Sears Point: Michael Shank Racing preview

Michael Shank Racing heads West as Rolex Series races to a close Looking for another California podium (Columbus, OH) August 22 2007--Michael Shank Racing will make the long trip out West for the second time this season and the Armed ...

Michael Shank Racing heads West as Rolex Series races to a close
Looking for another California podium

(Columbus, OH) August 22 2007--Michael Shank Racing will make the long trip out West for the second time this season and the Armed Forces Grand-Am 250, the penultimate round of the 2007 Rolex Sports Car Series season at Infineon Raceway near Sonoma, California.

The last visit to the Eureka state netted a fine third place finish for Mark Patterson and Oswaldo Negri when the Rolex Series visited Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May. The sister No. 6 of John Pew and Ian James scored seventh place with the Playboy machine at Laguna, one of eight top-ten finishes for the duo this season.

The two and a half-hour race marks the second visit to Infineon, long known as Sears Point, for the Rolex Sports Car Series. The tight Rolex championship battle has gathered a lot of attention heading into the final two races of the season, and Michael Shank Racing is focused on taking as many points as possible to close out the year.

The team, which scored a debut win in the season-ending race of 2006, is well placed to deliver the best double-team performance in the championship since joining the Rolex Series. Heading into the Infineon round, the No. 6 is seventh in points with a seven-point margin to sixth, while the No. 60 is currently fifth and looking to reduce the twenty-point gap to fourth position.

"This was one of the most intense races I ran last season," said Patterson. "There is just no place to relax even for a moment here. It will be different not having the GT traffic like we did last year, but it will still be a great non-stop challenge every lap. Hopefully we can come out of the weekend with another strong finish before heading off for Utah to defend our win there."

Pew, who has previous race experience at Infineon in the Formula Mazda ranks against a field of drivers including Marco Andretti, Raphael Matos, and Graham Rahal, has adapted quickly in his rookie Rolex Series campaign and is looking forward to adding Infineon to the list of tracks he has Daytona Prototype experience on.

"It's just a fun track," smiled Pew. "I am glad that I already know my way around there, but of course there is always some adjustment between running in a formula car and in these Daytona Prototypes. The schedule, with practice in the morning and then not running until we qualify or race in the afternoon, could be a challenge as far as getting the set up right, but this team does a really good job with that. Things can get busy at Infineon pretty quickly, but I am looking forward to the race no question."

-credit: msr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Graham Rahal , Ian James , Marco Andretti , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , John Pew , Mark Patterson , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing