Michael Shank Racing
Michael Shank Racing Heads Home to Mid-Ohio for GRAND-AM Finale
Lexington, Ohio (13 September 2011) – Michael Shank Racing will field two Daytona Prototype entries in the EMCO Gears Classic presented by KeyBank this weekend as the team heads to its home track of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the season finale of the 2011 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series championship.
John Pew and Ozz Negri will pilot the No. 60 Crown Royal XR Ford-Riley while Zak Brown and Mark Blundell once again join the team in the No. 23 United Autosports with Michael Shank Racing entry. The EMCO Gears Classic event marks the third time that Brown and Blundell have joined forces this season – finishing fourth in the Rolex 24 At Daytona and ninth in the Canadian Tire 200 at Watkins Glen.
While the home track hadn’t traditionally been kind to the team in Rolex Series competition, Michael Shank Racing broke that unwelcome tradition last year as the team delivered its best performance of the 2010 season at the Mid-Ohio event last year when Pew and Negri placed second and teammates Brian Frisselle and Michael Valiente brought the No. 6 Daytona Prototype to the checkered flag in fourth.
The team has collected several top-five finishes this year – highlighted by a podium at Lime Rock Park when Pew and Negri drove the No. 60 machine to a second place result. Additionally, Brown and Blundell , along with teammates Martin Brundle and Mark Patterson led the Michael Shank Racing squad to a fourth place finish in the Rolex 24.
Michael Shank Racing recently tested at the 13-turn road course located just north of their Pataskala, Ohio–based race shop and hopes for another strong showing in front of their many loyal hometown fans. During the test, the team worked on various set-up combinations while allowing both Brown and Blundell additional seat time behind the wheel of the No. 23.
“I’m very pleased to have Zak and Mark back with us and for us to be running two cars again,” said team owner Mike Shank. “Our Mid-Ohio test went well and we’re excited to see what we can do this weekend. I think John (Pew) has been the revelation of the season with the job that he’s done for us, and hopefully we can close the year out with a strong finish for the 60. With the addition of the No. 23 this weekend, I’m optimistic that we can produce two strong results. We’re really looking forward to a strong close to the year in front of our hometown fans. It’s exciting to have so many friends and family and it makes for a busy weekend, but it’s one we’ve all been looking forward to for a long time.”