Phoenix: Michael Shank Racing Thursday report

Michael Shank Racing second fastest in Phoenix practice (Phoenix, AZ) 11 May 06-- Michael Shank Racing scored the second quickest lap of the day in practice on Thursday for the GAINSCO Grand Prix at Phoenix International Raceway as the Flight...

Michael Shank Racing second fastest in Phoenix practice

(Phoenix, AZ) 11 May 06-- Michael Shank Racing scored the second quickest lap of the day in practice on Thursday for the GAINSCO Grand Prix at Phoenix International Raceway as the Flight Options car of Oswaldo Negri and Mark Patterson posted a 57.881-second flyer on the 1.51-mile road course.

"Well, of course, we want to be fastest, but second quick is a good start," smiled Negri. "This is just one of the Michael Shank Racing deals where the Flight Options car is fast right off the trailer, but you can never rest in racing, so we kept trying new things for the race. The Lexus guys and everyone on the team is doing a great job. Mark is driving really well, and I'm proud to have him as my teammate."

The sister Mears Motor Coach Lexus-Riley of Antoine Bessette and Mike Borkowski were also quick on the opening day, with a 58.561-second lap setting them in the top ten.

"The track didn't have much grip at all, and it was even worse as the tires went off, but we definitely have a good start and saving the tires is going to be important in the races," said Bessette. "I have been impressed with Mike Shank and his team, they are definitely a very strong organization, and I am looking forward to the race on Saturday night."

The opening day pace wasn't too surprising for team owner Mike Shank, as the team lead this race convincingly last year, and is looking for another strong finish with both cars this weekend.

"Definitely a good start, no question," said Shank. "We might have been able to go a little bit faster with both cars today, but we are trying to conserve the tires for the races because of course, that's where the points are. The drivers are doing a great job here again this weekend, and we should be strong in the qualifying race tomorrow."

Friday night will feature a half-hour qualifying race starting at 7:45 PM local time, with the feature race slated for a 7:00 PM local time start on Saturday.

The race will be broadcast on Speed Channel on a tape-delayed basis starting at 3:00 PM ET on Sunday.

-msr-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Oswaldo Negri Jr. , Antoine Bessette , Mark Patterson , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing