Berlin: Patrick Sheltra race report

Bad Luck Strikes Again For Sheltra & Co. In Berlin "Boatwerks Waterfront Chevrolet Qualifies Well; Falls Victim To Mechanical Failure" MARNE, Michigan (July 27, 2008) - - Sophomore ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Patrick Sheltra head high hopes...

Bad Luck Strikes Again For Sheltra & Co. In Berlin
"Boatwerks Waterfront Chevrolet Qualifies Well; Falls Victim To Mechanical Failure"

MARNE, Michigan (July 27, 2008) - - Sophomore ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Patrick Sheltra head high hopes heading into Saturday night's Berlin ARCA RE/MAX 200 but early race misfortune plagued the Whitesville, Kentucky based race team which relegated the team to a disappointing 26th place finish.

After practicing inside the top-six for much of Saturday afternoon's lone practice session, Sheltra's lap time fell to 12th overall heading into ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying.

Drawing the 14th position for his two-lap trial run around the .4-mile speedway, Sheltra posted a quick time of 17.292 seconds at 91.187 MPH which at the time took the No. 60 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS to the top of the leader board. Seven more competitors would accelerate past Sheltra's time leaving the Indiantown, Florida native eighth on the starting grid, a career short track best.

The Berlin ARCA RE/MAX 200 took the green flag shortly after 8:30 p.m. local time with Sheltra's florescent Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS strong in the top-10, immediately picking off the No. 22 of Ken Butler III on the first circuit.

Sheltra's machine would find himself locked into a tight battle early on with Butler, Billy Leslie and Matt Carter. Little did Sheltra know that just one-quarter into the 12th event of the season, his night would take a dramatic turn.

Approaching lap 40, Sheltra's machine received a tap from the No. 46 of Carter which sent the No. 60 through a 360-degree spin in turn two. Sheltra refired his machine and remained on the lead circuit. After coming to pit road for four tires, fuel and an adjustment to correct a loose condition, Sheltra returned to the track in the 14th position when his machine dumped a massive amount of water on the Berlin Raceway groove.

Reporting to crew chief John Hayden that he had zero water pressure, Hayden instructed his driver to bring his machine to the attention of his Sheltra Motorsports crew where the team diagnosed a hole in the radiator hose which subsequently seized the motor forcing Sheltra out of his second trip to Berlin Raceway.

Sheltra completed 50 of the 200 circuits and suffered his third mechanical failure of the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series season.

"It just wasn't a good night," said Sheltra. "We were hoping for a good night for our Boatwerks Waterfront Restaurant Chevrolet but the luck didn't go our way. We've suffered three less-than-satisfying finishes in a row and it's frustrating because we are much better than this. I want to thank Boatwerks Waterfront Restaurant and all of our marketing partners for their support and believe me, we plan to get out of this slump. We'll go to Pocono and hope to redeem ourselves."

Unofficially, Sheltra remains 10th in the ARCA RE/MAX Series championship standings entering next Saturday's Pennsylvania 200 from Pocono Raceway with the green flag scheduled to waive shortly after 1:00 p.m. local time.

Exiting Berlin, Sheltra has 37 ARCA RE/MAX Series starts to his credit with a career best finish of second at Toledo Speedway (May 2008) with two additional top-five finishes (third) at Illinois State Fairgrounds (August 2007), (fourth) at Berlin Raceway (July 2007) while holding additional top-10s at Michigan International Speedway (June 2008), Kentucky Speedway (May 2008), Kansas Speedway (April 2008), Iowa Speedway (April 2008), Kentucky Speedway (June 2007), DuQuoin State Fairgrounds (September 2007) and Toledo Speedway (October 2007). An eighth place qualifying effort at Kansas Speedway (April 2008) is Sheltra's best time trials efforts to date. He has controlled the ARCA field twice for 15 laps.

-credit: sm

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Series ARCA
Drivers John Hayden , Ken Butler III , Billy Leslie , Patrick Sheltra