Utah: Michael Shank Racing qualifying report

Michael Shank Racing Ready to Race Forward at Miller Motorsports Park TOOELE UT (10 September 2010)- Michael Shank Racing will start the journey back to victory lane at Miller Motorsports Park from the third and fifth rows on Saturday following...

Michael Shank Racing Ready to Race Forward at Miller Motorsports Park

TOOELE UT (10 September 2010)- Michael Shank Racing will start the journey back to victory lane at Miller Motorsports Park from the third and fifth rows on Saturday following Friday's 15-minute qualifying session to set the grid for Saturday's Utah 250. The team has two victories to its credit on the Salt Lake City area track and will look to grow that record of success in the final race of the 2010 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season.

The No. 60 Crown Royal XR Ford-Riley of John Pew will start from tenth after Pew posted a quick time of 1:46.706 seconds on the 3.048-mile circuit, with the sister No. 6 Ford-Dallara of Brian Frisselle set for a third row start with a quick time of 1:44.905 seconds.

The opening day featured just a pair of practice sessions for the team to dial in the cars for the new track layout, which is over one mile shorter than the previously-utilized layout.

"We were hoping for a little bit more out of qualifying than we got today, but we've made progress with both cars and we've got one more chance tomorrow morning to get even better," said team owner Mike Shank. "It can be tough with these two-day weekends if you do not come off the trailer with a car thats exactly where you need it to be, so we're playing more catch-up than we want to be. But we have been in this position before and fought back so we're just going to go out and race hard tomorrow and try to close this season off as well as we possibly can with both cars."

The No. 6 Dallara of Frisselle and Michael Valiante has led several races during the 2010 season but still chases a debut podium with one round remaining.

"We still haven't found exactly what we need with the car today, still just fighting for grip and working on some balance issues," said Frisselle. "I got really unlucky with traffic in the session--I thought I left a huge gap, but I caught him a lot faster than I thought so I lost two laps to that. But it is what happens in the race that matters and we have a lot of things we are planning on trying out in the morning to keep getting faster before the race."

The 2008 Miller Motorsports Park round brought Pew his breakthrough win in Rolex competition after co-driver Negri did the same thing in 2006 as Pew looks to return to the podium while also locking up the season-ending Trueman Pro-Am Championship.

"The car does what I want it to and has improved through the day," said Pew about the Friday running. "We had one of our practice sessions end early, and that cost us the chance to make a few more changes and keep improving. We've made a lot of small changes through the day and they've all been in the right direction, so that's encouraging. The car keeps getting better and better so we'll just look to keep improving tomorrow in the race."

-source: msr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Michael Valiante , John Pew , Brian Frisselle , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing