(Daytona Beach, FL) 3 July 08 - Michael Shank Racing showed strength once again in qualifying at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday, with both team entries scoring top-ten grid positions for Thursday night's Brumos 250. Mark Patterson ...
(Daytona Beach, FL) 3 July 08 - Michael Shank Racing showed strength once again in qualifying at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday, with both team entries scoring top-ten grid positions for Thursday night's Brumos 250.
Mark Patterson matched his outstanding qualifying effort from last year's Brumos event at Daytona to once again take eighth on the grid with a fast lap time of 1:43.257 seconds.
"This result comes from a great team effort-the car was great right off the trailer, and the team managed to make it even better," enthused Patterson. "The car felt perfect, and I was able to be really aggressive both at turn-in, and also with early throttle application so it was a joy to drive. I made a small tactical mistake not to have slipped in behind the car that won the pole and tried to use him for a bit of a draft, but other than that small oversight, it was a great session and hopefully the weather lets us have a clean race tonight."
John Pew also had a strong run after he shook off early-session traffic problems to net a spot on the fifth row with a best time of 1:43.633-seconds in the No. 6 Ford Riley he will share with Ian James. The duo didn't get to make the most of the morning practice session after a small brake problem saw the crew make repairs right from pit lane.
"I am not sure what he (fellow Daytona Prototype driver) was thinking, blocking me on the straight away like that, but once I got away from him I was finally able to set a good lap," said Pew. "We might have missed the best lap with the tires, but I am still pretty happy with the starting spot. The car was even better than it was in the morning, and even though we lost some practice time, we still made progress so that was a good team effort."
The one-day race event puts a high price on preparation as the teams work in the July high heat and humidity available in Florida, but that didn't keep the No. 60 from setting the fastest time of the second practice session in the hands of track record holder Oswaldo Negri and keeping the team looking forward to Thursday nights race.
"I'm happy to have both cars in the top ten for the start again," said team owner Mike Shank. "After the struggles that the 6 car had this morning, this was a solid effort. And Mark did a great job-Auberlin only got him on the very last lap of qualifying, so that is some great company to be in. So part one of our day has gone well, and hopefully now the race will be even better for us tonight."