Team looks to move up in today's race
Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian will start the Continental Tire Grand Prix of Monterey at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca from eighth on the grid for the two hour sprint race. The team arrived in sunny Monterey, California looking forward to the race thanks to a long history of big moments at the track, with many miles of experience between drivers John Pew and Ozz Negri.
Two practice sessions prior to the quick 15-minute qualifying session showed continual improvement for the team, as they finished both sessions inside of the top-10 with the No. 60 Ford Ecoboost Riley. Negri took the car out for qualifications in the quickly cooling Monterey evening air and laid it all out on the 11-turn, 2.238-mile circuit. Despite giving it his all, the effort didn't yield what the team had been hoping for but knows it can move up at the drop of the green on Sunday.
“The car is understeering quite a bit, I would say. I never pushed as hard as I did at this qualification session,” said Negri after qualifying the No. 60. “Turn 6 I was just taking it the way I thought I should and I actually ended up going off there and damaged the front a little bit. I really pushed as hard as I could. There was nothing else left in the car. I’m very surprised at the lap times, especially the 90 car. I knew the P2 cars were going to be better here. This is a track that suits them, but I’m pretty impressed by the 90 car, the lap time they did. We are going to work on some more stuff and give everything our beast has tomorrow.”
Pew, who made his first DP start at Laguna Seca with Michael Shank Racing in 2007, will open today's two-hour event.
“I struggled a little bit with the car,” echoed John Pew. “We usually don’t here, so that was kind of a surprise. It’s a new package, so we’re getting used to the downforce, but I think we made a lot of progress. I was surprised at some of the lap times in qualifying. I know Ozz was giving it one million percent as he always does and there was not one hundredth or thousandth of a second faster that car would go because Ozz got everything out of it. So we’ll put our heads together and see what we can come up with. The important thing is to have a good race car. We tend to, compared to the P2s, out-strategize them a little bit in the races. I think they’ve been making a lot of mistakes in races, where the pit crew could’ve done a lot better, so we’ll see what happens.”