Millville: Michael Shank Racing preview

Michael Shank Racing Ready to Return to Victory Lane at New Jersey Motorsports Park COLUMBUS, OH --Michael Shank Racing driver Ozz Negri can't exactly put his finger on it, but there is just something about Michael Shank Racing that puts them up...

Michael Shank Racing Ready to Return to Victory Lane at New Jersey Motorsports Park

COLUMBUS, OH --Michael Shank Racing driver Ozz Negri can't exactly put his finger on it, but there is just something about Michael Shank Racing that puts them up front on new tracks.

The first time GRAND-AM's Rolex Sports Car Series visited Miller Motorsports Park in 2006, Negri and co-driver Mark Patterson broke through for Michael Shank Racing's very first race victory in the Rolex Sports Car Series.

And so it was again in 2008 for Negri and Patterson, as GRAND-AM staged the very first professional race weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park on Labor Day weekend. After withstanding pressure in the late stages of the race, Negri grew his advantage to nearly five seconds before a yellow flag erased his gap.

That set up a thrilling two-lap dash to the finish, but the Brazilian held firm to score the sixth-closest race win in Rolex Series history as he and Patterson once again drove into victory lane to bring Michael Shank Racing another victory on a brand new track.

"This is amazing to get back to the top step of the podium again with Mark and Michael Shank Racing," said Negri, who led a race-high 45 laps. "It was a very hard race and I was so happy to take another win."

It wasn't just the outstanding performance from Negri that made the winning difference that day.

"Obviously Ozz (Negri) had a great drive that day, but I think the hero who made this win possible was our fueler Tom Finley. He did an awesome job to help us get out ahead on our last stop and that was key for us today," said team owner Mike Shank.

For 2010, Negri is now teamed with 2008 Miller Motorsports Park race winner John Pew, and the duo now proudly carry the colors of Crown Royal XR on the No. 60 Ford-Riley. Heading into the 2010 edition of the New Jersey Grand Prix, Michael Shank Racing has a little bit different look, but exactly the same objective.

"Winning at New Jersey in 2008 was a kind of relief because we'd been so fast all year long, but we hadn't had that win to show for it," said Negri, who with Pew sits third in the team championship standings. "This year, we've been fast again and had several good finishes, but are still looking to be back up on top. That will be our focus in New Jersey because we know the track, and we know we've got a good car, and we know we have to win some races to move up in the championship. It's always good to go to a place where you've already won and it gives you just a little bit more confidence--hopefully that will be our edge!"

The team will once again be a two-car prototype entry at New Jersey Motorsports Park , but for the third race in a row, will have a Dallara for the sister No. 6 of Brian Frisselle and Michael Valiante after the team's other Riley was destroyed in a fire at Watkins Glen.

So two years after the team's NJMP race win in the inaugural event, Michael Shank Racing will target a return to the top, just like the team did in 2008 at Miller Motorsports Park, two years after the first time!

-source: michael shank racing

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Michael Valiante , John Pew , Mark Patterson , Brian Frisselle , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing