Atlanta II: Patrick Sheltra preview

Patrick Sheltra To Make NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Debut With Andy Belmont Racing At Atlanta "Two Of ARCAville's Best Unite Under One Umbrella For '07 NASCAR Debut" MOORESVILLE, North Carolina (October 24, 2007) - - Andy Belmont...

Patrick Sheltra To Make NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Debut With Andy Belmont Racing At Atlanta

"Two Of ARCAville's Best Unite Under One Umbrella For '07 NASCAR Debut"

MOORESVILLE, North Carolina (October 24, 2007) - - Andy Belmont Racing (ABR) in conjunction with Sheltra Motorsports announced today that 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series (ARS) rookie Patrick Sheltra will pilot ABR's No. 12 Racegear.com Chevrolet Silverado in Saturday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS).

After as strong season in the ARS, Andy Belmont Racing headquartered in Concord, North Carolina is taking their next step into turning their longstanding Motorsports organization into a diverse company by competing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for several of the remaining events this season. With a sensational third place ARCA finish at Talladega Superspeedway earlier this month, not to mention a brilliant top-five and race leading performance earlier this fall at Gateway International Speedway, ABR has put themselves back on the map as serious contenders week in and week out. And despite the new obstacles that ABR may face this weekend at Atlanta, the organization is ready to continue their charge to superior status with the talented 21-year old Sheltra at the helm.

"We're very excited about our newest challenge in NASCAR and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series," said Belmont, a former NASCAR Nextel Cup Series driver. "I've stepped out of the driver's seat with the intent to grow this organization to the top. We had a very successful ARCA season with Dominick Casola driving and now the opportunity has been presented to us here in the NCTS. We plan on making the best of it, there is no question we have a big learning curve ahead of us."

Taking the wheel of ABR's Chevrolet Silverado is Indiantown, Florida's Patrick Sheltra. Hailing from the dirt, Sheltra recently completed his first full season of stock car competition in the ARCA RE/MAX Series for his family owned Sheltra Motorsports team. Competing in 22 of the 23 events this year, the likable rookie captured two top-fives and five top-10 finishes including a strong eighth place run in the season finale at Toledo Speedway on October 14.

With the Sheltra Motorsports planning to return to the ARCA RE/MAX Series full time in 2008, the team was also looking at expanding their operation to NASCAR, but thanks to the opportunity from Andy Belmont Racing, the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series Hoosier Hard Charger Award Winner will make his dream a reality much earlier than anticipated.

"I've very honored to have this opportunity to drive for Andy Belmont and his team this weekend at Atlanta," said Sheltra, who finished seventh in the ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship Standings this year. "I couldn't ask to be associated with a more dedicated organization than Andy Belmont Racing. I heard the team was going to advance to NASCAR later this year and to have been given the nod from NASCAR and ABR to make my NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut this weekend is very humbling."

"I've watched Patrick all year in the ARCA RE/MAX Series and he impressed me," added Belmont. "He reminds me of myself when I first started out racing, he stands in the gas and I know that Patrick has the talent and ability to become a successful NASCAR driver. We are very delighted to have him represent our team and sponsors this weekend at AMS. This is a building block for our future."

Picking up the primary sponsorship role of ABR's Silverado this weekend is Racegear.com.

Racegear.com is a full-service NASCAR news site that includes original news stories, opinion columns and comments from readers on each story. Racegear.com also runs a NASCAR merchandise web site, store.racegear.com, which features more than 2,000 unique NASCAR items.

Racegear.com, has also become an important asset to the ABR family as the corporation has also tied the knot to help support Focus Motorsports Ministries (FMM) and ARCA Chaplin Bill Krick alongside his wife Diana for the remainder of the year and the full 2008 ARCA schedule.

"After meeting Andy Belmont and learning about his involvement with Focus Motorsports Ministries, we jumped at the chance to sponsor the No. 12 Racegear.com Chevrolet Silverado in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race in Atlanta," said Racegear.com President Joe Metz. "This is our way of giving back to the Motorsports community, By sponsoring the truck, we're also able to offset the cost of flying Chaplain Bill to every race. We think he's an important inspiration to the drivers, crews and all the personnel involved in ARCA. He's there to support them spiritually, so they can do their jobs safely and perform at their best," Metz added. "Racegear.com is proud to be associated with Andy Belmont Racing and Focus Motorsports Ministries."

"We are honored that we could put this program together which ultimately benefits the Focus Motorsports Ministry. The outpouring of support for Focus as we head to our annual benefit auction has been tremendous," noted Belmont.

In addition to Racegear.com, ABR and Sheltra welcome CP Concrete Products, US Construction, Indiantown Marina, Palm Beach Grading (PBG) and Continental Fire & Safety on board as associate sponsors for the 22nd NCTS event of the season.

"I'm extremely appreciative to all of the sponsors who have helped make this race possible," added Sheltra, who plans to compete in a limited NCTS schedule in 2008. "Without the support of our sponsors, the opportunity would have never been presented to me to enter the NASCAR world. For that, I am forever grateful."

With only 36 trucks entered for Saturday's thriller, Sheltra is feeling a sign of relief of being guaranteed into the starting field, but admits there is still a lot to learn. "I know that NASCAR is a whole new ball-game for me, but I am welcoming it. I'm very excited to be apart of Saturday's race, but I have to remind myself I still have an important job to do. This is a brand new truck for the team and luckily we'll have a good amount of practice on Friday to be able shake down the truck to a competitive level. In qualifying on Saturday, I am looking for a solid starting position while keeping the real goal in mind to finish the race on Saturday afternoon. We have not set any goals for ourselves other than to complete all 200 miles at Atlanta Motor Speedway. I don't plan to let the team down," Sheltra sounded.

-credit: abr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Andy Belmont , Patrick Sheltra , Dominick Casola