The leaders of the North American Endurance Championship hope to extend their points lead in the second round at The Glen
Pataskala, Ohio (27 June 2012) – Just days after scoring the team’s third podium of the season when Ozz Negri and John Pew drove the No. 60 Liveon.com Ford-Riley to third at Road America, Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian will head to another legendary race track for the Sahlen’s 6 Hours of The Glen and Round 8 of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series championship at Watkins Glen International.
The event also marks the second round of the three-race North American Endurance Championship (NAEC) presented by VISITFLORIDA.COM. As the winners of the first NAEC round at the Rolex 24, Michael Shank Racing currently sits atop the NAEC standings and will look to extend their lead with another strong run at the historic Watkins Glen road course.
“John and Ozz delivered for us once again at Road America and I’m really proud of how well this whole team has been performing and bringing home some solid points for the championship,” said team owner Mike Shank. “We’ve had some highs with the three podiums, but we’ve also had a pair of races where we were just dealt some bad luck. But we are still fourth in the championship now so hopefully we can keep up the momentum this weekend. We'll run as hard as we can. Winning the Rolex 24 was epic for us and we’re ready to go for Watkins Glen. We have the lead in the NAEC, and we are going to do everything we can to hold on to it and be in a good spot for the finale at Indianapolis.”
Last year’s 6-Hour event saw the team finish fourth in a race that saw mixed conditions, opening under challenging rainy conditions and then drying through the six hours of racing. Despite struggling with a broken throttle return throughout the final two hours of the race, Negri and Pew held on to bring home a fourth place finish.
“Coming off of a race where we didn’t really feel like we had the pace we were looking for, but still able to earn a podium, we really want to make the most of this weekend at the Glen,” said Negri, who like Pew has scored podiums at the Glen short course but still seeks a run to the box on the longer Grand Prix circuit. “We were able to get a good result from some good strategy and being right there when others had problems, so we want to focus on maximizing our chances again this weekend. Six hours is a long race and anything can happen--we’ve seen that at the Glen so many times!”
Michael Shank Racing has traditionally run well in the prestigious Watkins Glen 6-hour race holding a total of six top-five finishes, but the team has yet to podium in the event and will look to carry the Road America podium momentum into Sunday’s six-hour endurance race.
“This is a great stretch of races for the Rolex Series,” offered John Pew, who currently stands second in the PRO-AM Championship as he pursues his third Trueman title. “It’s a lot of planning and hard work for the team and everyone who supports the effort, but when you have a good finish like we did at Road America, there is nothing better than knowing that you get to get back in the DP and race again the next weekend. Watkins Glen is just one of those tracks that all the drivers love and I’ve raced formula cars and GT cars here, so coming back to run a Daytona Prototype is always a thrill. It’s a long race and tough on the drivers, but Ozz and I have been training like crazy so we are both up for it.”
Source: ichael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian