Michael Shank Racing 9th and 12th in qualifying at New Jersey Motorsports Park (Millville, NJ) 2 May 2009-Michael Shank Racing continued to show high performance on Saturday in qualifying for Sunday's Verizon 250 at New Jersey Motorsports Park...
Michael Shank Racing 9th and 12th in qualifying at New Jersey Motorsports Park
(Millville, NJ) 2 May 2009-Michael Shank Racing continued to show high performance on Saturday in qualifying for Sunday's Verizon 250 at New Jersey Motorsports Park as the team looks to score an encore race victory at the south Jersey track. John Pew returned from a strong qualifying performance last weekend at VIR to score 9th on the grid at NJMP with a fast lap time of 1:16.069-seconds in the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley that he will share with Michael Valiante.
The defending race-winning No. 60 of Mark Patterson and Oswaldo Negri will start from 12th on the grid after Patterson recovered from an early-session spin to post a 1:16.415-second lap in the closing moments of the session.
"Both cars have been really good all weekend long, and now we're ready to go racing," said team owner Mike Shank. "We will have to see what happens with the weather, but we are watching it very closely and will be ready if it's wet or dry. We made a lot of ground up last weekend in the championship and we just want to keep that momentum up with two solid results on Sunday."
"With the layout of this track, this place takes a lot of effort from the driver so I'm happy to get the most out of that session and be starting from up in the top ten again," said Pew, who saw his run to 7th in qualifying at VIR last week create a frustrating start as he was knocked off-course in the early laps of the race. "The car is good, and has been getting better every session, so I'm pleased and hopefully the start of the race will be a little less eventful than it was last week!"
With rain threatening, sprinkling, and then receding, all in the few moments leading up to qualifying, the 60 machine had been outfitted with the worst conditions in mind, but as the track remained dry, Patterson worked to make the most of what he had.
"We banked on the session being a wet one, and the car was really ready to go in those conditions but it turned out to be dry," said Patterson, who led the Trueman practice session with a fast lap time of 1:15.905 earlier in the day. "I had a quick 4-off, came back in to the pits to clear out the radiator and then had two laps to set a time. Fortunately, I went faster than I had before and got my best lap in just in time, no complaints!"