Watkins Glen II: Michael Shank Racing qualifying report

Pew pushes to top-ten at Watkins Glen (Watkins Glen, NY) August 9 2007-- John Pew nearly matched the best qualifying result of his young Rolex career on Thursday, taking the Playboy-liveried Michael Shank Racing Lexus-Riley to ninth on the ...

Pew pushes to top-ten at Watkins Glen

(Watkins Glen, NY) August 9 2007-- John Pew nearly matched the best qualifying result of his young Rolex career on Thursday, taking the Playboy-liveried Michael Shank Racing Lexus-Riley to ninth on the grid for Friday nights Crown Royal 200 at Watkins Glen. The sister Lexus-Riley of Mark Patterson and Oswaldo Negri will start the shortest race of the Rolex Sports Car Series from eleventh on the Daytona Prototype-only grid.

"John did a great job for us this afternoon," said team owner Mike Shank. "He really put it all out there and came up big like he did at Mid-Ohio. Mark was right there with him, but just didn't get the clear lap that he wanted. But all in all, it was a good afternoon for us. We'll try a couple things with the cars here during the practice tonight, and be ready to go tomorrow night."

The Glen race is the second visit of the season to WGI for Pew, who scored fourth with co-driver Ian James in June's Sahlen's Six Hours, but the Crown Royal event marks the first time Pew has run the short course in upstate New York.

"I couldn't believe it when I saw the time pop up in the car," said a smiling Pew. "The car was a little bit nervous, but nothing too bad. I had a couple moments out there but I'm pretty happy to get up in the top ten. We weren't too happy with the car earlier today, but we've made a lot of progress."

Patterson wasn't quite as happy after the session as Pew was, but the South African has already experienced driving his way to a podium at Watkins Glen, and knows that traffic, timing, and pace are all going to play a role on Friday night.

"I was pretty close to flat out everywhere I needed to be but we didn't really get into a rhythm and were just a touch off today," said Patterson. "Congrats to John on a great job, and hopefully we can both move forward once the race gets going tomorrow."

At just 200 laps and with a time limit of two hours, the Crown Royal event is the shortest of the Rolex season, and is slated for a 6:30 PM start on Friday night after a day full of NASCAR running for the Centurion Boats at the Glen event. The No. 6 entry is currently tied for seventh in the Rolex team championship, with the No. 60 entry also looking to move into the top five from sixth in the current standings.

-credit: msr

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