Patrick Sheltra Looks For Stellar Performance At Pocono Raceway "Mr. Showtime Looking For Points Climb In Round Seven" LONG POND, Pennsylvania (June 3, 2009) - - ARCA RE/MAX Series (ARS) driver Patrick Sheltra is a fan of Pocono Raceway even ...
Patrick Sheltra Looks For Stellar Performance At Pocono Raceway
"Mr. Showtime Looking For Points Climb In Round Seven"
LONG POND, Pennsylvania (June 3, 2009) - - ARCA RE/MAX Series (ARS) driver Patrick Sheltra is a fan of Pocono Raceway even though his results may not show it. Still, the 23-year old phenom is looking for a stellar performance in Saturday's Pocono ARCA 200, the seventh installment on the 2009 schedule.
The Indiantown, Florida native will make his sixth start at the popular triangle race course and aim for his first top-10 finish. In his previous five efforts, Sheltra has acquired two top-15 finishes with a best effort of 11th in August 2007. Qualifying though has not been a downfall for the popular driver as Sheltra has nailed four top-15 qualifying runs including a track best of ninth in the summer race of 2007.
Sheltra leans to the first of two Pocono races this season to get his season back on track after a rough outing at Toledo Speedway last month have Sheltra focused as ever and ready to mount his No. 60 Buffalo Wings & Rings Dodge Charger back in victory lane.
"I like Pocono a lot, it just doesn't particularly like me," said Sheltra, who carries an average finish of 20th at the Long Pond speed plant. "It's a neat track that really forces you to use your head. We've had good cars every single time I've been there. We just haven't been able to walk away with finishes we deserve. We'll look to change our statistics for sure on Saturday."
A rule change by ARCA RE/MAX Series officials has proposed the Sheltra Motorsports team to rethink their setup for this weekend's festivity. ARCA officials ruled that teams will no longer be able to shift as the cars thunder down the straightway forcing the veteran team to strategize their car control and gear selection to put themselves in the hunt for Saturday's thriller.
"The rule change caught us off by surprise a little," admitted Sheltra. "I don't think it will hinder us, we should be able to overcome it with ease. I've consulted with my crew chief John (Hayden) and team manager Keith (Strunk) and I think we found something that will put us at the front and off-balance the change."
Losing ground and falling to sixth in the championship chase after Toledo, Sheltra is fixed on gaining the points he lost and then some for the Buffalo Wings and Rings racing team.
"I know with strong runs the points will come, but I'm not trying to worry about the big picture but it's in the back of my mind for sure," sounded Sheltra. "I have a great team with great marketing partners who know that we have what it takes. It's still real early in the season, so we just need to get our momentum back and everything else should settle itself out."
Crew Chief John Hayden has elected to bring Sheltra chassis number 11 to Pocono Raceway this weekend. The primary machine will be the same Dodge that Sheltra competed with at Pocono Raceway last year. The former Penske Racing automobile will be run for just the third time in Sheltra's ARCA career. Chassis number 16 will serve as the team's back-up automobile. That former Richard Childress Racing entry is a new addition to the team's fleet. The Whitesville, Kentucky based team tested this Dodge Charger at Michigan International Speedway last Wednesday.
Entering Pocono, Sheltra has 52 ARCA RE/MAX Series starts to his credit with one career victory at Salem Speedway (April 2009). Sheltra also holds second place efforts at Rockingham Speedway (April 2009), Toledo Speedway (May 2008) and the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds (September 2008) with four additional top-five finishes, (fourth) at Toledo Speedway (October 2008), (fifth) at Talladega Superspeedway (October 2008), (third) at Illinois State Fairgrounds (August 2007) and (fourth) at Berlin Raceway (July 2007) while holding additional top-10s at Kentucky Speedway (May 2009), Nashville Superspeedway (August 2008), Michigan International Speedway (June 2008), Kentucky Speedway (May 2008), Kansas Speedway (April 2008), Iowa Speedway (April 2008), Kentucky Speedway (June 2007), DuQuoin State Fairgrounds (September 2007) and Toledo Speedway (October 2007). 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 Pocono ARCA 200 (80 laps / 200 miles) is the seventh of 21 events on the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule. The 48th ARCA race at Pocono Raceway is a two-day show. Practice begins Friday, June 5 with an hour and forty minute practice session planned from 10:15 a.m. - 11:55 a.m. Menards Pole by Ansell qualifying is set for later in the day slated to begin at 1:45 p.m. The event will take the green flag on Saturday, June 6 shortly after 1:00 p.m. The event will tape-delayed on SPEED and will air at 4:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon. The race however will be broadcasted live through the ARCA Racing Network (ARN) online at arcaracing.com. All times are local.