Patrick Sheltra Wrestles To Top-10 Finish At Texas Motor Speedway "No. 60 Toyota Fast; Early Race Incident Wipes Out Shot At Victory Lane" JUSTIN, Texas (April 18, 2010) - - ARCA Racing Series (ARS) veteran Patrick Sheltra endured a busy ...
Patrick Sheltra Wrestles To Top-10 Finish At Texas Motor Speedway
"No. 60 Toyota Fast; Early Race Incident Wipes Out Shot At Victory Lane"
JUSTIN, Texas (April 18, 2010) - - ARCA Racing Series (ARS) veteran Patrick Sheltra endured a busy Rattlesnake 150 Friday evening which consisted of his No. 60 Recycling Services-Buffalo Wings & Rings Toyota Camry quite possibly passing more cars than anyone other competitor at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS). Still, the Indiantown, Florida native was able to rally back from an early race altercation and post his fourth consecutive top-10 finish this season with a seventh place outing in the fourth race of the 2010 season. Sheltra and his Jon Wolfe led Sheltra Motorsports team returned to the 1.5-mile speedway on the heels of a productive test last month. The Mooresville, North Carolina team fine tuned their Toyota Camry in hopes of sending Sheltra to victory lane for the first time on a speedway. Early on, the chances seemed very likely.
In practice on Thursday afternoon, Sheltra quickly posted a lap among the top-10 fastest. The team continued to improve the handling of their Grace Sheltra owned automobile and by the conclusion of practice had rocketed their machine to fifth fastest overall. Electrified with the results from practice, Sheltra was itching to qualify with the hope of nailing his first ever ARCA pole.
Sheltra's dreams would be hampered when Mother Nature rolled in and attacked Texas Motor Speedway with a downpour that would force ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards officials to cancel Menards pole qualifying presented by Ansell which meant Sheltra would make his TMS debut from the ninth position, as the field was set according to last year's (2009) ARCA owner points.
"I am extremely disappointed that we weren't able to qualify," said Sheltra, a four-year ARCA pro. "Jon (Wolfe) and the boys gave me a hot rod. This Toyota moves and we were not showing everything we had in practice. I really thought we had a shot at the pole. Guess we'll never know now. We just need to turn our focus now towards the race."
At the start of the Rattlesnake 150, Sheltra wasted no time moving the field. By the completion of lap one, Sheltra was able to move past Tim George Jr., and Bryan Silas before being halted by an early caution.
On the restart, Sheltra continued to move forward and found himself approaching the top-five when on lap 13 the team's day took a dramatic turn. Ahead of Sheltra, the No. 25 of Mikey Kile and the No. 16 of Joey Coulter were battling side-by-side. Kile's Venturini Motorsports machine broke loose and slid into the rear of Coulter's No. 16. The two cars spun directly in front of Sheltra with the 23-year old getting hard on the binders only to be plowed from behind by Steve Arpin.
After spinning, Sheltra's Toyota was the first to leave the scene of the accident with minimal damage to his green and orange machine. The damage wasn't massive but happened to be in the vicinity of the most critical areas of a racecar. Quick work by the Sheltra Motorsports team kept the No. 60 on the lead lap but with Sheltra marred deep in the field.
Back to racing, Sheltra quickly began making work of the slower vehicles and moved comfortably back into the top-15 before the yellow flag waived again approaching halfway. The team brought their driver back down pit road for further damage control and a chassis adjustment to help Sheltra negotiate a tight-handling racecar which was the repercussion of the damage to his fenders.
Sheltra roared from the back to the front once again and found himself hovering comfortably inside the top-10 when 15 laps from the finish -- Sheltra keyed his microphone and notified his team that his car had gone extremely bad loose. "Something's wrong boys," he said. Sheltra felt like he had a tire going down and was ready to make an unscheduled stop on pit road when thankfully the yellow waived for the stalled machine of Ricky Carmichael on the racetrack.
The team opted not to take any chances and bring their pilot back down the pit lane change four tires and repair the back bumper which had broken loose from the incident earlier in the race. Wolfe informed his driver that he did not have a tire going down and the Hoosier tires they replaced on his automobile were 20-lap scuffs.
Sitting 16th on the restart -- Sheltra lived up to his nickname "Mr. Showtime" and began slicing and dicing his way through the ARCA field and found himself back in the top-10 in the eighth position passing fellow Floridian Bryan Silas inside the race's final 10 circuits. It appeared Sheltra was prepared to settle for eighth but the yellow waived once again which would throw the race into overtime and allow Sheltra another opportunity to pick up a few more positions.
On the green-white-checkered attempt, Sheltra quickly disposed of the No. 29 of Chad Finley and was preparing to make the move on nine-time ARCA champion Frank Kimmel and the No. 36 of Robb Brent when the No. 44 of Kimmel threw a block at Sheltra forcing him to back out of the gas and lose the momentum he had exiting turns one and two.
The momentum stall would force Sheltra to hunker down and bring his car home in the seventh position continuing a great start to the 2010 ARCA Racing Series season for the Sheltra Motorsports operation.
"It was a challenging day," said Sheltra. "We had a car that I think was capable of winning the race. She was bad fast. We had the wreck avoided with Joey (Coulter) but then we were hit from behind and I made light contact with Mikey (Kile) and it really hurt the aerodynamics of our car. From there, we tried to adjust the car and deal with the cards we were handed. It's disappointing but we're relieved to leave Texas with a top-10 finish. We'll see if we can't seal the deal at Talladega."
The Friday night effort for Sheltra marked the first time that he has finished inside the top-10 for four consecutive ARCA events which helped the avid dirt late model competitor comfortably maintain his third place position in the ARCA Racing Series championship standings trailing close friend Justin Marks by 60 points and 70 credits behind Texas winner and current points leader Steve Arpin.
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards is a stop in Alabama at the Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway for the running of the Talladega ARCA 250.
-source: sheltra motorsports