Sheltra Motorsports Confident Following Rockingham Test "Patrick Sheltra & Company Vow To Return Stronger In May" WHITESVILLE, Kentucky (Monday, March 24, 2008) - - For the first time in nearly 35 years, Rockingham Speedway opened it's doors...
Sheltra Motorsports Confident Following Rockingham Test
"Patrick Sheltra & Company Vow To Return Stronger In May"
WHITESVILLE, Kentucky (Monday, March 24, 2008) - - For the first time in nearly 35 years, Rockingham Speedway opened it's doors for the ARCA RE/MAX Series this past weekend for a two-day open test in preparation for the Carolina 500K, the May 4, 2008 event marking the return of the ARCA RE/MAX Series to "The Rock."
Sheltra Motorsports joined over 25 teams and 38 drivers for the two-day test but the Whitesville; Kentucky operation packed it up early Saturday morning after feeling the team accomplished all of their testing goals.
During his trip down to Rockingham Speedway on Thursday, Sheltra connected with NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Kenny Wallace, who has several years of experience at the one-mile oval. Wallace communicated with both Sheltra and crew chief John Hayden want to expect, what to watch out for and the best way to master the facility.
Sheltra, the 21-year old sophomore ARCA driver tackled the track for the extensive seven hour session on Friday whipping up his fastest lap in the afternoon session after mounting a time of 26.210 seconds or 137.352 MPH. In the morning session, he ran nearly an identical lap after pulling together a time of 26.271 seconds at 137.033 MPH.
"We were pretty neutral for most of the day on Friday," said Sheltra, who will be featured in the Rockingham Speedway program in May. "John (Hayden, crew chief) made some great adjustments to our No. 60 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS throughout the day and I feel very confident in the car's abilities."
Leaving the track on Friday night, the Sheltra Motorsports team knew they had not showed their complete strength. They were saving their best for last.
Under slightly cooler conditions on Saturday morning, Sheltra once again climbed into his Grace Sheltra-owned machine looking to better his runs from the day before. A day after tackling "The Rock" for the very first time, Sheltra himself was feeling a little more comfortable about the track.
Sheltra, who will spend the 2008 racing season running a full ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule in addition to starts in the UMP and WOo Dirt Late Model Series and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series bolted a lap of 25.574 seconds transferring to a speed of 140.768 MPH. The lap was almost seventh tenths (.697) better than his fastest run a day earlier. The effort put Sheltra ninth fastest on the board Saturday morning.
Returning to the garage, high-fives were given around the Sheltra Motorsports team with crew chief John Hayden making the call to load it up and head home. Pleased with Sheltra's efforts on Saturday, the team felt they had a competitive package they could come back to the track in May and try to net a victory in ARCA's return to Rockingham Speedway.
"The car was really good," Sheltra noted. "We really didn't make a whole lot of changes to the car, but we said on Friday, we were taking it a little easy and today, we really didn't hold anything back. I was still a little conservative because I didn't want to wad up a racecar, but overall I think we're in great shape."
Sheltra continued, "We didn't show everything we had. We still left some on the table. We just wanted to grab a baseline setup for what we think we can come back with. This was just a test motor and we know that when we come back we'll be carrying about eight to 10 more horsepower. I tell you that will be huge in itself. I was pretty happy with the tire compound. If you understand The Rock, you know that tires go away here within a blink of an eye. This weekend was no different. However, I know that we learned a lot from the two-day test and we're excited about coming back."
Overall, Sheltra Motorsports landed the 16th position cumulatively thanks to his Saturday morning trial run.
Sheltra Motorsports, which is in its second full season of ARCA competition, unveiled a new car at Rockingham Speedway this past weekend. The No. 60 Chevrolet Monte Carlo was an in-house automobile built by members of the Sheltra Motorsports clan. Clements Automotive provided the steam underneath the hood for the first official ARCA open test of the season.
"As always; I just want to thank everyone on the Sheltra Motorsports team for the job they did. They worked hard and it showed. I also have to thank Kenny Wallace who I know I can always count on if I have any questions. It was good clean; solid weekend," Sheltra concluded.