Mid-Ohio: Michael Shank Racing qualifying report

Fast Start for Michael Shank Racing at Mid-Ohio (Mansfield, OH) 19 June 2009- Michael Shank Racing got a strong start to the team's home event on Friday as the team was fast in all four sessions of Rolex Sports Car Series action at the Mid-Ohio...

Fast Start for Michael Shank Racing at Mid-Ohio

(Mansfield, OH) 19 June 2009- Michael Shank Racing got a strong start to the team's home event on Friday as the team was fast in all four sessions of Rolex Sports Car Series action at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in advance of Saturday's EMCO Gears Classic.

After the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley of John Pew and Michael Valiante and the No. 60 Westfield Insurance entry of Mark Patterson and Oswaldo Negri were the two quickest cars in the first two practice sessions, the 6 and 60 once again were fleet in the third Trueman Award session as Patterson posted the fastest time.

The tables were turned in qualifying, as Pew posted a 1:19.788-second flyer to take the inside of the fourth row, with Patterson just behind with his 1:20.224-second lap to take ninth on the grid.

"This is right where we should be, and both John and Mark did great jobs," said team owner Mike Shank. "Mark lost a couple of laps with a throttle problem but he did a great job to not only get the car back to the pits, but also to get right back into a qualifying mindset with some quick laps there at the end. We had a great visit with the Westfield folks today and everyone is excited about our cars being 1-2 all day, so hopefully we can be there for a strong finish with both cars at the end of the day tomorrow."

"This is a good spot to start from, but I'll admit that I was hoping for a little bit more," said Pew. "The car had a little bit of a push and I was trying to do the best job I could to drive around that a little bit. Michael (Valiante) has been great to work with and so I was just trying to put some of his advice to good use out there today. Hopefully we get a dry race start, but either way this car has been strong so I'm optimistic about tomorrow."

"I can't believe John got me right at the end!" smiled Patterson. "The start of the session was quite difficult because the car went right to full throttle so I had to manage the clutch and gears and get back to the pits without hurting the car or the motor. It was a shame to lose a couple of laps with that problem, but I'm quite happy that we were able to get back out and put some laps in. We made improvements with the set-up after the Truman session, but I was still experiencing a good bit of push in the car. The track has a lot more rubber down than it did before and that certainly effected things."

-credit: msr

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