Watkins Glen II: Michael Shank Racing preview

Michael Shank Racing heads to the Glen with repaired car and high hopes The little team that can retains 4th in the championship and is looking for a podium return Columbus, OH (August 11 04)--Michael Shank Racing is looking to rebound...

Michael Shank Racing heads to the Glen with repaired car and high hopes

The little team that can retains 4th in the championship and is looking for a podium return

Columbus, OH (August 11 04)--Michael Shank Racing is looking to rebound quickly after a disappointing finish at the team's home race last weekend. MSR finished 12th in class at Mid-Ohio after running in the lead pack in the early stages of the race before a wheel came off at high speed and sent the 6 car spinning off-track. The team worked quickly to get the car back on track during the race, and Burt Frisselle ran a strong final stint to gain some positions and bring the damaged car home to the finish. The MSR crew has worked late into the nights during the short turn-around to repair the car, and drivers Frisselle and Oswaldo Negri will be looking for a better finish on Friday in the Sahlen's 200 at the Glen as part of the NASCAR Nextel Cup weekend for round eight of the 2004 championship.

Despite the tough result at Mid-Ohio, MSR still lies fourth in the team championship, and award winning team owner Mike Shank is hoping to use the Glen race weekend as a springboard to a strong finish to the season.

"We needed to get a good result at Mid-Ohio and were running right where we wanted to be in the lead pack, but the problem with the wheel obviously set us back," said Shank. "But we have the chance to be strong again at the Glen this weekend-we have learned so much about our car since racing here in June, we are looking to make the most of this weekend."

The team, which is contesting in its first season of Rolex Series competition, continues to improve each round as the team adjusts to the format of the races, which range from three hours to twenty-four, and are a stark contrast to the Atlantic's sprint format the team earned so much success in before making the move to Grand American. Another significant difference is the variety of chassis and engines which compete in Daytona Prototypes, and Shank is hoping that will be an advantage this weekend.

"This track should suit our high-revving Lexus motor," said Shank. "Lexus has continued to improve every race-these guys are absolutely committed to nothing less than victory, and it shows. Burt and Os keep getting better every race-they communicate what's going on with the car very well-not just with each other, but also too with Dale Wise, our lead engineer on the car. There isn't a minute during the race weekend that we aren't working on something to improve the car."

The race will be broadcast on the Speed Channel at 10 PM EST on Friday.

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.

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