Cayuga: Patrick Sheltra race report

Rollercoaster Day For Patrick Sheltra In Cayuga; "Top-10 Finish Not To Be For Sheltra Motorsports" HAGERSVILLE, ONTARIO (July 1, 2008) - - Excitement was surrounding Whitesville's Kentucky based Sheltra Motorsports heading into last Sunday's ...

Rollercoaster Day For Patrick Sheltra In Cayuga; "Top-10 Finish Not To Be For Sheltra Motorsports"

HAGERSVILLE, ONTARIO (July 1, 2008) - - Excitement was surrounding Whitesville's Kentucky based Sheltra Motorsports heading into last Sunday's Cayuga ARCA RE/MAX 250 but after the event the team couldn't wait to get back to the United States.

And for good reason.

Instead of capturing his sixth top-10 finish of the season, Sheltra felt more like a ping-pong ball which resulted in a disappointing 18th place finish in ARCA's first return to Canada since 1992.

After practicing in the top-10 Saturday afternoon, the team was looking forward to a strong qualifying effort. Matching his practice time from earlier in the day would prove to be a disadvantage for Sheltra and Co. after logging the 17th fastest qualifying effort for the Cayuga ARCA RE/MAX 150.

Disappointed with the qualifying result, the team felt they still had a good shot for race day.

Sunday greeted the teams with overcast skies but Mother Nature would soon show her colors by dampening the track just an hour before race time. Subsiding in quick time, the race would only be delayed a half hour with the green flag falling just after 2:00pm local time.

Quickly on the move, Sheltra would find himself in the top-10 by lap 50. Reporting a very neutral Group Beton Brunet Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS, crew chief John Hayden reminded his driver to stay focused and be easy on the brakes.

A caution 10 laps later allowed Sheltra to duck down pit road for the first of two scheduled pit stops. The Sheltra Motorsports team quickly went to work changing four tires and fuel before sending their sophomore driver back onto the track.

Back to racing, Sheltra was a man on a mission. Quickly and cleanly, Sheltra passed his competition and found himself in the second position on lap 88. A caution forced the leader to make his trip down pit road advancing Sheltra to the number one position.

For the second time in his ARCA career, Sheltra took command of the ARCA field and held it for 10 laps until lap 100 turned the team's shining moment to a dark cloud. As the field exited off turn two, Sheltra received a tap from the No. 1 sending the No. 60 for a loop and through the infield grass.

Sheltra refired his machine and remained on the lead lap. Hayden told his driver that it was too early to pit. Staying on track, Sheltra was determined to climb from his now 15th place position back in the top-10.

Frustration sometimes brings out the best in any racecar driver and it proved to be no different with Sheltra. With getting back to the front clear on his mind, Sheltra would patiently regroup and concentrate on the remainder of the race to thunder back into the top-10 approaching halfway.

As it would prove to be, the top-10 was not a good place for Sheltra. Continuing to move back towards the lead pack, Sheltra would again get a shove from the No. 1 machine throwing Sheltra into another spin cycle in turn three.

Completely speechless with the contact, Sheltra brought his machine down to pit road for the expected final service of the afternoon.

Restarting inside the top-12, Sheltra's machine would take a dramatic handling turn forcing Sheltra from remerging into the top-10.

Inside 50 laps to go, Sheltra informed crew chief Hayden that something was "bad wrong" with his car. Hayden instructed his driver to bring his machine to the garage where the team diagnosed a failure of the right front spring.

Returning to the track inside 15 laps remaining, Sheltra logged laps and soldiered to the checkered flag logging his worst running finish of the 2008 ARCA season.

"Cayuga can only be described as frustrating," Sheltra explained. "We had a great car, a car that could have won the race. Unfortunately, the pieces never materialized and we were stuck with a disappointing finish. I'm not sure what to say about the No. 1 car other than I thought he would have raced me cleaner than that. I could have retaliated, but I'll be the better guy."

Sheltra did add, "I want to thank our primary marketing partner for the event, Groupe Beton Brunet for coming to the race and for their support. It was a real pleasure having them here and we look forward to working with them in the future."

Even with the top-20 finish, Sheltra slid back to ninth in ARCA RE/MAX Series points, just 130 markers from reappearing back in the top-five.

-credit: PatrickSheltra.com.

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers John Hayden , Patrick Sheltra