Patrick Sheltra Ready For Toledo Challenge "Sheltra Motorsports Hoping For First Top-Five Finish Of '08 Sunday" TOLEDO, Ohio (May 13, 2008) -- After a strong seventh place finish last Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway, sophomore ARCA RE/MAX ...
Patrick Sheltra Ready For Toledo Challenge
"Sheltra Motorsports Hoping For First Top-Five Finish Of '08 Sunday"
TOLEDO, Ohio (May 13, 2008) -- After a strong seventh place finish last Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway, sophomore ARCA RE/MAX Series (ARS) driver Patrick Sheltra and his Sheltra Motorsports team invade Toledo Speedway back in contention and ready to take their first victory together in Sunday's Hantz Group 200 by Federated Car Care.
The 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series season has been a positive one for the Whitesville, Kentucky based Sheltra Motorsports team. Despite a rough finish at Rockingham Speedway earlier this month, the second-year ARCA team has maneuvered strong finishes and positioned themselves as serious championship contenders as the series strolls towards the seventh race of the 2008 season.
[IMAGE]For Sheltra, he's anxious for a return to Toledo Speedway after an exceptional run in last year's season finale awarded the Indiantown, Florida native with one of his five top-10 finishes in his inaugural ARCA campaign.
"I wasn't sure if I really liked Toledo Speedway after the first race last year but after our performance last October, Toledo is a track that I'm excited to return to," said Sheltra, who will celebrate his 22nd birthday on Wednesday, May 14. "Toledo is a fun racetrack but definitely challenges your patience. We are planning to beat our performance from last year Sunday."
After ironically qualifying 21st for both ARCA RE/MAX Series events at the legendary half-mile oval last season, Sheltra is first to point out that his qualifying efforts have improved this season and he's hoping the trend will continue this weekend.
"Qualifying is so crucial, especially at a track like Toledo Speedway," offered Sheltra. "Last year, I wasn't that great of a qualifier. This year, we've qualified exceptionally well. We started in the top-10 at Kentucky Speedway last weekend and I would like to make it two top-10 qualifying runs in a row this weekend."
Crew Chief John Hayden has elected to bring the same Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS that the team utilized in the season finale last year at Toledo Speedway. It is also the piece that the team participated with at Iowa Speedway last month which awarded the Sheltra Motorsports operation their first top-10 finish of the season in the former Richard Childress Racing machine.
With two straight Toledo top-10s in the books, Sheltra is eager to make it three-for-three in his third trip to the Toledo, Ohio race track.
"We are bringing one of my favorite cars to the race track this weekend," sounded Sheltra. "Every time we've run this car; we've been good. I don't expect anything but the same this weekend at Toledo. We were in contention for a top-five finish here last year before we got taken out. Luckily we were able to come back with a top-10 finish. This year though, we want to be in the top-five and in contention for the win and we're going to do everything we can to make that a reality."
Despite losing a spot in the ARCA RE/MAX Series championship standings last weekend at Kentucky Speedway, Sheltra knows that he is an extremely tight point's battle and with a good run this weekend, Sheltra can find himself back in the top-five.
"I can't believe how close the point standings are this year," Sheltra explained. "The run at Rockingham has put us behind but we did what we needed to do last weekend at Kentucky to catch-up. We need to continue our streak of solid performances in Toledo so we can end our six week stretch on a wave of momentum and in prime position in the standings."
While Toledo is an important weekend for the team on the track, it will also be as equally as important off the track. Sheltra will show heavy participating in the fourth annual ARCA Fan Fest beginning with an appearance on Thursday, May 15 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. local in Findlay, Ohio at South Side Restaurant for Racing World then sign autographs during a luncheon on Saturday, May 17 supporting the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Ohio, the official charity of the Fan Fest. The luncheon will be sponsored by the Patrick Sheltra Foundation."I am very excited about being apart of the fourth annual ARCA Fan Fest," said Sheltra. "It's a good week of appearances and to have the chance to work with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Ohio is an honor. It should be an enjoyable weekend for all."
In an effort to bring further awareness and contributions to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Ohio, the Sheltra Motorsports team will donate a dollar for every lap complete in the Hantz Group 200, and are challenging other ARCA RE/MAX Series race teams to do the same.
Sheltra added, "The challenge that we have proposed to the ARCA RE/MAX Series team is an easy one. It's affordable and going towards a great cause. The ARCA RE/MAX Series is a great family sport and it's important for us to reach out to others in need. We hope that all the team's entered for Sunday's race will accept the challenge."