Birmingham: Michael Shank Racing race report

Michael Shank Racing Takes 2nd at Barber Park Extends Podium Streak in Alabama to Three Straight 317-908-2975 (m) LEEDS, AL (10 April 2010)-John Pew scored his third consecutive podium result at Barber Motorsports Park for Michael Shank...

Michael Shank Racing Takes 2nd at Barber Park
Extends Podium Streak in Alabama to Three Straight

317-908-2975 (m)

LEEDS, AL (10 April 2010)-John Pew scored his third consecutive podium result at Barber Motorsports Park for Michael Shank Racing on Saturday as he and co-driver Ozz Negri finished second with the No. 60 Crown Royal XR Ford-Riley in the Porsche 250. The podium result moves the No. 60 Crown Royal Ford-Riley machine to second position in the provisional championship points standings ahead of round four of the 2010 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series championship.

The sister No. 6 The Pit Stop at Lake Norris Ford Riley fought to a seventh place finish with Brian Frisselle and Michael Valiante running at the sharp end of field for much of the race despite struggling for grip.

"I'm very pleased for John and for Ozz in the Crown Royal XR car," said team owner Mike Shank. "The guys worked really hard and called a great strategy in the race. I'm a little disappointed for the 6 car, we were faster than that but we just didn't have the grip we needed to be more of a threat late in the race today. It's great to have so many podiums here at Barber, but I'd really like to come back here and figure out what we need to do to be up on that top step!"

Pew opened the race from ninth on the grid, having a battle with eventual third-place finisher Mike Forest as the two led the field from first and second place after a restart some 25 minutes into the event. A well-timed yellow provided the chance for Negri to jump in the car and still stay in the top ten before he methodically fought his way forward to second at the checkered flag.

"This is a team sport, and thanks to Crown Royal XR, Ford, Mike Shank, and all the guys for everything they did to get us here today," said Negri. "It was a challenge because the track was very slippery, and you had to be on edge every corner. Me and John work so hard every week, karting, talking every day about set-up, data, and just keeping our focus on the next races so it is fantastic to be back up on the podium again. We've had good cars, but not great luck and we had to fight for everything we got today. Working with John-he puts his heart into it, and I'm just over the moon."

"I was just trying to keep the car in one place and keep our track position to give the car to Ozz in good condition so he could do what he does," said Pew, who also picked up the Trueman Award honors for his efforts on the day. "And he certainly did it again--that was a great drive from him, and Dave Kanning called a perfect strategy. I'm not sure exactly what it is about this place, but I love this track. its a challenge with the two classes and all the traffic, but I really enjoy it. The area is beautiful, and the track is amazing. So this is fantastic to be able to come back here and get back on the podium again, and to move to second in the points, hopefully we can keep building on that at VIR!"

The sister No. 6 Ford-Riley was hoping that an alternate fuel stop strategy would help make the most of track position and create some clear running, but the pace wasn't what the team needed to move back to the podium. Frisselle ran a strong opening stint before turning the machine over to Valiante to bring home for a seventh place finish.

"It was a frustrating weekend--this team normally rolls off the truck with a fast car, but we just missed our set up this weekend so it was not what we were looking for," said Valiante. "Brian did a great job running up front at the start, but we just couldn't keep the pace of the leaders today. We've had two races where we had cars that we could be on the podium with, so it's disappointing to have this kind of weekend but we know we'll come back again at VIR."

The team will return to race action in two weeks time at Virginia International Raceway.

-source: msr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Michael Valiante , John Pew , Brian Frisselle , Michael Shank , Mike Forest
Teams Michael Shank Racing