Homestead: Michael Shank Racing qualifying report

Patterson and Pew post strong qualifying efforts for Michael Shank Racing at Homestead (Homestead, FL) 29 March 08 --Michael Shank Racing driver Mark Patterson will start the GAINSCO Grand Prix from ninth on the grid, with teammate John Pew...

Patterson and Pew post strong qualifying efforts for Michael Shank Racing at Homestead

(Homestead, FL) 29 March 08 --Michael Shank Racing driver Mark Patterson will start the GAINSCO Grand Prix from ninth on the grid, with teammate John Pew lined up directly behind him in eleventh for Saturdays two hour and forty-five minute race for round two of the Rolex Sports Car Series season. Patterson's strong performance saw him only just miss out on securing a spot in the fourth row as his fastest lap came up just .007 seconds shy of the one set by a former Formula One test driver.

"That was easy!" joked Patterson, who has a long history of strong qualifying runs on the oval-based road course at Homestead. "I am not sure if they are doing something different with these Pirellis, but they are making great grip right out of the pit box. The track was very messy, but we were still able to keep setting quick times even late in the session. Hopefully the race gets a good clean start tomorrow."

The sister Ford-Riley combination of Pew and Ian James took a top-ten Daytona Prototype class finish to open the season, and both will be looking to build on that starting this weekend.

"I'm not sure that this is my favorite track but I won't complain about this qualifying," said Pew. "Things are going to be interesting with GT traffic tomorrow, so it's good we're as close to the front as we are. I was hoping to do a little better but unless you are on pole, you always are looking for more! The car has been great and I'm really looking forward to racing it because it's been a long time since Daytona!"

After starting the 2008 Rolex season off on the right foot with both cars starting from the front row at Daytona, the organization is looking to continue that progress starting this weekend.

"These were some strong performances from both Mark and John, and I think we are in a good position for the race," said team owner Mike Shank. "We had a lot of yellow flags during practice yesterday, but hopefully everyone got that out of their system and the start is a good one tomorrow. The track will be like it is right now-really greasy, but we've been strong every session and we're just hungry to turn this speed into some good results with both these cars."

-credit: msr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ian James , John Pew , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing