Daytona24: Michael Shank Racing race report

Podium Hopes Dashed Late in Rolex 24 for Michael Shank Racing; Both team entries lead before finishing 5th and 7th DAYTONA BEACH, FL (31 January 2010)-Michael Shank Racing finished the 2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona in fifth place overall as drivers...

Podium Hopes Dashed Late in Rolex 24 for Michael Shank Racing; Both team entries lead before finishing 5th and 7th

DAYTONA BEACH, FL (31 January 2010)-Michael Shank Racing finished the 2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona in fifth place overall as drivers John Pew, Ozz Negri, Burt Frisselle, and Mark Wilkins combined for a top-five finish in the No. 60 Crown Royal XR Ford-Riley at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday after the machine started the race from the outside pole.

As the morning dawned at Daytona, the sister No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley of Mark Patterson, Michael Valiante, AJ Allmendinger, and Brian Frisselle looked well-placed for a run to the podium as the entry led the race, but a driveline failure as the entry ran in third position with just over an hour remaining prevented the machine from reaching the checkered flag as the No. 6 was classified seventh at the finish.

The double-top ten team result is a strong way to open the 2010 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series championship campaign. But with both team entries having shown such tremendous speed over the course of the four-day season-opening event, the ultimate results were less than what had been hoped for in its seventh consecutive campaign in the endurance classic.

Massive preparations resulted in some quick pit work and rapid response in the garage as the Michael Shank Racing crew quickly replaced a clutch on Sunday morning during the race after having also made a very fast splitter replacement on the No. 60, but the setbacks were still enough to keep the car off the podium.

"We didn't get the results we wanted today, no question," said team owner Mike Shank. "We had a pretty amazing performance this whole weekend, and to be leading the race at 8 AM was really encouraging. But we'll come back from this and just look to be as ready to go as possible at Homestead. We finished last year on the podium there and hopefully we can get some good points in the championship with both cars in March. I'm really proud of the effort from this team, and even though we're disappointed with the results, we know we did everything we could, and the performance of the cars showed that."

AJ Allmendinger:
"I felt like this was the best 24 that I've ever run. I had a triple stint starting around 3 am and then was ready to run a lot of laps with a triple again to get it to the finish. This was no ones fault. Everyone worked really hard and we wanted to get back up on the podium for Mike Shank. It's disappointing, but we'll be back, no question. I'm going to win one of these things if it kills me. Once again a great car, a great team just bad luck. Thanks to everyone at Ford for the effort that they put into this, and I'm looking forward to running with Ford in Sprint Cup this year."

Mark Patterson:
"Last year we had a very abbreviated run. And its easy to make the misinterpretation at that point that you are going to win it just because you are leading it 15-20% into the race. This time, we were where we were so late in the race, that we were practically jumping on the back of the pick up truck to head to the podium! So this is a much bigger disappointment. That was a great outcome in 2006 but I was too inexperienced to understand really what we'd accomplished. This year we were in a very good car once again, and we we pushed our drivers very hard. This field had a lot of very capable driver line ups, and when the sun came up, we were in a great position. So it's very disappointing way to end."

Michael Valiante:
"I think this was one of the most treacherous 24's I've ever run because of the conditions. We just tried to stay out of trouble. Just like last year, we had a chance to win this year, but it just didn't fall into place. It's the 24 hours and thats just what can happen. I'm looking forward though to getting the championship going at Homestead."

John Pew:
"I haven't finished the Daytona 24 in a very long time, so that felt very good to drive across the finish line today! The team did an excellent job. How fast they changed the clutch and the splitter, was just amazing. Those guys just have it together. No mistakes. I am looking forward to homestead and hopefully we can have another top-five finish or even better."

Brian Frisselle:
"This race was really tough--we had our adversity with one of our key members (Michael) getting sick so that made things really tough and we were all dealing with fatigue and dehydration. The team gave us a fast car but something out of our control took us out. It's unfortunate, but we will come out of here with points and I expect to be strong at Homestead and all year long."

Ozz Negri:
"This is by far the best car that I have ever raced at Daytona. We had the pace-we ran a lot around the (race winning) nine car. It's a 24 hour race, we can not win if we don't keep it on the dark piece, the team definitely gave us the equipment. We were quick at night as well as consistent. I had an interesting race because I had big pains in my right foot so I had to start left-foot braking half of the race! It was alright--like when I ran some testing in formula cars. I don't think I'm going to change although I had some good times!"

Burt Frisselle:
"It is great to make it to the finish, and a top five is even better. An awesome way to start the season. I couldn't be happier with the job my teammates did. This was one of my favorite experiences, and a top five is always a great thing!"

Mark Wilkins:
"We finished 5th in 2007, but we were really slow! But we never went to the garage once that year. Today, the Shank car was awesome, completely dialed in and just got better and better as the race went on. We were in contention the whole time but we had a couple of unfortunate little things, that you just can't have here because the competition is so tough that if you slip back just a little bit, it is going to be hard to make it up. But this is a solid points start for me and Burt, and I can' wait for Homestead!"

Michael Shank Racing will be back in action at Homestead Miami Speedway for the Miami Grand Prix March 5-6.

-source: msr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Michael Valiante , Burt Frisselle , Mark Wilkins , John Pew , Mark Patterson , Brian Frisselle , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing