Talladega: Patrick Sheltra race report

Finish Overshadows Performance For Patrick Sheltra At Talladega TALLADEGA, Alabama (April 27, 2009) - - Patrick Sheltra in the No. 60 Buffalo Wings & Rings Dodge Charger headed to Talladega Superspeedway last weekend aiming for his third ...

Finish Overshadows Performance For Patrick Sheltra At Talladega

TALLADEGA, Alabama (April 27, 2009) - - Patrick Sheltra in the No. 60 Buffalo Wings & Rings Dodge Charger headed to Talladega Superspeedway last weekend aiming for his third consecutive top-five finish of the season in the ARCA RE/MAX 250, unfortunately overheating woes sidelined the team and forced a finish that no means equaled the strength the Sheltra Motorsports team really had.

In their first race carrying Cincinnati, Ohio based Buffalo Wings & Rings onboard as the team's primary marketing partner, Sheltra answered the new look with a career-best speedway qualifying run of 11th. He backed that effort up by setting the fastest time in final practice leading up to the start of the fourth race of the season.

From the drop of the green flag, Sheltra was quickly on the move and had secured a position safely inside the top-10 but when the caution waived on lap four Sheltra immediately keyed his radio and informed crew chief John Hayden that his water temperature had climbed to 260 degrees.

Hayden, a former ARCA RE/MAX Series driver instructed the 22-year old Sheltra to bring his Buffalo Wings & Rings machine to pit road so they could pull off some tape.

Once back on track, Sheltra again spoke up and said that the temperature was not going down. Bringing the car back down on pit road the team took the remainder of the tape off the front grill while also connecting the cool-down unit to the Dodge Charger sinking the temperature down to a modest 200 degrees.

On the restart, Sheltra emerged from deep in the pack and started a fast outside line train that caught the lead pack within several circuits which saw Sheltra become a man on a mission to put his green and camouflage Dodge back in the hunt.

Still battling warm temperatures the team pitted with the leaders approaching lap 40 where the team changed four tires and added Sunoco racing fuel before sending Sheltra back into competition.

Hovering inside the top-five, Sheltra remained in contention to win his second race of the season but as his Buffalo Wings & Rings automobile exited turn four on lap 61, Sheltra's engine gave way forcing the Indiantown, Florida native to bring his car to pit road and make the hard left hand turn into the garage where the team diagnosed the problem as fatal. Sheltra would finish the event in the 33rd position.

"It's a shame," said Sheltra. "We had a great car. The thing was hot right from the drop of the green flag. We were hoping it was just a bad gage but it turned out not to be the case. I have to thank Buffalo Wings & Rings, all of our marketing partners, our fans and Scott Herman (MTV's Real World: Brooklyn) for their support. I know we took a hit in the points, but it's early and we'll get them back."

The finish dropped Sheltra from first to fourth in the series points standing just 130 markers from retaking the top-spot. The series will enjoy an off weekend before returning to action on May 9 for the running of the Drive Smart! Buckle Up Kentucky 150 at Kentucky Speedway. The Sparta, Kentucky based track is the site of Sheltra's first career top-10 finish in ARCA RE/MAX Series competition in 2007.

-credit: PatrickSheltra.com

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers John Hayden , Patrick Sheltra