Homestead: Michael Shank Racing qualifying report

Michael Shank Racing Ready for Grand Prix of Miami (Homestead, FL) 9 October- Michael Shank Racing had a strong close to the 2008 Rolex Sports Car Series season with two consecutive race victories, and the team will look to have a stout finish...

Michael Shank Racing Ready for Grand Prix of Miami

(Homestead, FL) 9 October- Michael Shank Racing had a strong close to the 2008 Rolex Sports Car Series season with two consecutive race victories, and the team will look to have a stout finish in 2009 after qualifying both team Daytona Prototypes for Saturday's Grand Prix of Miami.

Mark Patterson will co-drive with Miami resident Oswaldo Negri in the No. 60 Ford-Riley after qualifying 12th, with John Pew taking a spot on the eighth row of the 32-car field in the No. 6 Ford-Riley that he shares with Michael Valiante.

"We are really happy with this car-we nailed mid-14's consistently, and the balance was very good. On a track like this, having tires for the finish is going to be key, and I think we've played that strategy well so far," said Patterson. "I might have left a little bit out there in turns three and four, but otherwise this was a very good session. I'm really looking forward to this race. I think that this car will do just fine tomorrow!"

Pew, who is making his second Rolex Sports Car Series start at Homestead, was less enthusiastic following the 15-minute session as he looks to convert his position on the grid into a SunTrust Improve Your Position Award at race time.

"I'm not sure why we weren't able to go as quickly in this session as we did earlier in practice so it is a little bit frustrating," said Pew. "I was too aggressive going into turn two on my second flying lap, so I think I missed the window with these tires in terms of getting the absolute best lap that I could out of the car. The car was good under braking, and of course good on new tires and we did a simulation run right at the end of the last practice so I was really ready to go. We'll have some work to do tomorrow to move up, but this will be a very hot race and anything can happen."

"Getting on the podium to finish the season has always been a great way to kick things off for the 24, so that is what we'll fight for tomorrow," said team owner Mike Shank. "I think we've got two cars that have the performance to do that tomorrow so we'll do nothing to them but make sure they are clean and just focus on getting the most that we can out of the race tomorrow afternoon."

-credit: nsr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Michael Valiante , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , John Pew , Mark Patterson , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing