Chicagoland: Patrick Sheltra race report

Patrick Sheltra Blows Away The Competition At Chicagoland; Grabs First Speedway Win JOLIET, Illinois (August 28, 2010) 0xd880^0x382d Riding high following his most recent win at the Illinois State Fairgrounds (Springfield) on Sunday, August 22,...

Patrick Sheltra Blows Away The Competition At Chicagoland;
Grabs First Speedway Win

JOLIET, Illinois (August 28, 2010) 0xd880^0x382d Riding high following his most recent win at the Illinois State Fairgrounds (Springfield) on Sunday, August 22, Patrick Sheltra leaned into Chicagoland Speedway this week looking to keep his momentum train chugging in Friday's Ansell Protective Gloves 150. Sheltra though however did more than just chug; he literally dominated the 15th race of the 2010 ARCA Racing Series (ARS) presented by RE/MAX and Menards season and grabbed his second consecutive win of the year and third of his career in the 1,308 race held for the 57-year tour.

Sheltra, a native on Indiantown, Florida returned to Chicagoland Speedway looking to improve on his Sheltra Motorsports team ninth place effort in 2009. Despite not participating in the open-test session at the 1.5-mile speed plant a couple weeks ago, the 24-year old felt confident in the abilities of his No. 60 Sheltra Motorsports Toyota Camry.

On practice Thursday, Sheltra negotiated the sixth fastest time before racking in the seventh fastest run in happy hour on Friday morning. The long-time ARCA pro though wasn't concerned about the time sheets as he felt his Mooresville, North Carolina-based team had not yet shown their full potential.

Menards Pole by Ansell qualifying began shortly after 11:30 a.m. Friday, with Sheltra being the 12th car to make his qualifying attempt. During his lap, Sheltra maneuvered a lap of lap of 30.480 seconds transferring to a speed of 177.165 miles per hour that shot the No. 60 machine to the top of the scoring pylon. Sheltra's long-time stock car number though would only drop one position after Craig Goess notched the pole. For Sheltra, he would be officially credited with the second fastest lap on the outside of row number one, a career-best qualifying run for the fourth year ARCA driver.

At the drop of the green flag shortly after 6:00 p.m., Sheltra tried to make a run on pole sitter Craig Goess on lap one but he would have to wait until lap four to pass Goess's No. 81 Toyota Camry to claim the top spot. As the laps continued to click away, For 15 laps, Sheltra's lead increased before the No. 09 of Grant Enfinger eventually caught Sheltra's green and orange Toyota Camry some approaching lap 29. Despite several attempts to pass Sheltra, Enfinger was unable to make the pass with Sheltra eventually increasing his distance slightly.

The caution flag waived on lap 34 which would set up to be the lone pit stop for Sheltra and his Sheltra Motorsports crew. The avid hunter brought his Japanese nameplate to the attention of crew chief Jon Wolfe and Co. where the Sheltra aces changed four tires, pulled two-tear-offs and added Sunoco Racing fuel.

Sheltra would lineup for the restart in the second position after the No. 29 of Chad Finley, who utilized the help of a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) team for pit stops was able to barely escape pit lane ahead of the NASCAR bound driver. Finley would lead on the restart for three laps before fierce pressure from Sheltra would put the No. 60 back on top once again. Quickly Sheltra padded his lead against the rest of the field until a caution waived on lap 72 when Robb Brent made contact with the turn two wall.

Steve Arpin stayed on the heels of the No. 60 on the restart and eventually made his way around Sheltra on lap 75 before Sheltra re-flexed his muscle and regained control of the field on lap 77.

A late race caution for Finley would again bunch up the field with Arpin and Enfinger in close pursuit of Sheltra's Camry. However, Sheltra's automobile proved to be too dominating as on the final restart on lap 91, Sheltra hammered down and pulled away from the competition and literally was able to cruise to his first ever speedway win Friday night. Arpin finished second, 1.669 seconds behind the No. 60 Sheltra Motorsports Toyota Camry. Enfinger, Frank Kimmel and Goess closed out the top-five.

[IMAGE]Sheltra led a whopping 85 of the 100 laps, a personal race best for the Floridian. It was the team's second win of the year, their eighth top-five and 12th top-10 finish in 15 ARCA contests this season.

"Man, I just don't know what to say (again)," said a jubilant Sheltra from victory lane. "The car was flawless. We didn't show everything we had in practice and the changes we made to the car in both practices kept improving the handling of the racecar so I knew we were going to be in great shape for the race."

Sheltra, who ties Arpin as the only two drivers to each notch two ARCA Racing Series this season, which ironically both came consecutively added, "I have to first thank my mom and dad and then my Sheltra Motorsports crew, including my crew chief Jon (Wolfe). He believes in me and I couldn't ask anything more from him. We had a stout Triad Racing Technologies motor under the hood and Timmy (McKichan) did a great job spotting up above. This Toyota Camry was a blast to drive. I also want to give a special shout out to all of our marketing partners who have stood behind us this year. We left the hood blank hoping to draw some attention to bring on some additional marketing partners; so hopefully the win will assist in that department. On the upside, we dominated and really made a statement to the championship contenders. We're on fire right now and we don't plan to let the flame die anytime soon!"

"Last weekend at Springfield, I was just mad for what happened earlier in the race by spinning out and we were lucky enough to take advantage of the field on the late race restart but we earned this win at Chicagoland without any questions," Sheltra sounded.

David Gilliland, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) driver for Front Row Motorsports attended Friday's Ansell Protective Gloves 150 as a guest of the Sheltra Motorsports team and Sheltra without question was thankful for his presence. "David's been a close friend to this team for a couple months," he said. "We asked him to come up to this race and he did on one of his rare off-weekends in Cup. I can't thank him enough for that and also the tips he gave me and for being an honorary winning member of the team."

With his triumph on Friday, Sheltra unofficially moves up to third in the ARCA Racing Series championship chase, just 10 markers in the arrears to new series points leader Craig Goess. Overall, Sheltra was able to gain 25 markers on his competitors and sits just a mere five points behind nine-time ARCA champion Frank Kimmel for second.

Next up for the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards is their annual Labor Day tradition with a stop at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds for the running of the Southern Illinois 100 presented by Federated Car Care.

-source: sheltra motorsports

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Frank Kimmel , Chad Finley , David Gilliland , Robb Brent , Patrick Sheltra , Steve Arpin , Craig Goess , Grant Enfinger