Michael Shank Racing rockets to fourth in qualifying at Mid-Ohio The little team that can will start from second row in home race Lexington, OH (August 6 04)--The Michael Shank Racing Lexus-powered Doran will start the EMCO Gears Road Racing...
Michael Shank Racing rockets to fourth in qualifying at Mid-Ohio
The little team that can will start from second row in home race
Lexington, OH (August 6 04)--The Michael Shank Racing Lexus-powered Doran will start the EMCO Gears Road Racing Classic at Mid Ohio from fourth on the grid after driver Oswaldo Negri dug deep late in the qualifying session with a 1:20.772-second lap for Saturday's race. Columbus-based MSR is currently in fourth in the team championship, and is looking to make the most of the home track weekend for points.
Negri and fellow pilot Burt Frisselle of Kiheii, Hawaii, were second fastest in the morning practice session, but some slower traffic during the qualifying prevented the team from showing their true speed.
"I am so proud of the guys on the team-we test the least of anyone, and still we show up every race and are consistently in the top-five, so hats off to the crew" said Negri. "It took some time to get the car up to temperature, but we were fast once it did! The result is a little frustrating since I got blocked by traffic on my fastest lap, but the car is quick and consistent, so we are focused on doing well in the race."
Award winning team owner Mike Shank was also hoping to be closer to the front in qualifying, but he knows the team has prepared a quick car, and that his drivers are up to the task.
"Os did a really good job-there is a couple lap window with the tires to get the optimum out of them, and he was able to set his fastest lap well after that, so he's impressed us again," Shank said. "We have been targeting being in the top-five in qualifying every race, so we were able to do that and we should be very competitive tomorrow. We have a lot of friends, family, and sponsors on hand for the event, so we are very excited about the race."
Michael Shank Racing was formed in 1989 when Michael Shank first began driving racing cars professionally, taking the award as SCCA-Ohio Valley Region's Novice Driver of the Year. Shank retired from the cockpit in 1997 after moving up the motorsports ladder to focus his efforts on running the team, which quickly found success in the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship, with several race wins leading Shank to be named as Team Owner of the Year twice in four years. MSR has campaigned drivers including Johnny Rutherford Jr., Kenny Wilden, and 2001 and 2002 Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish, Jr.
MSR is making the transition to the Rolex Series from open-wheel competition for the 2004 season in the Rolex Sports Car Series, campaigning a Lexus-powered Doran JE4.