Sears Point: Michael Shank Racing qualifying report

Patterson and Pew 1-3 in Trueman Award Session at Infineon Order is reversed in qualifying as Pew scores 7th and Patterson 9th (Sonoma, CA) 22 August 08 - Mark Patterson led the Trueman Award practice session on Friday with a 1:29.708-second...

Patterson and Pew 1-3 in Trueman Award Session at Infineon
Order is reversed in qualifying as Pew scores 7th and Patterson 9th

(Sonoma, CA) 22 August 08 - Mark Patterson led the Trueman Award practice session on Friday with a 1:29.708-second lap of Infineon Raceway's revised layout in the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley in preparation for Saturday's Rolex Sports Car Series Armed Forces 250, as John Pew was close behind with the third fastest time of the session in the sister No. 6 machine he shares with Ian James.

The roles were reversed in qualifying, as Pew stepped up to take seventh on the grid with a fast lap time of 1:28.267 seconds, with Patterson taking ninth as Michael Shank Racing once again had both Daytona Prototypes in the top ten.

"The car was obviously much better once we put slicks on and I got a few good laps in early on," said Pew, who has also competed in formula car machinery on the wine country track. "We struggled initially, but the car keeps getting better and that in turn gives me even more confidence, so I'm pretty happy with the day. Track position is key here, and I think we are going to have a good car under us in the race tomorrow."

Michael Shank Racing once again showed resolve and teamwork after the No. 60 suffered from an electrical glitch on Thursday, robbing the Negri-Patterson combination of time on the revised track layout. But the lack of laps was overcome to some extent after all four Michael Shank Racing drivers huddled to discuss the data and exchange ideas about the set up, benefitting from the No. 6 entries' running during the practice day to be as prepared as possible for Friday. That effort paid off with the strong qualifying results.

"The car felt good--I was able to get off the brakes earlier, carry more speed at the apex, and then get back on the throttle sooner and that showed in the lap times," said Patterson. "We also didn't have the snap-loose condition that we were fighting earlier. The car is also a lot more stable when you are changing direction back and forth, which of course you do a lot of here. This was a good team effort and we'll be fighting hard again tomorrow."

"Our goal is to have both cars in the top ten or even better, and we were able to do that again today," said team owner Mike Shank. "The Daytona Prototype-only races can mean a little bit different strategy in terms of what we expect from the yellows and also as far as returning to a little bit longer race distance, so we have to factor all that in to our strategy tomorrow. Of course, starting with both cars close to the front is a big help, so hats off to John and Mark. Hopefully we can just make more ground up in this championship before heading back East to New Jersey."

SPEED will carry the race on a tape-delay basis at 12:00 PM ET on Sunday, August 24.

-credit: www.michaelshankracing.com

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ian James , John Pew , Mark Patterson , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing