Michael Shank Racing Stages Strong Comeback to Take 4th and 6th at Daytona (Daytona Beach, FL) 4 July 2009 - Michael Shank Racing made a vigorous rally to come back from a wide range of setbacks and score strong results with both team Rolex ...
Michael Shank Racing Stages Strong Comeback to Take 4th and 6th at Daytona
(Daytona Beach, FL) 4 July 2009 - Michael Shank Racing made a vigorous rally to come back from a wide range of setbacks and score strong results with both team Rolex Sports Car Series entries in the Brumos 250 at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday.
After a huge team effort to effect repairs to the No. 6 entry of John Pew and Michael Valiante saw Pew starting the race from the back of the field, the team's tremendous effort in the Daytona Beach July heat was rewarded with a 4th place finish, with Pew picking up the Truemen Award honors to boot.
The No. 60 Sean John Fragrances/Lab Series For Men Ford-Riley of Mark Patterson and Oswaldo Negri also had to recover from a spin and an undeserved penalty before charging back from deep in the pack to finish 6th.
"It looked like it was going to be a really bad day for us, but we just kept fighting back as a team and it turned out to be a pretty good points day for us," said team owner Mike Shank. "But this was all down to the guys on the team, they made this happen. The cars were quick-both had spins and Oz got that penalty, and so to still come out of here with both cars in the top six is pretty solid. It'd be great to have a little bit better luck today, but given what could have happened, we'll gladly take these points and look ahead to Barber."
The morning practice crash saw the team rebuilding the entire front section of the No. 6 Riley, getting everything sorted and tightened up with just moments to spare before the start of the sprint event.
"This was a great comeback, after starting last, racing in this heat, that was a lot of hard work that the guys put in today, and the car was just perfect," said Pew, who was also punted into a spin during his stint. "They were putting in the last bolt right before they rolled it out to the grid, and I'm amazed. The car was great, and I owe the guys so much for the job that they did today!"
Valiante took over on the first pit stop of the day and once again put all the pace to work as he recovered from deep in the pack to finish 4th.
"This is a great result for the team and for all the effort that went into getting the car fixed and giving us the chance to even start this race," said Valiante. "I feel like we had a race-winning car today, but with John getting hit and where we started, we just weren't able to do that. But it was really impressive not only to have the car ready to go in time, but also how good it was."
For the Sean John Fragrances/Lab Series For Men entry, part of the recovery also included significant engineering changes to the 60 car during the one-day event after the morning sessions showed the Sean John Fragrances/Lab Series For Men uncharacteristically wasn't exactly matched to the conditions in the early sessions, but was back in more familiar fast form by the time the race started.
"We probably had a car for the podium today, but the problem with that GT car meant we missed that opportunity today," said Patterson. "The car got much better during the day-we went from being nowhere with the car set-up this morning to somewhere quite good. We dug ourselves a pretty deep hole, but we also dug back out of it today, so it was a good result."
"I'm disappointed because we had a top three car if we hadn't had those set-backs," said Negri. "I don't agree with the penalty-the mark on my car is in the back, and I don't know why the GT car didn't make more room for us on the restart, so it was difficult to be penalized for that. But I just put my head down and went back to work. We were nearly 20 seconds back, but we caught up and moved up to 6th at the finish so that was at least at least a good result for the points and I think showed how fast we were today. We kept getting better all day, and it is just too bad we couldn't show more for it, but we'll look to do that at Barber."
Michael Shank Racing will be back in action on July 19th for Barber Motorsports Park's Porsche 250 presented by Legacy Credit Union.
Happy 4th of July from everyone at Michael Shank Racing.
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