Patrick Sheltra Returns To Top-10 Status At Kentucky; "Mr. Showtime Captures Career-Best Finish In Bluegrass State" SPARTA, Kentucky (May 11, 2009) - - ARCA RE/MAX Series (ARS) veteran Patrick Sheltra wasn't exactly happy with the handling of...
Patrick Sheltra Returns To Top-10 Status At Kentucky; "Mr. Showtime Captures Career-Best Finish In Bluegrass State"
SPARTA, Kentucky (May 11, 2009) - - ARCA RE/MAX Series (ARS) veteran Patrick Sheltra wasn't exactly happy with the handling of his No. 60 Buffalo Wings & Rings Dodge Charger after the heavily delayed practice session Saturday afternoon at Kentucky Speedway found the team 20th on the rundown, but the Sheltra Motorsports team bounced back in spectacular fashion in the Drive Smart! Buckle-Up Kentucky 150 after Sheltra earned his third top-10 finish of the season by finishing sixth in the fifth race of the 2009 season.
Earlier in the week, Sheltra Motorsports announced the partnership with Buffalo Wings & Rings as the primary marketing partner for Sheltra's ride for the remainder of the 2009 season and with the vastly growing restaurant chain headquartered in nearby Cincinnati, Ohio, Sheltra was bound to put on a good show for his new kin.
A one-day show at Kentucky Speedway presented the teams a challenge of practicing, qualifying and racing all in one day. What the teams were not expecting was a massive seepage issue with the 1.5-mile speedway which delayed practice for several hours and subsequently canceled Menards Pole by Ansell qualifying.
In practice, Sheltra in his neon green and Camouflage Dodge quickly powered to the sixth fastest time but as the two-hour session progressed, Sheltra slipped in the running order with Sheltra reporting that his car was tight in the center of the corner. The problem hindered the third-year team but crew chief John Hayden and his bunch vowed never to give up. After practice, Hayden virtually changed the entire setup which paid off when the cars and stars of the ARCA RE/MAX Series took the green flag shortly after 8:00 p.m. local.
At the start, Sheltra quickly found himself hovering in the top-five. Happy with the car's handling, Sheltra was biding his time and saving his car for the end of the show.
While running no worse than seventh through the race's first half, Sheltra and his team made a pit stop approaching lap 45 where the team changed four tires and added Sunoco Racing fuel before sending their driver back into battle.
On the restart, Sheltra maneuvered in fifth and found himself battling from fourth to sixth inside the race's second-half and put on an intense side-by-side battle with the No. 25 for nearly 15 laps. A caution inside the final 20 laps of the event, setup a chance for Sheltra to slide back into the top-five but a tight machine would keep Sheltra from a chance of nabbing his second victory of the season.
Sheltra tried to take advantage of a yellow flag inside the final 10 circuits but to no avail. Sheltra did however cross the start finish line sixth, collecting his best Kentucky Speedway finish in five starts.
"We wore out our tires there when I was battling side-by-side with the No. 25," said Sheltra after the race. "We had a pretty good car, just too tight there at the end. We didn't have a car that could win the race but we were happy to bounce back from practice and put our team back in the top-10. I'm real happy for Buffalo Wings & Rings and the guys on the Sheltra Motorsports team. We needed this finish to get back on track from Talladega."
Sheltra added, "We're going to Toledo Speedway next weekend and it's one of my favorite race tracks and I think we have a shot at winning our second race of the season for everyone."
With his effort Saturday night, Sheltra unleashed himself from being tied with fellow Floridian Bryan Silas to fully gain control of fourth in the championship standings heading into round six of the season next Sunday.
Next up for the ARCA RE/MAX Series is the first of two trips to Toledo Speedway for the running of the Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care on Sunday, May 17.