Mansfield: Patrick Sheltra race report

Patrick Sheltra Endures Tough Night At Mansfield MANSFIELD, Ohio (June 22, 2009) - - After testing at Mansfield Motorsports Park (MMP) early last week, Patrick Sheltra and his Sheltra Motorsports team were looking forward to Saturday's Tim ...

Patrick Sheltra Endures Tough Night At Mansfield

MANSFIELD, Ohio (June 22, 2009) - - After testing at Mansfield Motorsports Park (MMP) early last week, Patrick Sheltra and his Sheltra Motorsports team were looking forward to Saturday's Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA 200 but the Indiantown, Florida native faced several obstacles throughout the night which led to a less-than-satisfying 21st place finish.

Entering the one-day show fresh off a win Friday night at Union County Speedway in Liberty, Indiana in his dirt car the 23-year old phenom had hopes of putting his Grace Sheltra-owned ARCA team in victory lane for the second time this season.

In practice, Sheltra guided the No. 60 Buffalo Wings & Rings Dodge Charger to the 13th fastest time posting a lap of 17.002 seconds or 105.877 miles per hour. Sheltra informed his team led by veteran crew chief John Hayden about the handling of his racecar. "We're loose in and tight off, but I'm not going to complain because I feel that we will be real good tonight," said Sheltra. "I know we left some out on the table, so we'll try and make up for that in our qualifying run."

Having a late draw in qualifying usually plays to the advantage of the ARCA RE/MAX Series teams and Sheltra was hoping to take full advantage of the opportunity during his run. Maneuvering the half-mile oval, Sheltra mounted his fast lap of 16.921 seconds transferring to a speed of 106.377 miles per hour. The lap put Sheltra 16th on the starting grid."Not exactly what we were looking for but we'll try and make the best of it," offered Sheltra. "The car is a little loose but that could play to our advantage for the race. We'll see."

From the drop of the green flag, Sheltra began making his moves on his competitors but trouble quickly arose in turn one as the car Sheltra was battling with lost control taking Sheltra along with him. Cosmetic damage was evident with the rear of the machine. Under the caution, Hayden instructed his driver to bring his machine to pit road for repairs. During the stop, the team beat out the fenders while trying to raise the spoiler up so Sheltra could connect with the track.

Deep in the field, Sheltra put on a show charging his way back to the front again and again as the team took advantage of the yellow flag fever to continue repairing Sheltra's Buffalo Wings & Rings Racing entry.

Back to racing, Sheltra once again put on a good show plowing his way through the ultra-competitive 32 car field to find himself in the top-seven.

As the racing continued, Sheltra's Dodge Charger developed a tight condition which the team made several attempts to correct the handling woes. Minor in-car adjustments played to Sheltra's liking but during the course of hard racing, Sheltra was unable to run the preferred racing line due to the seriousness of the tight condition.

While hovering inside the top-12 inside the final 30 laps of the event, Sheltra's machine entered turn three and suddenly and abruptly turned sideways and slammed the outside wall.

Sheltra was able to fire his machine up and take it to the garage where the team deemed the suspension issues terminal forcing the 21st place finish.

Sheltra completed 174 of the race's 202 laps.

"We have a monkey on our back right now and it needs to get off soon," said Sheltra after the race. "I don't know what to say other than its plump frustrating. I thought we would have a good car and we just never could get the handling right. The scuffle in turn one certainly didn't help us but the car wasn't too bad. I don't know what happened in turn three. It feels like something broke and it was pretty much the end of our night. I hate it. I really do. We'll get back on track be back in the top-five where we belong."

The finish dropped Sheltra from sixth to eighth in the ARCA RE/MAX Series standings after round nine of 21.

Next up for the ARCA RE/MAX Series is a stop in Newton, Iowa for the running of the Prairie Meadows 250 at the Rusty Wallace-designed Iowa Speedway on Saturday, July 11. Sheltra finished ninth in last year's Iowa event. The Whitesville, Kentucky based team will participate in the open ARCA RE/MAX Series at the .875 paved oval on Tuesday, June 30 in preparation for "Mr. Showtime's" third start at the track.

Leaving Mansfield, Sheltra has 55 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.

-credit: PatrickSheltra.com

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Rusty Wallace , John Hayden , Patrick Sheltra , Tim Richmond