Homestead: Michael Shank Racing race report

Michael Shank Racing Returns to Homestead Miami Podium in Grand Prix of Miami Patterson locks up Trueman Award year-end honors to become first-ever two-time winner (Homestead, FL) 10 October- Michael Shank Racing returned to the Homestead...

Michael Shank Racing Returns to Homestead Miami Podium in Grand Prix of Miami

Patterson locks up Trueman Award year-end honors to become first-ever two-time winner

(Homestead, FL) 10 October- Michael Shank Racing returned to the Homestead Miami Speedway podium with an outstanding run to third place on Saturday as Oswaldo Negri and Mark Patterson shared the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley to great effect and closed the 2009 Rolex Sports Car Series season in a shower of champagne at Negri's home track.

The third-place finish saw Patterson once again not only score the Trueman medal for the event, but it also saw him lock up the season-long honor as well, making him the first driver to ever score the award twice.

"Ozz just kept pushing and pushing and we just fought all the way to the finish," said team owner Mike Shank. "This is a great way to close out the year and I'm just really happy to see Ozz and Mark back up on the podium. This was a hard weekend for all the guys with this incredible heat, but we just kept our focus and it paid off with this finish. We didn't have the same kind of fortune with the six car today, but overall this was a weekend that we can head into the off-season feeling strong and looking ahead to what's next."

Among the race podium and championship celebrations, there was still no louder cheer than for the third place finishers as Negri and Patterson took to the podium to accept their trophies.

"First I want to congratulate the 99 for their championship season and the 59 for their race win today," said Negri. "We all know how competitive this series is and both teams should be proud of their accomplishments. This is phenomenal to finish on the podium in front of my friends and family. I am so happy to be here with Mark and for him to win the Trueman Award makes me so happy. It was hard with the heat, and the tires were a big challenge as well with the pickup you got off-line."

"In the middle of the race, I kind of doubted the team strategy, but it was perfect the strategy that David (Kanning) called because I had the tires that I needed at the end and could fight forward," said Negri, who showed little effect of the days incredible heat as he emerged from the Daytona Prototype after the race. "I had to be patient, but also pick my moments in all the traffic to move forward. We don't know what we will be doing next year so this is the best way to finish here. I had so many family here, and my drivers on my karting team, and I'm happy not to have failed them!"

"Our strategy was to not run too hard at the beginning of my stint and save the tires, and that's exactly what we did," said Patterson. "I made two passes early in the lap, but then went down one too many gears and got neutral, so I lost those spots immediately. But then the others were too aggressive on their tires so I was able to come back and get the spots again. Ozz is a ferocious fighter and simply relentless, and he showed it again with his performance today to take us back up onto this Homestead podium. We've had our share of bad luck this year so this is a great way to close out the season!"

The sister No. 6 Ford-Riley of John Pew and Michael Valiante suffered a disappointing outcome as the blue machine finished 15th in the 32-car field after being crashed off-course by the No. 5 machine early in the race going. The team was able to effect repairs to the Riley, but the damage was done as Pew and Valiante swapped the driving duties through the race before Pew took the controls for the final stint of 2009.

-credit: msr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Michael Valiante , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , John Pew , Mark Patterson , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing