Fontana: Michael Shank Racing Saturday report

Michael Shank Racing takes 7th on the grid for Fontana finale Fontana, California (30 October 04)--The Michael Shank Racing Lexus-powered Doran took seventh on the grid for the season finale Lexus Grand American Champions weekend at California...

Michael Shank Racing takes 7th on the grid for Fontana finale

Fontana, California (30 October 04)--The Michael Shank Racing Lexus-powered Doran took seventh on the grid for the season finale Lexus Grand American Champions weekend at California Speedway. The team if feeling competitive after their best lap time of 1:32.598 seconds on the oval-based road course was just .4 of a second behind the best time of the third-place car. Sunday's 89-lap race is scheduled to get underway at 1:00 local time and will be televised live on Speed Channel.

Oswaldo Negri took the wheel for the qualifying session, and will start Sunday's race before turning the driving duties over to teammate Burt Frisselle.

"The car was quite good, actually," said Negri. "Unfortunately, (Darin) Manning decided to give himself a gap in traffic on my fastest lap and blocked me. We have improved a lot since the beginning of the weekend, and should be pretty competitive tomorrow. We just want to give Mike and the guys a strong finish to the season."

Team owner Mike Shank, who announced plans today for the 2005 season, has seen his guys put in some late nights this season preparing the 6 car, and is feeling much better about the team's chances after the improvements made during the weekend.

"We are just a couple of tenths from being in the top three, so we've made a ton of progress already this weekend, considering where we started out," said Shank. "We are back in the ball park now, and should be good for the race. The guys have been working hard to fix some niggling problems, but have got everything sorted and are hoping we can get some good points tomorrow for the championship."

Michael Shank Racing was formed in 1989 when Michael Shank first began driving racing cars professionally, taking the award as SCCA-Ohio Valley Region's Novice Driver of the Year. Shank retired from the cockpit in 1997 after moving up the motorsports ladder to focus his efforts on running the team, which quickly found success in the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship, with several race wins leading Shank to be named as Team Owner of the Year twice in four years. MSR has campaigned drivers including Johnny Rutherford Jr., Kenny Wilden, and 2001 and 2002 Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish, Jr.

MSR is making the transition to the Rolex Series from open-wheel competition for the 2004 season in the Rolex Sports Car Series, campaigning a Lexus-powered Doran JE4.

-mrs-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Burt Frisselle , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , Michael Shank , Johnny Rutherford , Sam Hornis
Teams Michael Shank Racing