Positive Track Time For Patrick Sheltra At Rockingham ROCKINGHAM, North Carolina (March 17, 2009) - - After three days of soggy weather in Rockingham, North Carolina, Indiantown, Florida native Patrick Sheltra finally was able to climb into his...
Positive Track Time For Patrick Sheltra At Rockingham
ROCKINGHAM, North Carolina (March 17, 2009) - - After three days of soggy weather in Rockingham, North Carolina, Indiantown, Florida native Patrick Sheltra finally was able to climb into his No. 60 Dodge Charger Tuesday afternoon and log a solid half of a day of testing in preparation of the ARCA RE/MAX Series Carolina 200 at Rockingham Speedway on Sunday, April 19th.
The laps turned Tuesday afternoon also marked the first time that the 22-year old rising star has been behind the wheel of a racecar since being involved in a monstrous incident in the ARCA RE/MAX Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway last month.
"It was nice to be back at it," said Sheltra, who will continue his full-time march towards the championship at Salem Speedway in April. "I felt real good and comfortable in the car and we were down to business right away."
Sheltra continued, "We've been here since Friday night and we weren't able to get onto the track until Tuesday afternoon. It drove me crazy. We already made the effort to get down to Rockingham, so we were going to wait it out as long as we could and turn some laps."
And despite just running for a little over four hours on Tuesday, the Whitesville, Kentucky based team packed up their hauler and began the trip back home after the team led by crew chief John Hayden felt confident about their efforts.
"Overall, we were pretty satisfied. We'll make a few tweaks here and there but we were competitive here last year until the motor blew. We were definitely top-10 material but we're inching forwards trying to put together the perfect setup to become the second ARCA winner since the track was reopened."
Currently occupying the 14th position in the point standings, Sheltra knows that surviving Rockingham is pivotal towards the bigger picture.
"I won't get tired of saying it, but Rockingham is going to be a crucial piece to the championship puzzle this year. You may have some time to recover here in April if you have some bad luck, but you better have your ducks in a row when you come back in October because this track is so unpredictable, you need to have a nice cushion in case the unexpected should occur."
"Despite the unknowns, I do enjoy racing here," Sheltra sounded.
Sheltra and his team now shift their focus towards round two at Salem Speedway. Next week, the team will conduct a private test at the half-mile facility before eyeing the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 on April 5. Sheltra has four starts at the bull ring with three finishes of 11th, including two straight efforts.
"Salem is no joke," admitted Sheltra. "It's a very demanding track. We've been good there but we can be better. We're going there next week to see if we can construct a setup that will aid us in our next fight in a couple weeks."