Patrick Sheltra Succumbs To Engine Failure At Michigan "Mr. Showtime Running In Top-Five When Afternoon Took A Dramatic Turn" BROOKLYN, Michigan (June 12, 2009) - - Patrick Sheltra appeared to be well on his way to his fourth top-five finish...
Patrick Sheltra Succumbs To Engine Failure At Michigan
"Mr. Showtime Running In Top-Five When Afternoon Took A Dramatic Turn"
BROOKLYN, Michigan (June 12, 2009) - - Patrick Sheltra appeared to be well on his way to his fourth top-five finish of the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series (ARS) season Friday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) but engine failure aboard the team's No. 60 Buffalo Wings & Rings TOYOTA forced an early exit from the Racing for Wildlife 200.
Mother Nature washed out qualifying for the 41 ARCA RE/MAX Series teams Thursday forcing ARCA officials to set the grid by current 2009 car owner points. Sheltra would collect his best starting position at Michigan International Speedway by lining up seventh.
At the drop of the green, Sheltra stayed tucked inside the top-10. Battling a tight condition during the first run, Sheltra managed to hang with a good group of racecars while adjusting his line around the two-mile oval to advance his lap times.
Several early caution flags kept the Buffalo Wings & Rings Racing machine on the track and ready to contend. Sheltra had fallen back to the 10th position but during the first long green flag run the Indiantown, Florida native crept up the leader board and had moved into the top-five when the caution flag flew approaching lap 55.
The yellow flag was excellent timing for the Whitesville, Kentucky team as Sheltra was close on fuel and had planned to pit the next lap.
A superb pit stop on pit road allowed Sheltra to rejoin the field in the fourth position. During the pit stop, a chassis adjustment, four tires and a full load of Sunoco gasoline were inserted to the Grace Sheltra owned automobile.
On the restart, Sheltra continued to hover inside the top-six. Working his way back towards the lead pack, Sheltra's neon green and camouflage TOYOTA Camry would stutter on the backstretch on lap 73 as spotter Kevin Huffines informed the veteran crew that the motor had blown. Sheltra brought the Japanese nameplate to pit road where his team examined under the hood where they deemed the problem to be terminal forcing Sheltra a frustrating finish in his fourth start at Michigan International Speedway.
"I don't know what to say right now," said Sheltra. "We had extremely high hopes for the race and the car was real good on the longer runs but I wasn't expecting the engine to blow for sure. I appreciate all the hard work of my boys on the Sheltra Motorsports team and the assistance of Germain Racing for the race; I just wish we could have had a better finish."
Sheltra added, "This roller-coaster season sure has been a ride and the worst part about it is that no one deserves it. Buffalo Wings & Rings, Ferguson Pipe all of our marketing partners have been incredible and I thank them for their continued support. We have a good week, then a down week, a good week then a down week. It's just goes up and down. It's not the fault of the team, just plump bad luck that has challenged the spirit of this team. We'll get it turned around though. Mansfield is a new race and new opportunity; hopefully we pull off a win."
Sheltra was credited with a 33rd place finish. The third year ARCA driver dropped from fifth to sixth in the championship standings.
The ARCA RE/MAX Series season continues next weekend at Mansfield Motorsports Park for the running of the inaugural Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA 200. The ninth race of the season is set for Saturday, June 20th. Sheltra will participate in a private test at the Ohio short track on Monday, June 15.