Pew Set to Chase Barber Podium From Fourth Row
Birmingham, AL (8 April 2011)-- Michael Shank Racing driver John Pew is aiming for his fourth consecutive podium finish at Barber Motorsports Park. He got that effort off to a good start as he qualified the No. 60 Crown Royal XR Ford-Riley on the outside of the fourth row after running his fastest lap (BL-1:23.778) of the race weekend during the 15-minute qualifying session on Friday.
Pew will open the 2.75-hour race (SPEED, April 10/12:00 PM ET) from eighth on the Rolex Sports Car Series grid before turning the machine over to Ozz Negri to take to the finish as the duo look to move up from 6th in the championship order. After an encouraging first day of testing on Thursday, Michael Shank Racing’s running schedule was slimmed significantly on Friday after a car made contact with a barrier and required extensive repair in an early morning session.
“The Crown Royal car was as good as it has been all weekend, and even though we didn’t have all the track time we were hoping to this morning and didn’t get to try some things out, we’ve still moved in the right direction so far this weekend,” said Pew, who has finished either 2nd or 3rd at Barber Motorsports Park for the last three years. “There is still a good bit of push in the longer duration corners. I was trying to use the throttle to get the car to rotate, but we still have a little bit of work to do with the front end grip. I’m looking forward to the start. I know we have to be smart and make sure we have a car at the finish, but if there are opportunities to move up, I’m certainly going to try to take them.”
""I know we have to be smart and make sure we have a car at the finish...|John Pew| left''
“We are in good shape with our tire allocation and we’ve got a car that we think will be good over the long run,” said team owner Mike Shank. “We didn’t get to try everything that we wanted to today with the change to the schedule, but it’s the same for everyone. We don’t have a warm up session tomorrow before the race to try anything new out, so we’ll work a little bit on what we think it’s going to take to keep pace through the full stint and hopefully we come up with the right fix tomorrow! We really want to pick up some points this weekend and so far we’ve had a good start to the event. John's got a great track record here and hopefully we can just add to that tomorrow..."