Double top-ten for Michael Shank Racing at home track (Columbus, OH) 24 June 06--Michael Shank Racing scored a strong double-top ten finish in the EMCO Gears Classic presented by Key Bank at the team's home track on Saturday evening. The...
Double top-ten for Michael Shank Racing at home track
(Columbus, OH) 24 June 06--Michael Shank Racing scored a strong double-top ten finish in the EMCO Gears Classic presented by Key Bank at the team's home track on Saturday evening.
The Flight Options Lexus-Riley of Mark Patterson and Oswaldo Negri converted Patterson's eleventh on the grid into seventh at the finish, as Mike Borkowski and Tommy Constantine moved up five positions to score ninth in the two hour and forty-five minute race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The results mark the best finish for the Columbus, Ohio-based team in Rolex competition at their home circuit.
"This was quite a weekend for us, being so close to home we had a great group of guests and supporters here," said Shank. "And to bring both cars home in the top ten after not getting the best start to the weekend is really encouraging. Our cars were only average at the beginning of the weekend, but everyone just kept working at it, and we were pretty fast by racetime today. We have never had much good luck at this track racing in Rolex, so it's even better that we were strong with both cars, got to the finish, and got more valuable points."
Patterson started off from eleventh on the grid after putting in the best qualifying performance of his young Rolex career, and had no trouble keeping the Flight Options machine in the thick of the battle, racing as high as eighth before turning the controls over to Negri.
"The car was simply beautiful," said Patterson. "We didn't make a single mistake all race, and even though we ran in traffic most of the time, I had no problem clicking off some fast laps. We had a great strategy with our pit stops, and I think had there been fewer yellows, some of the guys who finished ahead of us would have had their luck and their fuel run out. But we will gladly take the points and get ready for Daytona, because this team is really clicking."
The Playboy Racing/Mears Motor Coach machine of Borkowski and Constantine carded their third top-ten result of the season, although the traffic frustrated Constantine throughout his stint.
"I was really frustrated by the lack of sportsmanship that Tommy Drissi showed today," said Constantine. "I was surprised by how he was racing out there, and more so that Grand Am didn't do anything about it, because it cost us a lot of track position. Otherwise, I felt like we had a fast race car, and it feels good to get another finish under my belt in the Playboy Racing car, and that it was a top ten is even better!"
The Mid-Ohio round will be backed up quickly by another race this Thursday, as the team returns to the site of their season-opening podium performance and the Brumos 250 at the Daytona International Speedway. The race will be run as part of the NASCAR Nextel Cup event weekend, and the team started preparations immediately after the race ended to be ready to go first thing Thursday morning, as the Daytona event is a one-day affair.
The Mid-Ohio round will be broadcast on a tape delay basis on Sunday starting at 3:00 PM ET on Speed Channel.