Patrick Sheltra Looks For Powerful Start To Second Half At Kentucky "Sheltra Hunting For Top-Five Run In Buffalo Wings & Rings Backyard" SPARTA, Kentucky (July 15, 2009) - - The first half of the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series season is complete and...
Patrick Sheltra Looks For Powerful Start To Second Half At Kentucky
"Sheltra Hunting For Top-Five Run In Buffalo Wings & Rings Backyard"
SPARTA, Kentucky (July 15, 2009) - - The first half of the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series season is complete and Sheltra Motorsports and driver Patrick Sheltra has experienced their highs and lows. But as the series kicks off the second half it steers the tour back to Kentucky Speedway where Sheltra feels a powerful performance will come in Saturday night's Click It Or Ticket. Drive Smart! Buckle-Up Kentucky 150.
The Indiantown, Florida native invades Kentucky after a solid 14th place performance at Iowa Speedway last weekend but after a flop of bad luck over the last two month, Sheltra turns to the Bluegrass state for his fourth top-five run of the year and quite possibly his second win of the year.
"I've had success at Kentucky Speedway," said Sheltra. "Actually, it's the place of my very first top-10 finish in ARCA back in 2007. That means a lot even to this day. I like the place. The track though has changed over the past couple of years which forces the teams to buckle down and setup their cars perfectly."
When the ARCA RE/MAX Series hosted a race at Kentucky Speedway in May, Sheltra was impressive. Not just because he battled an invasion of Toyota Camry's but mainly because the 23-year old driver recovered from an interesting practice session which saw the Sheltra Motorsports team struggling to stay in the top-20.
"Practice didn't go our way in May," Sheltra recalled. "We tried a couple of things and the car did not respond at all. We changed everything and I mean everything before the race and it paid off. We had a competitive car but the Toyotas have had an advantage over the other manufacturers on the bigger tracks and they were tough to rattle. We've gone back to Ernie Elliott, our motor builder who's done a great job for us this year and I think we're going to be even happier with what's under the hood this weekend."
Sheltra added, "Kentucky Speedway has a lot of bumps. Every year the track seems to be getting more and more of them. You have to dial in your car to conquer them. You also have to a car that will power off the corner and race hard down the straight-aways. There's no doubt in my mind even with the stout field that lies ahead this weekend, we'll be in contention to be the first car to see the checkered flag."
Buffalo Wings & Rings, the primary marketing partner for Sheltra is headquartered in nearby Cincinnati, Ohio. With tons of support including a tour bus coming from Richmond, Indiana to cheer on the Buffalo Wings & Rings racing machine, Sheltra or "Mr. Showtime" as he's known through the ARCA garage knows the goal at hand for the 11th race of the season.
"It's a short race, 100 laps," sounded Sheltra. "You can't really play around because if the race goes green, you could be off the lead lap before you know it. On the other hand, you have to use your head and work on your car to be in the leader sights for the final thirty laps. We'll probably have the biggest cheering section at Kentucky Speedway Saturday night and I want nothing more than to take that crowd to victory lane."
Reflecting on the first half of the season, Sheltra knows the team has experienced the top as well as falling to the bottom but he's determined to show that his Whitesville, Kentucky based team still knows how to win and be a championship contender.
"We've experienced everything you possibly could have in racing during the first half," admitted Sheltra. "This team though faced similar obstacles last year and we overcame them a better team. Our goal is to continue to win races and try to finish in the top-five in the championship standings by October."
Crew Chief John Hayden has elected to use Sheltra Motorsports Chassis No. 13 this weekend at Kentucky Speedway. This is the same piece the team raced to a sixth place finish at Kentucky Speedway in May. This car has also had track time at Michigan International Speedway, Nashville Superspeedway and Chicagoland Speedway last season. The former Penske Racing ride has three top-10 finishes including a best of sixth at Michigan (2008) and Kentucky (2009) in four starts. It will be run for just the fifth time in Sheltra's career. Chassis number 16 will serve as the team's back-up automobile. That former Richard Childress Racing entry is a new addition to the team's fleet. The Whitesville, Kentucky based team tested this Dodge Charger at Michigan International Speedway in May. It has yet to see any ARCA race competition.
Entering Kentucky, Sheltra has 56 ARCA RE/MAX Series starts to his credit with one career victory at Salem Speedway (April 2009). During his ARCA tenure, Sheltra has accumulated nine top-fives and posted 18 top-10 finishes. A third place qualifying effort at Rockingham Speedway (April 2009) is Sheltra's best time trials efforts to date. He has controlled the ARCA field five times for 109 laps.
The Click It Or Ticket. Drive Smart! Buckle-Up Kentucky 150 (100 laps / 150 miles) is the 11th of 21 events on the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule. The 19th ever ARCA race at Kentucky Speedway is a two-day show. Practice begins Friday, July 17 with a hour and twenty minute session planned from 5:00 p.m. -- 6:20 p.m. A happy hour session has been etched in Friday night from 7:40 p.m. -- 9:00 p.m. Menards Pole by Ansell qualifying is set for Saturday, 18 slated to begin at 5:00 p.m. The event will take the green flag that evening shortly after 9:45 p.m. The event will be televised live on SPEED with additional broadcasting available live through the ARCA Racing Network (ARN) online at arcaracing.com. All times are local.