Patrick Sheltra Racks Up Another Top-Five At Kansas Speedway; Takes Championship Lead To Rockingham "Sheltra Motorsports Wins ARCA's Speedway Challenge With Fifth Place Run" KANSAS CITY, Kansas (September 30, 2010) - - ARCA Racing Series ...
Patrick Sheltra Racks Up Another Top-Five At Kansas Speedway;
Takes Championship Lead To Rockingham
"Sheltra Motorsports Wins ARCA's Speedway Challenge With Fifth Place Run"
KANSAS CITY, Kansas (September 30, 2010) - - ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards (ARS) driver Patrick Sheltra had his sights set on his third victory of the season Thursday afternoon at Kansas Speedway but a late race caution spoiled Sheltra's parade and instead the Sheltra Motorsports team had to settle for a fifth place finish in the Kansas Lottery 150.
[IMAGE]While the finish was bittersweet for the driver of the No. 60 Tequesta Road and Bridge of Florida / Jones Group International Toyota Camry, another impressive effort by the 24-year old rising star allowed Sheltra to keep control of the ARCA Racing Series championship standings with just one event remaining next Saturday afternoon at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway.
After practicing seventh earlier in the day, Sheltra and crew chief Jon Wolfe consulted and made some changes to their Japanese nameplate looking for the ultimate package that could result in an edge over the rest of the competition.
Darting out 32nd in Menards Pole by Ansell qualifying, Sheltra was able to best his fastest practice time by a tenth of a second lining the green and orange Toyota Camry 10th on the starting grid.
At the waive of the green flag, Sheltra cleared the machines of Chad Hackenbracht and Dakoda Armstrong to settle in eighth before the first yellow flag of the day waived on lap three. Unable to gather a firm assessment of the handling of his automobile, Sheltra would wait for the first long-green flag run to evaluate his No. 60 Tequesta Road and Bridge of Florida / Jones Group International Toyota Camry.
Under the stretching green-flag run, Sheltra keyed his radio and informed Wolfe that his car was "tight." Wolfe acknowledged Sheltra's concern and advised his pilot that the team would make an adjustment during the first pit stop. Despite Sheltra's tight condition, the Indiantown, Florida native would continue to inch up the leader board and found himself fourth when the caution flag waived on lap 47.
The yellow flag brought the perfect opportunity for Sheltra to make a trip to pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. The Sheltra Motorsports pit crew performed well and was able to keep their driver in the mix by exiting pit road in the fourth position.
When racing resumed, Sheltra's car would take a few laps to dial-in before the No. 60 Tequesta Road and Bridge of Florida / Jones Group International Toyota Camry would become the fastest machine on the race track.
Passing the No. 41 of Austin Dillon shortly after half-way, Sheltra set his sights on the Venturini Motorsports pair of Mikey Kile and Steve Arpin. Sheltra would considerably close the gap on the No. 25 of Mikey Kile and made the move into second by lap 72. With encouragement from his team, Sheltra would set his target on race leader Arpin. The Floridian would find himself on the back bumper of Arpin's No. 55 machine and preparing to make the move into the race lead, only to have the yellow flag reappear on lap 87.
Under the caution, the team decided to follow the leader down pit road for four tires and a splash of fuel. Unfortunately, a jumble of the field by virtue of pit strategy would line Sheltra up sixth on the restart.
Restarting the race inside the final 10 laps of the event on lap 93, Sheltra was able to pass fellow championship contender Tom Hessert for fifth but ran out of laps to make a dent in the rest of the lead group and claimed the checkered flag in the fifth position, his best finish in four starts at Kansas Speedway.
"The last caution really hurt us," said a disappointed Sheltra after the race. "I feel like we had the best car there at the end of the race but it just didn't work out. It's hard to be disappointed with a fifth place finish but I really wanted to take my guys and our marketing partners to victory lane. I have to thank the team though for giving me a good race car. We were able to make some vast improvements from when we unloaded to where we finished today and I'm proud of that. We'll take the championship lead to Rockingham next weekend and look to close out a great season with the championship trophy."
Even though Sheltra did not win the Kansas Lottery 150, the team was officially crowned the winner of the Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge Award for the best collection of performances on the series' eight speedway races this season. In all, Sheltra racked up one win, six top-five finishes and eight top-seven finishes.
"The Sheltra Motorsports team really gave me some excellent cars on the bigger tracks this year," sounded Sheltra. "We really went to work this year on improving our performance on the intermediate and superspeedway tracks and because of the team's effort we were able to win this title. I'm super proud of them and can't thank them enough for all of their hard work."
With his performance on Thursday afternoon, Sheltra maintains control of the championship standings unofficially 10 markers (4495 --to- 4485) ahead of second place competitor Craig Goess. Cunningham Motorsports' Tom Hessert slipped to third in the championship race but remains just 20 markers from the top-spot. Nine-time ARCA champion Frank Kimmel remains in fourth 160 tallies behind. Justin Marks creeps up into fifth, trailing the top-spot by 190 points.
In 19 races this season, Sheltra has accumulated two wins, 11 top-fives and 16 top-10 finishes.
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards is the 2010 season finale at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway.
-source: sheltra motorsports