Patrick Sheltra Returns To Toledo To End Rookie Season On High Note TOLEDO, Ohio (October 10, 2007) - - ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Patrick Sheltra returns to Toledo Speedway this weekend looking to turn his string of ...
Patrick Sheltra Returns To Toledo To End Rookie Season On High Note
TOLEDO, Ohio (October 10, 2007) - - ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Patrick Sheltra returns to Toledo Speedway this weekend looking to turn his string of consistent finishes into an award winning performance in Sunday's Hantz Group 200 presented by Belle Tire.
Sheltra, driving the No. 60 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS for his family owned Sheltra Motorsports team has enjoyed success in his inaugural ARCA campaign but the 21-year rising star will admit he turns to ARCA's hometown turf to hopefully reward him with a season best finish and some momentum leaning into his sophomore season in 2008.
Earlier this year the avid dirt competitor made his Toledo Speedway debut. After qualifying 21st, Sheltra encountered some early race hiccups but battled back to finish 28th. This weekend he returns to the half-mile oval looking for a rematch and his fifth top-10 finish of the year.
"I'm looking forward to Toledo," said Sheltra. "I had some bad luck there in the spring, but we are going to the race this weekend looking to give no mercy. We've worked hard on our short program in the second half of the season and I strongly believe that we'll continue to show our improvements this weekend."
Coming off his restrictor plate debut at Talladega Superspeedway last Friday, Sheltra knows the two races are a complete 360 but he is banking on the experience of his Sheltra Motorsports team led by crew chief and former ARCA driver John Hayden and team manger Keith Strunk.
"My guys have been great," sounded Sheltra. "I couldn't ask for a better bunch. We've been able to preserve through some misfortune this year. I truly believe it has only made our team stronger. That will continue over to 2008, I promise."
Another reason that the Indiantown, Florida native is eager to get to Toledo Speedway is because the team will unveil a new hot rod courtesy of Richard Childress Racing. "We are going to have an excellent car this weekend," Sheltra added. "This is our real first short track car in our stables and we're excited about it. The guys in Kentucky have been working hard to get this machine ready to go and the tell me it's going to be fast."
He added, "I'll have a new spotter this weekend at Toledo too. Jennifer Belmont who is a popular spotter in the ARCA RE/MAX Series will be guiding me this weekend. I'm excited to have someone of her caliber up there maneuvering me through the field and traffic. I know she'll do an awesome job this weekend and I'm glad she's on our side."
[IMAGE]Sitting seventh in the championship standings with just once remaining, Sheltra knows that a competitive finish walking away from Toledo can help him claim a strong position and a guaranteed spot on the stage at the Championship Awards Banquet on December 8.
"I can't wait for the banquet. It's going to be a great time. I can't catch the other Justin (Marks) in sixth but we gained some points over Justin (South) in eighth but we have to head to Toledo this weekend with the same outlook we've had all year. If we don't give 150 percent, we don't need to be here. No worries though, we're going to give 150 percent."
Following Toledo, Sheltra and Co. will announce their plans for the 2008 season at the ARCA championship awards banquet at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, Kentucky on Saturday, December 8.