Patrick Sheltra Road Course Ready Again MILLVILLE, New Jersey (September 10, 2009) - - With the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series (ARS) season zeroing in on the finish line, veteran driver Patrick Sheltra wants to end the season on a high note which ...
Patrick Sheltra Road Course Ready Again
MILLVILLE, New Jersey (September 10, 2009) - - With the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series (ARS) season zeroing in on the finish line, veteran driver Patrick Sheltra wants to end the season on a high note which includes a solid performance in Sunday's South Jersey Building Trades 150 at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP).
The 23-year old phenom is known for his late model skills on the dirt and has spent the last three years becoming a vigorous and aggressive contender on the asphalt but this weekend Sheltra will return to a road course for just the second time in his career.
His first tango last year with NJMP wasn't one that could be overlooked. After experience problems in practice with the fuel pick-up, Sheltra battled back with his first real laps on the 2.25-mile road course with a solid 21st place qualifying run. During the rain-shortened event the Indiantown, Florida native used patience and skills he learned from the Skip Barber Racing school that propelled the up and comer with a noteworthy 11th place finish in the Loud Energy 150.
This year the popular driver returns to the New Jersey temple looking to improve on the finish and award his Sheltra Motorsports team with their eighth top-10 run of the year.
"Actually, I'm pretty stoked about going to New Jersey this weekend," said Sheltra, the driver of the No. 60 Buffalo Wings & Rings Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS. "Last year was my first real experience on a road course and I liked it. I still have a lot to learn though but testing last month and with the help of my driver coach Ted Musgrave, I'm feeling pretty good about the weekend."
Indeed, Sheltra did tackle the Millville, New Jersey race course a few days after competing in an ARCA event at Pocono Raceway. Sheltra and his John Hayden led team spent eight hours adjusting the setup of their road course car while also throwing different techniques at their setup hoping to give their pilot that extra push.
"The test went real good," Sheltra added. "As a driver I was like two seconds faster than I was last year and our times would have put us in the top-10 in qualifying, so overall I was pretty satisfied with the way the day went."
He added, "I'm leaning on Ted (Musgrave) to help me stay on the track and correct me on the things I should not be doing. I'm glad he's here for sure. He's not too shabby of a road course racer himself so I feel he puts this team at an extra advantage this weekend. I cannot knock my guys on the team though. I have to give them credit. This is a car we built from the ground up last year and it's been fast. I know we have a job to do on Sunday, but I'm looking forward to having a little fun too."
For the second consecutive year, Sheltra Motorsports welcomes the Toad Fish Bar & Grill as supporter of the Whitesville, Kentucky based team for Sunday's race.
"We're appreciative of the Toad Fish Bar & Grill support of our race team again this weekend at New Jersey, Sheltra added. "They have been a big supporter of this race team since we came to New Jersey last year and we're looking forward to spending an evening with them and the team on Saturday night."
With just four races remaining, Sheltra idles in the eighth position in the ARCA RE/MAX Series point standings but realistically has a shot at finishing in the fifth position. Clearly he had made that his priority for his season-ending goals.
"We would like to be running for that championship but the cards have been dealt and we're focused on running these next four races like we did at the beginning at the year where everyone was pointing to our team as one of the teams to beat. I know we can do it; we've just had more than our fair share of bad luck."
Entering New Jersey, Sheltra has 63 ARCA RE/MAX Series starts to his credit with one career victory at Salem Speedway (April 2009). During his ARCA tenure, Sheltra has accumulated 10 top-fives and posted 21 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 South Jersey Building Trades 150 (150 miles / 67 laps) is the 18th of 21 events on the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule. The second ARCA event held at the New Jersey Motorsports Park is a two-day show. Practice begins Saturday, September 12 with a one hour practice session planned from 12:20 p.m. - 1:20 p.m. A final "happy hour" session has been etched in for 1:50 p.m. -- 2:50 p.m. Menards Pole by Ansell qualifying is slated to begin at 4:30 p.m. The field will take the green flag on Sunday, September 13 shortly after 1:00 p.m. The event will not be televised but broadcast coverage will be available live through the ARCA Racing Network (ARN) online at arcaracing.com. All times are local.