Toledo: Patrick Sheltra preview

Patrick Sheltra Dumped In Toledo TOLEDO, Ohio (May 18, 2009) - - Patrick Sheltra was looking forward to celebrating his 23rd birthday with his second win of the season at Toledo Speedway but instead, Sheltra left the half-mile oval frustrated ...

Patrick Sheltra Dumped In Toledo

TOLEDO, Ohio (May 18, 2009) - - Patrick Sheltra was looking forward to celebrating his 23rd birthday with his second win of the season at Toledo Speedway but instead, Sheltra left the half-mile oval frustrated after being taken out of the 200 lap event inside the race's first 50 circuits.

Sheltra who held three consecutive top-10 finishes heading into Sunday's event was looking to record his fourth top-10 finish of the year in ARCA's third short track event of the season.

In practice, the Sheltra Motorsports team struggled to find the speed they were looking for. The team made a series of wholesale changes near the end of practice which accelerated the team's performance on the track. Upon further review, the team found two additional hiccups with their No. 60 Buffalo Wings & Rings Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS which resulted in easy fixes. Back on track, the team knew they had a good car for the race.

With rain drenching the Toledo Speedway early Saturday afternoon, the field would be set based upon 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series car owner standings which put the No. 60 fifth on the starting grid.

At the start of the event, Sheltra quickly settled inside the top-five. Dealing with a loose racecar, Sheltra maintained his position inside the top-10 until contact from another car set Sheltra for an innocent spin on the frontstretch near lap 15.

Only losing a few positions because of the contact, Sheltra regrouped in the 12th position and had worked himself back up into the eighth position when the day took a dramatic turn.

Paul Menard, making a rare appearance in the ARCA RE/MAX Series was following the Buffalo Wings & Rings Racing machine for several laps but unable to maneuver around Sheltra. As the two cars entered turns one and two on lap 42, a shove from the No. 98 of Menard set Sheltra's machine spinning hard into the outside wall.

The damage required a lengthy trip behind pit wall where the team worked diligently to repair the team's Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS with the Whitesville, Kentucky team returning to the event just before the half-way mark.

Sheltra used the remainder of the sixth race of the season to log laps and pick up spots on the track in order to gain crucial points. Sheltra would eventually finish the event in the 29th position.

"I really don't know what to say other than Paul Menard needs to stay in the Sprint Cup Series," said an obviously frustrated Sheltra after the race. "I was racing him clean and hard and just because he is a Cup guy don't mean I have to move over and let him go. He punted me because he couldn't get around me. I guess he doesn't care that there are teams out there running for a championship. If he doesn't want to respect the guys in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, he doesn't need to be racing here."

The Indiantown, Florida native added, "I hate it for Buffalo Wings & Rings, all of our marketing partners and the guys. They didn't deserve this."

The finish dropped Sheltra two positions in the ARCA RE/MAX Series point standings to sixth heading into round seven of the season at Pocono Raceway on June 6.

Exiting Toledo, 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.

-credit: PatrickSheltra.com.

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Paul Menard , Patrick Sheltra