Michael Shank Racing Fourth and Tenth on Daytona Starting Grid DAYTONA BEACH, FL (2 July 2010)- Michael Shank Racing will look to keep the positive momentum moving forward on Saturday after the team scored fourth and tenth in qualifying for ...
Michael Shank Racing Fourth and Tenth on Daytona Starting Grid
DAYTONA BEACH, FL (2 July 2010)- Michael Shank Racing will look to keep the positive momentum moving forward on Saturday after the team scored fourth and tenth in qualifying for Saturday's Brumos 250 for round seven of the 2010 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series championship. Friday's morning practice sessions were held at Daytona International Speedway in rainy conditions before the precipitation ceased and a dry line emerged in time for qualifying.
Brian Frisselle, who won the Brumos event last year, will lead the charge for the team from fourth on the grid as he rallied late in the session to post a 1:43.315-second lap of the 3.65-mile circuit with the No. 6 Ford-Dallara that he will share with Michael Valiante during Saturday's 2.75-hour sprint race. The race marks just the second event with the Dallara chassis for the team, which scored fourth with the machine in a strong debut at Mid-Ohio.
"I'll admit, when they said my lap time I was pretty surprised because we had lost a little bit grip later in the session and it was getting to be a handful, so to set the time late in the going like that was not what I was expecting," said Frisselle. "But it's good--I think we've started the weekend off right in terms of being in the window with the car. It's been a challenge with the the track constantly changing, but we just try to learn as much as we can every time out, we have so much to learn. Hopefully we can be ready no matter what the weather is--it'd be great to get back up on the podium here at Daytona."
John Pew's No. 60 Crown Royal XR Ford-Riley was also on an upward trajectory through the session as the track continued to change every lap. A string of laps in the one minute, 46-second range demonstrated his consistency as he set times within one second lap after lap. As the track continued to dry, Pew dug deep and broke into the '45's' with a time of 1:45.922-seconds to score a spot on the fifth row.
Pew will share the driving duties with Ozz Negri, who will look to overcome the disappointment of the World Cup outcome for his native Brazil with an encore run to the podium. The duo currently sit third in the team championship standings.
"The track wasn't dry all over-the infield was still pretty spotty and it was wet through turn six the entire session," said Pew. "The bus stop also had a puddle at the exit so you had to change your arc through there to keep from running through it. The track did get better, but it never really gripped up. I was hoping for a little bit better in qualifying, but we have a very good car--this team is always strong at Daytona. I think that--rain or shine--we'll have a good car for the race tomorrow and this is a solid place to start from."
The Brumos race has traditionally been a one-day event, is now a two-day outing, giving the team a little more time to keep improving ahead of the race start as well as another day to see what develops from the ever-changing weather patterns on the East coast of Florida.
"We got the chance to run in the wet and the dry today, so we'll just have to see what we get weather-wise tomorrow and make the most of what we learned today," said team owner Mike Shank. "Today was a solid start--we have two solid cars no matter what the conditions throw at us. We're also very happy to have a warm up in the morning to do a little more testing and to see where we are with some final changes. All in all, this was a good first day. We are the opening race tomorrow and hopefully we can put on a good show for the fans. The more people see the Rolex races, the more they like it and come back for more and we want to just keep the momentum going with both these cars tomorrow afternoon."