Double top-ten for Michael Shank Racing once again (Daytona Beach, FL) 29 June 06--Michael Shank Racing backed up a strong double-top ten run in the teams home event last weekend at Mid-Ohio with a second consecutive double-top ten performance...
Double top-ten for Michael Shank Racing once again
(Daytona Beach, FL) 29 June 06--Michael Shank Racing backed up a strong double-top ten run in the teams home event last weekend at Mid-Ohio with a second consecutive double-top ten performance Thursday evening at Daytona International Speedway in the Brumos 250.
The Playboy Racing/Mears Motor Coach Lexus/Riley of Mike Borkowski and Paul Tracy finished sixth, with Mark Patterson and Oswaldo Negri bringing the Flight Options Lexus/Riley across the finish line in tenth.
The pace and performance of both team cars was strong throughout the sessions during the one-day event, but the effort came up short as an extra fuel stop was required to make the full seventy-lap race distance.
"Another solid race for us with both cars," said team owner Mike Shank. "We ran a great pace with both cars, but we are looking forward to improvements with our fuel mileage in the next four races. Lexus has some of the hardest working guys in the sport, and they are as hungry for an improvement as we are. But this is a good way to close out a busy June, and we'll be looking for more at Barber."
The starting grid was set by championship points after a problem at the track forced the cancellation of the qualifying session, as Borkowski started from fourteenth in the Playboy Racing machine, as Patterson took the green flag from eighth on the grid.
Both drivers got good starts, with Patterson rocketing up to sixth briefly at the start and settling into seventh by the time the event's only yellow flag flew in the early laps, with Borkowski making up good ground to slot into ninth just a handful of laps into the two hour and forty-five minute event.
The Flight Options race plan had to be altered, though, some ten laps into the race, as Patterson made a heroic save to avoid a Daytona Prototype that took to the grass in the high-speed 'Bus Stop' chicane, with Patterson keeping control despite having the back to wheels in the grass, and the front two still on the pavement.
Eager to resume his race pace, Patterson pressed the Lexus-Riley to its limits, and took to the grass himself a lap later as the Hoosiers were still encumbered with debris from his previous excursion.
"I just wasn't patient enough," said Patterson. "Lesson learned-I should have just taken it easy for a couple of laps to make sure the tires were clear, but we were still in a really good position and I just didn't want to lose our spot."
Patterson brought the car in to clear the radiators of grass and dirt, and turned the car over to Negri, who rejoined the field in thirty-first position, working his way up through the order to finish in tenth.
"All the credit goes to Oz--he drove like a soldier tonight," said Patterson. "It's a shame we were in that position, but he made the best of a bad situation."
Borkowski continued his own upward mobility to take the Playboy Racing machine up as high as sixth before turning the car over to Tracy, who ran a lonely race to the finish due to the long green flag conditions spreading the field, but was forced to pit late in the race and had to accept a sixth place finish at the end.
"I didn't end up racing anyone out there," said Tracy. "The race went pretty much to plan and we had a great pace, but then we had to make that last stop to get to the finish, so I just couldn't make up the track position we lost."
Michael Shank Racing will race again in one month, at Barber Motorsports Park outside of Birmingham, Alabama.