Phoenix: Michael Shank Racing race report

Michael Shank Racing Finishes Sixth at Phoenix (Phoenix, AZ)--The ...

Michael Shank Racing Finishes Sixth at Phoenix

(Phoenix, AZ)--The #6 Michael Shank Racing Lexus-Doran finished sixth at Phoenix International Raceway in the Food City 250 Saturday after a lengthy pit stop knocked the team out of front-running contention in the later stages of the race. Oswaldo Negri took the green flag from third position, and kept the car close to the front, running in the top five for the first eighty laps but suffered contact from a slower car that he was overtaking.

When Negri brought the car into the pits for the teams first stop, disaster struck as the right rear tire would not come off the car owing to the damaged suspension. The team quickly identified the problem and completed the driver change, and sent Burt Frisselle back on track to battle from the twelfth position.

Frisselle put his head down and despite being knocked off track twice, managed to power the car back up to sixth place at the finish, as he came up just short in his last lap bid for fifth. It was a strong stint for the young racer in just his second start in the category, and even more impressive given that he had to run the same right rear tire for the entire distance of the race, severely compromising his race pace.

Team owner Mike Shank was hoping to have reached the podium, given the teams strong qualifying performance and good pace in the first part of the race, but knows the team has what it takes to get back on top.

"We had a podium car tonight, no question, but we just didn't catch the breaks tonight," said Shank. "We got a bit unlucky with the pit call, and then the damage to the rear was a big problem, but my crew did a great job on the car, and the drivers both raced well, so we will focus on our test, and get ready to race again at Tremblant."

"We were just cruising at the beginning, keeping the leaders in sight, but when that car hit me, it really affected our race, unfortunately," lamented Negri. "But it was still a solid finish and we know we have the package to be competitive, so we have to just be happy with the points we earned here and move on to the next race."

Burt Frisselle continues to improve in the car and was glad to emerge relatively unscathed from the tight confines of the Phoenix track, and is looking forward to getting back in the car as soon as he can.

"I really got knocked around a lot out there, and that part of the race really wasn't that much fun," said Frisselle. "But chasing down those cars in the closing laps was very exciting and pretty satisfying. I feel more confident every time I am in the car, and this race was certainly a big test for me to deal with all the traffic. The crew did a great job all weekend, we should be happy with this result, but we are of course hungry for success, so we will keep working toward it."

The team will now return to the shop in Columbus, Ohio, and prepare for the upcoming test in advance of the next round of Rolex competition at Mount Tremblant in Canada on the weekend of May 21-3.

-msr-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Burt Frisselle , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing