Daytona II: Michael Shank Racing preview

Michael Shank Racing Returns to Daytona for Thursday Night Fight Under the Lights Fast Front-row Fords look for Championship momentum in Florida Quick hits: * 2007 Rewind @ Brumos 250: MSR Finish positions: 4th (Pew/James) and 7th ...

Michael Shank Racing Returns to Daytona for Thursday Night Fight Under the Lights
Fast Front-row Fords look for Championship momentum in Florida

Quick hits:

* 2007 Rewind @ Brumos 250: MSR Finish positions: 4th (Pew/James) and 7th (Patterson/Negri)

* Last race outing: Mid-Ohio -6th (Patterson/Negri) and 16th (Pew/James)

* Rolex Series Team Championship standings--No. 60 4th, No. 6 9th (-4 positions post-MO);

* MSR Daytona Podium: Negri+Patterson-2006 (2nd overall, Rolex 24 At Daytona with AJ Allmendinger and Justin Wilson co-drivers)

* Jim Trueman Award update: Mark Patterson, 1974 points/P2 (-196), John Pew 1763 points/P5 (-407)

* TV Information: SPEED, 7/3/08 8:00 PM ET SPEED

(Daytona Beach, FL) 2 July 08 - Michael Shank Racing returns to Daytona International Speedway for Thursday night's Brumos 250, bringing the two team Ford-Riley Daytona Prototype entries which started the 2008 season from the front row in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The one-day (practice, qualifying and race), 250-mile sprint event will reward a much different approach than the 24 did, but speed will still be key. As the defending Daytona Prototype track record holders, the team is looking forward to the Daytona return.

Mark Patterson and Oswaldo Negri will look to improve from the sixth place finish the duo scored with the Westfield Insurance-liveried No. 60 in the wet at Mid-Ohio two weeks ago to firm up their position in the team championship standings.

"Obviously, Oswaldo (Negri) put the new Pirelli tires to excellent use in qualifying for the 24 to take the pole, and it will be up to me to get the best possible qualifying that I can on Thursday," said Patterson, who scored eighth on the grid in the 2007 event. "The conditions will be very different for the Brumos event, not just from what we experienced in January at the 24, but also between our qualifying session in the heat of the day to the race under the lights. But no mater what the temperatures or potential rainstorms are like, we expect to have another fast car from Michael Shank once again."

"I always love going to Daytona and knowing we had such a fast a car there in January only makes me more anxious to get going," said Negri, who recently visited his native Brazil to celebrate his father's birthday. "The team has been working to find even more speed in the car, and of course the Ford Racing engineers have been fantastic. The podium we scored at Daytona in 2006 is still a fond memory, but we really just want to be on the top step there and I just hope no one breaks my track record in qualifying!"

Coming off a frustrating race outcome at Mid-Ohio, John Pew and Ian James will look to recapture the form that saw the duo leading the Rolex 24 in the late stages of the race as they hope to go even better than the fourth place finish the two scored together in the 2007 Brumos event.

"Mid-Ohio didn't go at all the way we were hoping, but we were just in the wrong place at the wrong time," said Pew. "Sometimes that's racing, and you have to just look ahead at the next race. And this is a good one to look forward to, because we obviously had a great car here in January and even though the track conditions will be different, this is a good place for me and I'm looking forward to running under the lights again."

"This track has lots of places to pass and that could be key for us late in the race," said James. "We've been knocking on the door of a podium over and over, and it's just a matter of the stars lining up for us because we know we have all the ingredients to get a win together so hopefully that will come our way this week!"

The condensed schedule puts a premium on preparation, as there is little time to recover from a bad-set up or any set-back during the day before the race goes green at 8:00 PM. But with Michael Shank Racing having logged thousands of racing miles at the facility, the team is looking to make the most out of the challenge.

"We can't wait to get back," said Team Owner Mike Shank. "Starting the season with both cars up front was fantastic for everyone associated with this program. We'd like nothing more now than to finish on Thursday the way we started the year with both cars up front at Daytona. This is our fifth year taking on this Brumos event, and we plan everything out months in advance to make sure the whole day goes as seamlessly as possible. Hopefully we unload with strong cars once again, and can bring home some new hardware."

-credit: www.michaelshankracing.com

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Justin Wilson , Ian James , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , John Pew , Mark Patterson , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing