy coming to Kentucky Speedway. It's the site of my very first top-10 finish in ARCA RE/MAX Series competition. It's a very nice facility and tends to provide some of the best racing on the circuit."
SHELTRA: (ON RETURNING TO THE SITE OF HIS FIRST CAREER TOP-10 FINISH) "It's really important to me. I want to come back here in a couple weeks and even do better than the ninth place finish. Kentucky Speedway will always be an important figure in my racing career."
SHELTRA: (ON THE SWITCH TO DODGE FOR KENTUCKY) "Dodge is no stranger to success let alone victory lane here at Kentucky, so we're excited. We've been testing our Dodge to get ready for Kansas next weekend and Kentucky here next month. I think we'll be ready."
SHELTRA: (ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO SS AND DODGE CHARGER MODELS) "Not much. They are both good manufacturers and models, we just felt that we would be at a better advantage on the mile-and-a-half tracks with the Dodge Charger. Of course there are some concessions you may have to make between the two models but it's all in the interest of going fast. I'm excited about our future sporting the Dodge logos."
SHELTRA: (ON KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY BEING A HOMETOWN EVENT FOR THE TEAM) "As much as it's important for me, it's just as important for my guys. They work really hard and I know they want to win here just as bad as anyone, so we're going to do everything in our power to make it a reality."
SHELTRA: (ON THE SERIES'S PREVIOUS RACE AT SALEM SPEEDWAY) "Salem was a good race for us but it could have been a lot better. We ran in the top-five for much of the race and then were taken out. It really wasn't fair. We were though able to recover and finish 11th. It could have been a lot better; but it also could have been a lot worse. We'll take the finish in stride and move forward."
SHELTRA: (ON THE IMPORTANCE OF KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY) "Kentucky Speedway is so important for the ARCA RE/MAX Series. They have been coming here since 2000 and that really speaks volumes. We run here twice a year and they do a great job putting on the events. I'm looking forward to both events this year."
SHELTRA: (ON KENTUCKY'S SISTER TRACK; KANSAS SPEEDWAY) "Kansas Speedway is just as fun as Kentucky Speedway but it has its own distinct character. I had my career best qualifying effort there last year and had a pretty decent run too. What is so beneficial is that you are able to take what you've learned at either track and apply it."
SHELTRA: (ON IOWA SPEEDWAY THIS WEEKEND) "I'm ready for Iowa. I'm really love that facility. It's a relatively new track but it supplies some awesome racing! The bunch on the Sheltra Motorsports team is very excited and we feel we have a shot at the victory Saturday afternoon."
SHELTRA: (ON THE SEASON THUSFAR) "We are happy. Not satisfied but happy. We've had very competitive cars and in contention, just been plagued in the finish department. It's not that our finishes have been bad, but circumstances have kept us from two top-10 finishes. We're sitting sixth in points; so we have to look at that. We'll look to grab our first top-10 finish of the year this weekend."