Michael Shank Racing fast right off the trailer at Mid-O (Columbus, OH)- 25 August 05-- With ten additional members of the crew, a brand new race car, a new transporter, new pit equipment, two drivers who haven't competed in the series since ...
Michael Shank Racing fast right off the trailer at Mid-O
(Columbus, OH)- 25 August 05-- With ten additional members of the crew, a brand new race car, a new transporter, new pit equipment, two drivers who haven't competed in the series since April, and a myriad of other variables, it could well be expected that Michael Shank Racing might have experienced a hiccup or two in their first day of testing for the Emco Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio.
Instead, everything went almost exactly to plan as the MSR entries both ended the day in the top six in unofficial times during the promoter test day.
"It was a really good day for us," smiled team owner Mike Shank. "Everyone has put in so much work to be prepared for the two-car effort, and we were strong in both sessions with both cars. Mark and Oz got up to speed right away, and Paul and Mike are right there with them so this was absolutely the right way to get the weekend started."
The Mears Motor Coach machine of Mike Borkowski and Paul Mears finished the day less than a second off the pace of the championship-leading Suntrust car for an unofficial sixth quickest lap of the day.
"The car was really good today, and Paul did a good job in the car," said Borkowski. "We should be able to come up with some small changes overnight and hopefully we can just keep improving through the weekend. This track is really a great place for us to race-it's going to be busy with the traffic, but it's a great track."
The striking new colors of sponsor Flight Options on the new Riley-Lexus combination weren't the only thing raising eyebrows Thursday, as the #60 car of Mark Patterson and Oswaldo Negri posted a lap that was third quickest on the day, less than a tenth of a second from the fastest.
"What can I say?" smiled Negri. "I am just so pleased to be able to get in the car after being away for so many months, and be competitive right away. I didn't get a clean lap in, but we know that this car is very fast and we can keep improving. Mark did a fantastic job in the car once again and I think he is going to be very strong in the race. I know I say this all the time-but it's true, this team is incredible, and we all are just looking forward to the race."
The team will be back to work on Friday for practice and qualifying sessions, with Saturday's race scheduled to get underway at 5:30 PM EST. The race will be shown on a tape delayed basis on Speed Channel, 12:00 pm ET, Sunday, August 28th.