Fontana: Michael Shank Racing preview

Michael Shank Racing ready to race at California Speedway Reynoldsburg, OH (31 March 05)--After taking third in qualifying, leading early, and going on to score the teams first points of the season at Homestead Miami Speedway, the Michael Shank...

Michael Shank Racing ready to race at California Speedway

Reynoldsburg, OH (31 March 05)--After taking third in qualifying, leading early, and going on to score the teams first points of the season at Homestead Miami Speedway, the Michael Shank Racing squad is ready for the next round of the 2005 Rolex Sports Car Series for the Ferrari Maserati 400 at California Speedway. The team has raced on the track once before, converting seventh in qualifying into seventh at the finish in the final race of the 2004 Rolex season.

Paul Mears Jr. and Mike Borkowski will team up again to pilot the Mears Motor Coach-liveried Pontiac-Riley and build on the positive momentum from the Homestead weekend.

"I have fun at this track," said Borkowski, who won the event in 2003 with co-driver David Donahue. "Qualifying well and running up front at Homestead was a real confidence boost for this team, and hopefully we can keep that up here at Fontana."

Borkowski, who has distinguished himself in every category he's raced in, showing speed and racecraft, is enjoying working with the Michael Shank Racing crew, which has set the pace with their excellent car preparation, engineering, and lighting-quick pit stops.

"This team is really exceptional, and our working relationship keeps getting better every race weekend," said Borkowski, "...so I'd like to get the guys a good finish here this weekend."

Team owner Mike Shank is also looking forward to keeping up the positive momentum from Homestead and looking to get a top-five finish.

"Running up front was a good boost to the guys and it shows how our Rolex program continues to improve," said Shank. "We know we have a top-five car and can be competitive every weekend, but we have to be mistake-free with the level of competition here."

Team lead engineer Dale Wise knows that he has a complex track to help the drivers figure out this weekend.

"Getting a good set up for this track is a big balancing act-a long high-speed run on the oval, which favors cars with low-drag set-ups, and the technical section of the infield road course, which favors the opposite kind of set up, so finding the best balance between the two is going to be our primary goal," said Wise.

The race, which is slated to run for 400 kilometers, or 89 laps of the 2.82-mile infield road/oval course, will start at 4 PM EST on Sunday, and will be broadcast live on Speed Channel.

Michael Shank Racing was formed in 1989 when Michael Shank first began driving racing cars professionally, taking the award as SCCA-Ohio Valley Region's Novice Driver of the Year. Shank retired from the cockpit in 1997 after moving up the motorsports ladder to focus his efforts on running the team, which quickly found success in the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship, with several race wins leading Shank to be named as Team Owner of the Year twice in four years. MSR has campaigned drivers including Johnny Rutherford Jr., Kenny Wilden, and 2001 and 2002 Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish, Jr.

-SGM-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Mike Borkowski , Paul Mears Jr. , Michael Shank , Johnny Rutherford , Sam Hornis
Teams Michael Shank Racing