Sour Finish Overshadows Strong Showing For Patrick Sheltra At Iowa "Sheltra Praying That Iowa Finish Is Team's Lone Mulligan Of Year" NEWTON, Iowa (July 10, 2010) - - Patrick Sheltra entered Saturday night's Prairie Meadows 200 at Iowa...
Sour Finish Overshadows Strong Showing For Patrick Sheltra At Iowa
"Sheltra Praying That Iowa Finish Is Team's Lone Mulligan Of Year"
NEWTON, Iowa (July 10, 2010) - - Patrick Sheltra entered Saturday night's Prairie Meadows 200 at Iowa Speedway as the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards points leader but a motor failure 46 laps into the 200-lap contest resulted in a disappointing 29th finish for the Indiantown, Florida native.
Sheltra was making his fourth start at the .875-mile paved oval and after notching the sixth and fastest (first) time respectively in the day's duo practice sessions, the Sheltra Motorsports team had all the intuition that Saturday night's event could be the night that the Jon Wolfe-led organization celebrated in victory lane.
In Menards Pole by Ansell qualifying, Sheltra maneuvered his No. 60 Recycling Services / Ferguson Pipe Toyota Camry to the eighth fastest time after the rising star admitted that he overdrove his machine gunning for his first career ARCA pole.
When the green flag dropped for the ninth race of the season, "Mr. Showtime", as he's known in the ARCA garage wasted no time slicing and dicing his way through the front pack as by the completion of the fifth lap, Sheltra had worked his way into the sixth position.
Studying the No. 16 Chevrolet of Joey Coulter for fifth, Sheltra finally passed his fellow racing colleague by lap 15 and had set his sights on the top-four racers. As Sheltra continued to inch closer to the lead pack, the ARCA pro informed Wolfe that his brakes were shot and the pedal was going to the floor, which virtually simultaneously caused the No. 60 to begin a backslide in the running order. Wolfe acknowledged his driver's problem but also gave his pilot a few pointers to try and challenge the braking woes. On lap 38, a caution flew for a two-car incident which allowed Sheltra to make a trip down pit road for four tires and fuel and an overview of the braking system.
Under the yellow flag, Sheltra advised his Mooresville, North Carolina based team that the brake pedal had returned to its normal function from previously in the day. The team was pleased with their driver's final assessment of the situation and had hoped that would be the only issue the four year ARCA team would face during the night.
Restarting in the 12th position, Sheltra fiercely negotiated his green and orange machine back into the top-10 and was clearly on the move back towards the top-five when he radioed the team on lap 46 that the motor was "done".
Slowly, the frustrated driver made his way back to the attention of his crew on pit lane where upon further review, the engine seizure was diagnosed as terminal.
For the first time this year, Sheltra would finish a race outside the top-10.
"Man, we had a good car, I hate for that to have happen," offered Sheltra. "It just wasn't our night. I guess, it's all apart of racing -- my emotions are just all over the place right now because we've worked so hard to make this team a factor week in and week out. We did that again tonight, just didn't receive the result we were looking for. I want to thank everyone on the team, our marketing partners and everyone else who makes this deal possible. We'll bounce back. We'll take this race as our mulligan and get back on track next week at Mansfield."
Sheltra's finish on Saturday night halted an impressive eight consecutive top-10 finishes in a row which started off in the season-opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in February where he finished fifth and before Iowa, Sheltra finished a solid third at Michigan International Speedway, the eighth race of the 2010 season.
The mishap ultimately slipped Sheltra to second in the ARCA point standings now 70 markers behind Justin Marks, who was leading the championship chase before the No. 60 team assumed the top position three races ago at Toledo (Ohio) Speedway.
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series is a stop to Mansfield (Ohio) Motorsports Park for the running of the second annual Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA 200 next Saturday night, July 17th. Last year, Sheltra finished 21st in the No. 60 Sheltra Motorsports Dodge Charger.
-source: sheltra motorsports