Salem: Patrick Sheltra qualifying report

Patrick Sheltra Qualifies 20th At Salem Speedway "Indiantown, Florida Native Earns Three Career Salem Smart" SALEM, Indiana (April 12, 2008) - - Sophomore ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Patrick Sheltra qualified 20th Saturday afternoon under ...

Patrick Sheltra Qualifies 20th At Salem Speedway
"Indiantown, Florida Native Earns Three Career Salem Smart"

SALEM, Indiana (April 12, 2008) - - Sophomore ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Patrick Sheltra qualified 20th Saturday afternoon under blistering cold temperatures at Salem Speedway in preparation for Sunday's Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 by Federated Auto Parts.

Sheltra, the 21-year old driver maneuvered the 22nd fastest lap in the only round of practice Saturday afternoon after posting a time of 17.879 seconds at 111.751 mph. "We're fighting a loose condition," said Sheltra. "We'll make some adjustments and try to get us ready for qualifying."

Crew Chief John Hayden, a former ARCA competitor at Salem Speedway made changes to the No. 60 Ferguson Pipe-FloraGanics Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS hoping to inch the Indiantown, Florida native forward in the running order.

After drawing the 13th position for ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying, Sheltra would bolt his Grace Sheltra-owned automobile around the half-mile oval to a time of 17.757 seconds or 112.519 mph locking Sheltra 20th on the starting grid.

The effort was the second-best qualifying effort in three attempts for Sheltra who's often nicknamed "Mr. Showtime."

"We really needed three laps," offered Sheltra. "This is a new tire compound and I've taken a little longer to adapt than some of the other drivers. That's no excuse though. We have a good car for Sunday's race."

He continued, "The Sheltra Motorsports team has worked their tails off and I'm extremely proud of them. I've been known to be a better racer than qualifier. Hopefully this is another case of that syndrome. Looking ahead towards the race Sunday afternoon; we're in the "eye of the storm" if you will. Patience is going to be critical. I have a good spotter in Kevin (Huffines) and I know that John (Hayden, crew chief) and Keith (Strunk, team manager) will make great calls, so I feel comfortable heading into the 200-lap slugfest."

Mother Nature has the opportunity to ruin the first of two events at Salem Speedway this season, but Sheltra joins 34 other teams hoping to beat the weather Sunday.

"No one really knows what exactly the weather is going to do," sounded Sheltra. "It was supposed to rain today but it was just bloody cold and windy. I know that ARCA is going to do everything they can to get the race in tomorrow. Rain or shine, I will be here."

Sheltra was supposed to compete in a dirt late model event at Twin Cities Raceway in North Vernon, Indiana Saturday behind the wheel of his No. 23 Chevrolet Monte Carlo but inclement weather has forced the cancellation of that event.

-credit: PatrickSheltra.com.

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Series ARCA