Sears Point: Michael Shank Racing qualifying report

Michael Shank Racing gains big ground in qualifying Fastest laps of the weekend come at the right time out West (Sonoma, CA) August 24 2007--Mark Patterson continued to find time at Infineon Raceway as he set the fastest lap of his Rolex...

Michael Shank Racing gains big ground in qualifying
Fastest laps of the weekend come at the right time out West

(Sonoma, CA) August 24 2007--Mark Patterson continued to find time at Infineon Raceway as he set the fastest lap of his Rolex career at the track on Friday with a flying 1:30.977-second tour of the 2.52-mile natural terrain circuit. The time secured eleventh on the grid for Patterson in the No. 60 Lexus-Riley in Saturday's Armed Forces 250.

John Pew has also been making significant improvement in his first Rolex race weekend at the track, slashing seconds off his time to score a spot on the seventh row with a 1:31.213-second lap during the fifteen minute session, which was cut short due to an on-track incident with nearly five minutes remaining.

"John made a big gain today, and Mark just keeps getting better no matter where we are," said team owner Mike Shank. "We'll just have to avoid any problems at the start and hopefully we can catch a break with the timing if we have any yellows. We're really hoping to gain a little more ground in the championship with both cars before Miller and this is a good way to start on that."

Pew has previous race experience at Infineon in a formula car, and has been working to translate that knowledge into the Daytona Prototypes.

"The car felt good-as grippy as it has been all weekend," said Pew. "We've been getting faster and I was pushing pretty hard out there. I think we could have gone a little better if we had the full session, but I'm pretty happy with how much progress we've already made so far and tomorrow should be good."

Patterson has had some outstanding race starts so far this season and will look to get another good jump at the green on Saturday afternoon.

"We've made a lot of progress and there were some sections where the car was just perfect," said Patterson. "I think we could have gone even a little bit better if the session hadn't stopped early, but now we need to focus on having this car quick in race trim. This thing can be a beast with full fuel and cold tires, but I think starting on the inside line like we are is going to be a help at the start tomorrow."

-credit: msr

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