Patrick Sheltra Eyes Salem Return SALEM, Indiana (September 12, 2007) - - It's been a while since the ARCA RE/MAX Series (ARS) tour has competed on a short track, but that comes to an end this Saturday as the series storms back into...
Patrick Sheltra Eyes Salem Return
SALEM, Indiana (September 12, 2007) - - It's been a while since the ARCA RE/MAX Series (ARS) tour has competed on a short track, but that comes to an end this Saturday as the series storms back into Salem Speedway for the running of the Eddie Gilstrap Motors ARCA Fall Classic by Advance Auto Parts.
One of the dark horses heading into the 21st event on the schedule has to be Florida's Patrick Sheltra. The driver of the No. 60 Sheltra Motorsports has blossomed into a solid contender week in and week out and he's hoping that his string of positive finishes continue under the lights Saturday.
"I'm looking forward to returning to Salem Speedway this weekend," said Sheltra, a native of Indiantown, Florida. "It's an intimidating place, but I am looking forward to going back there. When I first competed on the track in April, I was shocked by the demands of the track, but we met its demands and captured a strong 11th place finish. I think we can finish a lot better than that this weekend."
With Salem being one of the coveted races in the Bill France Triple Crown award, Sheltra knows that a good finish is key to taking home the honor at the championship awards banquet in December.
"DuQuoin, Salem and Talladega are the three races at stake for the Bill France Triple Crown award. DuQuoin was pretty good; we delivered a sixth place finish. We need to pick up the pace a little bit this weekend at Salem. This race is extremely crucial not only for that chase, but in the points standings as well. We are trying to finish as high as we can and a good run will help us stabilize that goal."
With a lot on the line at Salem this weekend, the Sheltra Motorsports team opted to test at the Southern Indiana based track last week with satisfying results.
"The test went real smooth and better than I expected," noted Sheltra, who sits seventh in the championship standings heading into Salem this weekend. "We worked not only on qualifying setups but race runs too. This race is going to carry a lot of energy and with the cooler temperatures expected for Saturday's race, the drivers are bound to get up on the wheel and drive. It will definitely be an exciting race."
When asked how to defeat a track like Salem Speedway, Sheltra responded, "You have to race the race track. You cannot race your competition, at least not right away. The track has the notorious characteristic of coming up and biting you when you least expect it. We're going to try and stay out of the "eye of the storm" for the first half of the race, once we accomplish that, we'll put our car into high gear and go after it. I have a good feeling that another top-10 is in store for us this weekend, I hope we are right."
With the season winding down, Sheltra is remaining focused on 2007 but looking ahead to 2008.
"Even though we are still racing, we are working hard to put the final touches on for 2008. Good things are ahead for Sheltra Motorsports and we're looking forward to putting this team in championship status. While I'm looking forward to the remainder of 2007, next year will be very strong for our organization."