Michael Shank Racing takes fifth at Homestead Michael Shank Racing finished fifth in the Miami 250 at the Homestead Miami Speedway after starting from fourth on the grid and running as high as second during the two-hour and forty-five minute ...
Michael Shank Racing takes fifth at Homestead
Michael Shank Racing finished fifth in the Miami 250 at the Homestead Miami Speedway after starting from fourth on the grid and running as high as second during the two-hour and forty-five minute event. The strong finish helped the team reduce the gap to the championship leaders, and kept the team fourth in the overall standings.
After the team posted the fastest time in morning practice, Oswaldo Negri started the race from fourth position, and moved up to third at the start. Negri fought amongst the top five throughout his first stint before turning the car over to Burt Frisselle on lap 21 during a full course yellow.
Frisselle kept the car in the top five, and fought his way to second spot by lap 40, holding back the charge from several championship contenders before the Michael Shank Racing squad made the most of another full course caution on lap 50 to change tires, add fuel, and get Negri back behind the wheel.
The race, which saw some extreme heat in the humid Florida conditions as well as a total of five full course yellow periods keep the lead pack in close touch, had the final restart with fifteen minutes remaining as Negri fought to keep the car in contact with the leaders after the balance on the car went away in the closing laps of the race, but he was able to hold on to fifth at the checkered flag.
"We are learning every race we run, and we just keep improving," said Oswaldo Negri. "I am so proud of this team-of all my years in racing, this is a great opportunity for me to be working with some of the best people in the sport. I also want to thank Clear Channel for teaming up with us for the race so we could even get a chance to take the green flag here today."
Frisselle had a strong stint at the wheel and showed how much he has learned this season, performing well on the restarts and holding off the charge from eventual podium finishers to keep position. Frisselle is optimistic about the MSR answering the bell in the upcoming events, and knows that a top-five finish can help make that happen.
"I am happy to finish in the top five again," said Burt Frisselle. "We fought all weekend to get the car better, since the track layout isn't the best for us, but I am thrilled to get the points, and to have a good result for our sponsor ZETA here in Miami."
Award-winning team owner Mike Shank is never satisfied unless he is in victory circle, but knows that the small team did everything they could today to try and make that happen.
"This isn't really our kind of track, but we did the best we could today," said Shank. "Our guys did a flawless job in the pits, and Burt and Oswaldo got everything out of the car, so we'll put the points in the bank and go from here. I have been saying all season that if we can finish in the top five every race, we will be good for the championship, so we accomplished that today, but of course after being fastest in the warm up this morning, we were hoping for more."
The small team is hoping that the strong finish will help in the effort to secure the necessary funding to keep racing to the end of the championship.
"It didn't help us that the guys we are chasing in the championship won, but this was a solid effort all around for us, and we moved closer to the lead guys in the championship, so hopefully we can get the kind of help we got from ZETA this weekend in the next events, as we know we have what it takes to win and just have to keep fighting for it.'