Michael Shank Racing disappointed with Homestead outing (Homestead, FL) 24 March 06-- Michael Shank Racing finished a disappointing twenty-second in the Linder Industrials Grand Prix of Miami Saturday night after twice having to take evasive ...
Michael Shank Racing disappointed with Homestead outing
(Homestead, FL) 24 March 06-- Michael Shank Racing finished a disappointing twenty-second in the Linder Industrials Grand Prix of Miami Saturday night after twice having to take evasive actions to avoid making contact with competitors cars.
Mark Patterson started from fifteenth on the grid, and slotted in line at the start, but was forced to make an evasive maneuver on just the second lap as a competitor braked early for the high-speed turn one, forcing Patterson onto the banking, costing him track position and time before he could rejoin the fight.
"I just overreacted and should have realized that they might be braking a lot earlier than I was going into one," said Patterson. "It caught me off guard and I hate it because I feel like I let the team down but, lesson learned, and we'll go for it again in Long Beach."
After rejoining the pack, Patterson brought the car back up from twenty-seventh to turn the car over to Oswaldo Negri, who took over from fifteenth position. Negri was battling to regain a lap to the leader, and was making swift progress, but he too, came into trouble as he had to go off-course as two competitors collected each other, giving him no option but take to the grass. The excursion thankfully didn't damage the car, but once again, the Flight Options car lost precious time and track position.
"I didn't have any choice there," said Negri "We were really flying, and I was just trying to make up some ground, but those guys took each other out, and I was right there with no way to avoid it but go into the grass. It's disappointing for sure because we could have made it back into the fight. Just tough luck all around. We had the car and were fast all weekend, but we just need to make it stick."
The bad luck race was a big letdown for the team, which had rallied to prepare the new machinery for the Miami event.
"Our performance today was nowhere near indicative of how strong we are, so of course that's a big disappointment for us, to know we had a good chance to get some points tonight and we just couldn't capitalize on it," said team owner Mike Shank. "We're going to be busy gearing up for Long Beach, and will just try and get this one behind us."