Patrick Sheltra Rallies To Career-Best Speedway Qualifying Run At Pocono
Topics: Patrick Sheltra, Messina Wildlife Animal Stopper 200
LONG POND, Pennsylvania (June 4, 2010) - - You cannot not be impressed with the season that Indiantown, Florida native Patrick Sheltra is having. Even though the fresh 24-year old rising star hasn’t visited victory lane yet, Sheltra’s powerful ARCA presence continues to build momentum as the driver of the No. 60 Recycling Services / Ferguson Pipe Toyota Camry qualified a speedway career-best sixth on Friday afternoon in preparation for tomorrow’s Messina Wildlife Animal Stopper 200 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.
Earlier Friday, Sheltra, nicknamed “Mr. Showtime” for his unique yet masterful driving ability posted ironically the sixth fastest lap in the lone practice session of the weekend. The effort was solid, not just because it was Sheltra’s best ever overall practice rundown in seven prior trips to Pocono, but the fact that the team only competed six laps around the 2.5-mile triangle instantly stirred up positive attention around the garage area.
“We had a hiccup with the fuel line in practice,” explained Sheltra, the current ARCA Racing Series point’s leader. “The team quickly diagnosed the problem and we corrected it. The bad part was that we weren’t able to get back on track for practice. Nonetheless, the car is good and hopefully that was the only adversity we’ll face the rest of the weekend.”
He added, “We converted this car from a Dodge to a Toyota during the off-season, so we were a little optimistic about how it would perform on the track with no testing, but it’s a good car with some serious speed, so I’m happy.”
After another thorough check by the Sheltra Motorsports team, the veteran ARCA team set their sights on Menards Pole by Ansell qualifying. The team was set to roll off 10th in time trials, but Sheltra’s attack on the “tricky triangle” would be moved up by two spots. In the one-lap hustle, Sheltra maneuvered his Grace Sheltra owned Camry to a time of 55.242 seconds at 162.920 miles per hour, a tick slower than his fastest lap in practice earlier in the day. At the time, Sheltra posted the second fastest run but as qualifying progressed, Sheltra slowly slid down the pylon before landing in sixth after 33 pilots posted a qualifying lap.
Friday’s effort awarded Sheltra, one of the most popular drivers in the garage with his career-best qualifying run at the Pennsylvania speed plant in addition to accelerating past his previous speedway best starting spot of eighth at Kansas Speedway in 2008.
Satisfied with the run, Sheltra exited his machine with a smile on his face. “We surely would have liked to started inside the top-three to gain some bonus points but I’m really confident in our No. 60 Recycling Services / Ferguson Pipe Toyota for tomorrow’s race. The car was a little free, that’s something that we’ve been fighting ever since we unloaded but we’ll tweak on it during the race and hope it will pay off in more ways than one.”
The aspiring NASCAR racer went on to say, “the hard work and dedication of the Sheltra Motorsports team is really showing on and off the race track. Jon (Wolfe, crew chief), Tom (Buzze), Ryan (Chism), Brandon (Hylton), Doug (Kriser), Rob (Moss), Matt (Roberts) and Sam (Schram) haven’t given anything less than 100 percent since Daytona and words cannot express how appreciative I am for their efforts. I look forward to every opportunity I can to get behind the wheel of our racecars.”
As for the contest on Saturday, Sheltra noted patience, handling, horsepower and fuel mileage could all come into play. “Pocono can throw a lot of hazards your way,” he sounded. “It’s an incredible place to race, one of my favorites but there is so much that needs to go right in order to have a good finish. Triad (Toyota) has given us a whale of a motor so without a doubt, I know we’re capable of taming the track tomorrow and continue what already has been a remarkable season.”
While the 2010 ARCA championship likely won’t be decided until the season-finale at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway, Sheltra and his posse are looking for their seventh consecutive top-10 run in ARCA’s 50th event at Pocono Raceway. Sheltra is the only driver who has finished inside the top-10 in all the races run thus far this year. He holds a 10-point margin over second-place runner Justin Marks, who starts alongside the No. 60 machine in the fifth position.
Entering Pocono, Sheltra has 73 ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards starts to his credit with one career victory at Salem (Ind.) Speedway (April 2009). During his ARCA tenure, Sheltra has accumulated 13 top-fives and posted 28 top-10 finishes. A third place qualifying effort at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway (April 2009) is Sheltra’s best time trials efforts to date. He has controlled the ARCA field six times for 148 laps.
The Messina Wildlife Animal Stopper 200 (80 laps / 200 miles) is the seventh of 20 events on the 2010 ARCA Racing Series schedule. The 50th ARCA race at Pocono Raceway is a two-day show. Practice begins Friday, June 4 with an hour and forty minute practice session planned from 10:15 a.m. - 11:55 a.m. Menards Pole by Ansell qualifying is set for later in the day slated to begin at 1:45 p.m. The event will take the green flag on Saturday, June 5 shortly after 1:00 p.m. The event will be tape-delayed on SPEED and will air at 4:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon. The race however will be broadcasted live through the ARCA Racing Network (ARN) online at arcaracing.com. All times are local.
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About Sheltra Motorsports:
Sheltra Motorsports (sheltramotorsports.com) is a three-tier Motorsports operation consisting of dirt and asphalt competition. Patrick Sheltra, a 23-year old native of Indiantown, Florida competes in the UMP and WoO (Dirt) Series; while also running a full schedule in the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards (No. 60) and a limited schedule in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Sheltra Motorsports ownership is combined of Richard, Grace and Patrick Sheltra. The team is headquartered in Indiantown, Florida with additional operations in Richmond, Indiana and Mooresville, North Carolina.
TEAM COMMUNICATIONS CONTACT:
NAME: Chris Knight, Sheltra Motorsports
PHONE: 239.834.9797 or 239.214.1083
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