Salem: Patrick Sheltra preview

Patrick Sheltra Focused As Ever Marching To Salem SALEM, Indiana (April 1, 2009) - - Patrick Sheltra wasn't a big fan of the lengthy break in ARCA RE/MAX Series competition last year but after sustaining injuries in the 2009 ARCA season opener...

Patrick Sheltra Focused As Ever Marching To Salem

SALEM, Indiana (April 1, 2009) - - Patrick Sheltra wasn't a big fan of the lengthy break in ARCA RE/MAX Series competition last year but after sustaining injuries in the 2009 ARCA season opener at Daytona International Speedway, Sheltra welcomed the gap in races with open arms. The nearly eight week break from competition allowed Sheltra to heal from his injuries and focus on getting behind the wheel for Sunday's Kentuckian Ford Dealers 200 by Federated Car Care at the legendary Salem Speedway.

Mission accomplished.

[IMAGE]After being medically cleared to return to stock car competition last Tuesday, Sheltra hopped on a plane and headed up to his team's shop in Whitesville, Kentucky where the Sheltra Motorsports team participated in a private test at Salem Speedway last Friday.

Very encouraged and satisfied with his practice effort, the third year ARCA team returns to the brutal Salem Speedway looking to give Sheltra his first career victory Sunday afternoon.

"The test went real good," said Sheltra, who will make his fifth career start at the Southern Indiana facility this weekend. "We're going to Salem for the first time with a Dodge and I honestly feel it will pay off."

In four starts at the demanding half-mile oval, Sheltra has mounted three 11th place finishes and a 13th place finish, not too shabby concerning the wrath the track has been known to take on inexperienced drivers. This year, however Sheltra feels that this weekend could in fact be the weekend where he takes home the trophy and the familiar ARCA RE/MAX winner yard sign.

"I've been wanting to win for a while now and we've been so close, so many times," explained Sheltra, who finished 11th in both Salem events last year. We've been in the hunt in the past to win at Salem. If we can keep our nose clean, we should be in the mix at the end."

For Sheltra to win would not be a surprise but in fact a statement, especially after battling back from the incident at Daytona.

"We'll never forget Daytona, it was a bad deal," admitted Sheltra. "But, you have to solider on and focus ahead. We still finished one position better than we did last year, we just didn't bring home a car. Our team is here to win races and ultimately win the championship. We still have a shot and all the Daytona incident shows is really how much dedication that our team has. We're back and we vow to be better than ever."

Crew Chief ohn Hayden has elected to bring Sheltra Motorsports Chassis No. 5 this weekend at Salem Speedway. This is the same piece the team race with at Salem last April. The former oe Gibbs Racing chassis will be run for eighth time in Sheltra's career. Its best finish came at Kentucky Speedway in 2007 where Sheltra acknowledged his first top-10 run of ninth. Chassis number 6 will serve as the team's back-up automobile. Sheltra ran that former oe Gibbs Racing entry at Rockingham Speedway last year.

For the second race of the year, Sheltra Motorsports welcomes Buffalo Wings & Rings on-board for their first taste of stock car racing, ARCA RE/MAX Series style.

Known for it's "Great Food; No Bull!" campaign, Buffalo Wings & Rings is the fastest-growing privately owned franchised chain of restaurants in the nation serving Buffalo-style chicken wings, onion rings, burgers, chicken and salads. Founded in 1988 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Buffalo Wings & Rings operates 44 franchised restaurants in the United States. Buffalo Wings & Rings was ranked the No. 1 fastest growing restaurant chain nationwide in the uly 2008 issue of Restaurant Business, and ranked in the top 500 franchises in the anuary 2009 issue of Entrepreneur.

"We're pleased to have Buffalo Wings & Rings on our side this weekend," said Sheltra, a native of Indiantown, Florida. "It's an awesome place with a great atmosphere and the food is terrific. We're glad to have them on-board for Salem and hope to deliver them to victory lane and that's no bull!"

In addition to running a full ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule this year, Sheltra will also run a limited dirt schedule and also plans to run selected NASCAR Nationwide Series events with his Whitesville, Kentucky based Sheltra Motorsports team.

-credit: PatrickSheltra.com.

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Series ARCA
Drivers Patrick Sheltra