Michael Shank Racing takes Rolex "Moment of the Year" Massive fan support leads to new award for MSR (Columbus, OH) 21 September 2007-- Michael Shank Racing didn't just win the final race of the 2006 season, but the Columbus-based team also...
Michael Shank Racing takes Rolex "Moment of the Year"
Massive fan support leads to new award for MSR
(Columbus, OH) 21 September 2007-- Michael Shank Racing didn't just win the final race of the 2006 season, but the Columbus-based team also seems to have won the hearts and support of Rolex fans from all over.
The team's breakthrough race victory in the 2006 season finale at Miller Motorsports Park was one of eight "Rolex Moment of the Year" nominees eligible for the honor as Rolex race fans were asked to pick their favorite.
After the counting was complete, the Michael Shank Racing Moment was the clear choice of Rolex fans, who flocked to the Grand Am website to register their selection of the thrilling victory by Mark Patterson and Oswaldo Negri in the Utah night to close out the 2006 season.
Officials from Grand Am made the announcement during the season-ending Rolex banquet in Las Vegas this week.
The team was looking for another victorious chapter this season and was in fine form in the 2007 SunChaser event as Negri and Patterson were joined by Justin Wilson for the 139-lap event. Unfortunately, a probable podium was prevented when an alternator belt dislodged from the motor, forcing the team to make five pit stops to change batteries in order to keep the Lexus running.
"We were hoping to end off the season with a win on the track of course," said team owner Mike Shank. "But we'll happily take this one as well. It means a lot to this whole team to have the whole community respond like this and pick our moment as the winner. It's been a great season of Rolex racing this year and there were obviously a lot of moments to pick from, so to get the nod feels good. We'll go looking for that on-track win again in the 24."
The 2006 race win, which saw Negri and Patterson both do extensive duty at the helm of the Lexus-Riley, fueled the motor manufacturer into the victory circle as 2006 Manufacturer Champions, and also sealed the deal as Patterson chased the Trueman Award.
"That was certainly a highlight of my career, and to have everyone vote for us feels really special and I want to thank everyone who did," said Negri. "We were hoping to finish out on a high note this season and to get this recognition I think fuels us as we start working on 2008."
Michael Shank Racing would like to thank all the team sponsors, suppliers, fans, competitors, and Rolex Sports Car Series staff, for a remarkable 2007 season and looks forward to being even stronger again in 2008. Thank you for your support.