Patrick Sheltra Hopes Momentum Helps Him Blow Away Competition At Chicagoland "Sheltra Still Grinning Following Win At Springfield; Championship Becomes Focus" JOLIET, Illinois (August 25, 2010) 0xd880^0x3801fter banking his first win of the...
Patrick Sheltra Hopes Momentum Helps Him
Blow Away Competition At Chicagoland
"Sheltra Still Grinning Following Win At Springfield; Championship Becomes Focus"
JOLIET, Illinois (August 25, 2010) 0xd880^0x3801fter banking his first win of the 2010 ARCA Racing Series (ARS) presented by RE/MAX and Menards season this past Sunday at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, 24-year old Patrick Sheltra strolls into Chicagoland Speedway this week looking to keep his momentum train rolling and capture his third career win in Friday's Ansell Protective Gloves 150.
After running a Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS and a Dodge Charger respectively in the two most recent ARCA Racing Series events, Sheltra returns to the potent Toyota Camry for his fifth career start at the 1.5-mile speed plant. The Indiantown, Florida native is hoping that his return to the Japanese nameplate will result in closing the gap in the championship chase with just a handful amount of races remaining this year.
"I always look forward to Chicagoland, but probably more so this year than ever," said Sheltra, who has been extremely busy with the media since notching his second career win in the Allen Crowe 100. "To head back to a place like Chicagoland fresh off a win keeps your confidence up and direction intact. We finished ninth last August at Chicagoland but we weren't pleased with the result. In a sense, I look to finish what we started on Friday."
The Sheltra Motorsports team led by veteran crew chief Jon Wolfe elected not to participate in the "Windy City" open-test at Chicagoland Speedway a couple weeks ago. Although, Sheltra knows that any extra track time is crucial, the ARCA pro is comfortable with the team's decision.
"We've been very good on the bigger tracks this year," added Sheltra. "We opted to turn our attention to some of the other races including Springfield (last weekend) in lieu of the Chicagoland test, so I would like to say, it's already paid off with a win. It's fair to say though, we won't exactly know where we stand with the field until practice gets underway on Thursday afternoon but thankfully there is another practice on Friday morning that will allow us the opportunity to fine tune our No. 60 Sheltra Motorsports Toyota Camry for the race."
A year ago, Sheltra found himself fifth in the ARCA Racing Series championship chase and realistically out of the championship chase. Fast forward 12 months later, Sheltra is fourth in the title run and well within reach of the coveted championship crown, stalking leader Frank Kimmel by a mere 40 points. The NASCAR-bound driver knows however that there is no room for error with his fourth season of ARCA competition beginning to wind down. He is though hoping that the momentum the team gained at Springfield will continue and spike them forward in the chase for the championship.
"Looking at the points, there is at least eight of us that really and truly can honestly win this thing," Sheltra added. "That's impressive for the ARCA Racing Series. It's just been that good of a season for them. No one has walked away with the wins or the championship which has our series being looked at in a lot of positive ways. The race on Friday night will come down to staying out of trouble and having a good handling car. Ted (Musgrave) was my driver coach here last year and he told me something that I thought was impossible. He told me to try it and I did. To my shock, disbelief and advantage it worked. I'm keeping what he told me in the back of my head. Maybe, just maybe that could be the extra tip that puts us back in victory lane for the second consecutive race."
If one championship isn't enough to worry about, Sheltra is fighting for two additional championship crowns within the overall championship fight. Chicagoland marks the last event in the Bill France Four Crown. The Bill France Four Crown consists of the best average finish of an ARCA Racing Series driver at four uniquely different race tracks. Berlin (Mi.) Raceway, a tight .4-mile short track started off the four-race stretch followed by a road course event at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Last weekend, the series played on the dirt at the Illinois State Fairgrounds and this weekend the stars and cars of the ARCA Racing Series will tackle Chicagoland Speedway, a fast and demanding 1.5-mile oval. Currently, Sheltra is fourth in the rundown, just 45 points behind Joey Coulter who leads the overall standings.
Additionally, the Sheltra Motorsports team leads the ARCA Racing Series speedway challenge sector which consists of the best overall averages performances of a full-time ARCA Racing Series team on tracks 1.5-mile and greater. Chicagoland fits into the program with the No. 60 team leading the No. 32 Win-Tron Racing team by 65 markers with two speedway events remaining (Chicagoland and Kansas).
-source: sheltra motorsports