Virginia International Raceway
Pew Takes spot on fourth row for Michael Shank Racing at VIR
Danville, VA (13 May 2011)-- Michael Shank Racing driver John Pew posted another stout performance in Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve qualifying on Friday, pushing the No. 60 Crown Royal XR Ford-Riley to seventh on the Bosch 250 grid with a fast lap time of 1:46.594 on the 3.27-mile Virginia International Raceway circuit. The effort will see Pew starting the race from one spot behind the Ganassi machine as he and co-driver Ozz Negri look to continue the upward trend of race results for the Crown Royal squad.
Saturday’s 2.75-hour race, set for a 5:00 PM ET broadcast on SPEED, could well be staged in rainy conditions if the forecasts play out as they are predicted as of Friday evening. With the fourth round of the 2011 championship also marking the debut run for a new set of GRAND-AM race regulations, which will see the teams work to find the best strategy for the new smaller fuel capacity tanks, it should be an interesting event for the fans, no matter what the conditions bring.
“The team made some small changes, but it seemed to make a big difference and the car was really good,” said Pew. “It was my first run on sticker tires today, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect. I knew I had to get on it quickly and get my time in as soon as I could, and that turned out to be true with the session ending early. The team has done a really good job with the tires so far, and I think they are being smart with the approach. If it is dry tomorrow, then we know we’ve got a good car for the race, and I think even if there is rain, we can be confident about all the work the engineers did to prepare for that before we even got here.”
The car was good, but we think it can be even better.
“We’ve had a good start to the weekend and John really pushed the car to get that time and once again showed that he’s a go-to guy when it comes time to qualify,” said team owner Mike Shank. “He and Ozz worked really hard on the car and this whole team just never stops working to find ways to get faster. We don’t know what the conditions are going to be like when we go racing tomorrow. John and Ozz made a lot of progress with the dry set up today, but we’ve also been keeping an eye on the forecast to see what we might be looking at tomorrow.
“The car was good, but we think it can be even better,” said Ozz Negri as he and Pew headed back to debrief on the afternoon and push to be even stronger on Saturday.