Watkins Glen II: Michael Shank Racing race report

Michael Shank Racing finishes strong at Watkins Glen Long road back from twenty-first to eighth for Negri (Watkins Glen, NY) August 9 2007--Michael Shank Racing has staged some thrilling finishes in the Crown Royal 200 at the Glen on the way ...

Michael Shank Racing finishes strong at Watkins Glen
Long road back from twenty-first to eighth for Negri

(Watkins Glen, NY) August 9 2007--Michael Shank Racing has staged some thrilling finishes in the Crown Royal 200 at the Glen on the way to multiple podium appearances, and Friday evening provided another new chapter as Owaldo Negri powered into eighth on the final lap after climbing up through the field from twenty-first position early in the race.

The sister Playboy Lexus-Riley of John Pew and Ian James was also on target for a strong race finish, but an electrical problem forced James into the pits midway through the race for repairs. Despite a swift diagnosis and quick repairs by the Michael Shank Racing crew, the green-flag stop cost the No. 6 precious time on pit lane before James could rejoin and recover a sixteenth-place result.

"That was a great comeback for the 60 car," said team owner Mike Shank after the Friday night race. "I'm super disappointed about what happened with the 6 car because John did a great job in his stint and Ian was well on his way to another good finish here. No question we'd have had both cars in the top ten again tonight."

The Daytona Prototype-only event got off to a ragged start as Trueman Award combatant Tracy Krohn went off course in the bus stop chicane on the first lap, bringing out a caution and showering the high speed corner sequence in dirt. The ensuing restart saw Patterson, who started the race from the sixth row, spin as the field made it's first return visit through the bus stop at speed on a restart.

"They didn't quite clean off all the dirt that was out there and I got just enough on the left side tires that when I went back to put the power down, I just got a wiggle, and unfortunately, it kept getting worse and I got sideways there," said Patterson, who was able to keep the orange and black machine away from the nearby walls. "So that was a disappointing start to the race, but Oz really did a fantastic job to make it all the way back through the field like he did, some really good stuff to watch."

After Patterson pitted for new Hoosiers, Negri took the controls and returned to the track in twenty-first position and one lap down. The Brazilian put his head down and worked his way through the DP field.

"That was fun," said Negri. "I just had to push ten tenths the whole time, but we had to be smart with our passes and choosing when to take chances and when not to. It was a lot of fun though coming through the field like that. We just had a great car. I had to just keep moving forward and once we got our lap back just keep pushing all the way to the finish and it was great to pick those last two spots up on the last lap, because everything counts in this championship."

The Glen short course visit was the first for Pew, who despite having a strong weekend performance, is much more a fan of the "Long" course at Watkins Glen.

"We were carrying a lot of downforce so we were awesome under braking and into the corners, but it was pretty difficult to make anything happen in a straight line even if I had a good tow," said Pew. "I passed two guys in one shot when they took too much time making a decision about a slower car going into the esses. It was too bad what happened to Ian there because he was on another strong run and this wont help with the points. But hopefully Infineon will go better for us."

-credit: msr

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