Michael Shank Racing drivers step it up in Mid-Ohio qualifying (Columbus, OH) 23 June 06--Michael Shank Racing will start the EMCO Gears Classic from eleventh on the grid with the No. 60 Flight Options Lexus/Riley of Mark Patterson and Oswaldo...
Michael Shank Racing drivers step it up in Mid-Ohio qualifying
(Columbus, OH) 23 June 06--Michael Shank Racing will start the EMCO Gears Classic from eleventh on the grid with the No. 60 Flight Options Lexus/Riley of Mark Patterson and Oswaldo Negri, and fourteenth with the No.6 Playboy Racing/Mears Motor Coach Lexus/Riley of Tommy Constantine and Mike Borkowski.
The qualifying result is a career-best for Patterson, who impressed with a strong run along with Negri to fourth in the Watkins Glen 6 hour event earlier in June.
"The car felt really good, and I was just trying not to be too greedy out there," said Patterson. "We haven't started this weekend off as quickly as this team normally does in part because the track conditions are much different from what we experienced here last time, but I think this qualifying result shows that the car is back in normal Michael Shank Racing shape, which is to say, easy to drive very fast. I'm looking forward to a clean race start, and hopefully we can get another good points finish like we had at the Glen."
The session also marked Constantine's first-ever Daytona Prototype qualifying effort, as he stepped up to the challenge much the same way he did in his Prototype debut at Watkins Glen to score a spot on the seventh row.
"The track is so much different from when we tested, we have just been chasing the grip all weekend," said Constantine. "But we have another practice session in the morning, and we'll keep working on the Playboy Racing car to be in good shape for the race. I know there is more speed in the car, and hopefully we can just get a clean start and set a good pace before turning the car over to Mike to take it to the finish."
The Mid-Ohio race weekend is a special one for the Columbus, Ohio-based team, and the qualifying results have team owner Mike Shank looking forward to finding a new chapter of success at the track where he himself first got his start in racing.
"We didn't come out of the gates as fast as we normally do, but I think both cars have made a lot of progress even though we sat out the rain session this morning," said Shank. "Tommy and Mark both did a great job today, and we feel like we have caught up to where we should be with the cars for the race tomorrow. I'd really like to get on the podium here at the home track, so hopefully we can avoid other people's trouble, keep a good pace, and score another good finish."