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Patrick Sheltra Returns To Toledo To End Rookie Season On High Note

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Patrick Sheltra, Hantz Group 200

Patrick Sheltra Returns To Toledo To End Rookie Season On High Note

Chris Knight
Sheltra Motorsports
October 10, 2007

TOLEDO, Ohio (October 10, 2007) - - ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Patrick Sheltra returns to Toledo Speedway this weekend looking to turn his string of consistent finishes into an award winning performance in Sunday’s Hantz Group 200 presented by Belle Tire.

Sheltra, driving the No. 60 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS for his family owned Sheltra Motorsports team has enjoyed success in his inaugural ARCA campaign but the 21-year rising star will admit he turns to ARCA’s hometown turf to hopefully reward him with a season best finish and some momentum leaning into his sophomore season in 2008.

Earlier this year the avid dirt competitor made his Toledo Speedway debut. After qualifying 21st, Sheltra encountered some early race hiccups but battled back to finish 28th. This weekend he returns to the half-mile oval looking for a rematch and his fifth top-10 finish of the year.

“I’m looking forward to Toledo ,” said Sheltra. “I had some bad luck there in the spring, but we are going to the race this weekend looking to give no mercy. We’ve worked hard on our short program in the second half of the season and I strongly believe that we’ll continue to show our improvements this weekend.”

Coming off his restrictor plate debut at Talladega Superspeedway last Friday, Sheltra knows the two races are a complete 360 but he is banking on the experience of his Sheltra Motorsports team led by crew chief and former ARCA driver John Hayden and team manger Keith Strunk.

“My guys have been great,” sounded Sheltra. “I couldn’t ask for a better bunch. We’ve been able to preserve through some misfortune this year. I truly believe it has only made our team stronger. That will continue over to 2008, I promise.”

Another reason that the Indiantown, Florida native is eager to get to Toledo Speedway is because the team will unveil a new hot rod courtesy of Richard Childress Racing. “We are going to have an excellent car this weekend,” Sheltra added. “This is our real first short track car in our stables and we’re excited about it. The guys in Kentucky have been working hard to get this machine ready to go and the tell me it’s going to be fast.”

He added, “I’ll have a new spotter this weekend at Toledo too. Jennifer Belmont who is a popular spotter in the ARCA RE/MAX Series will be guiding me this weekend. I’m excited to have someone of her caliber up there maneuvering me through the field and traffic. I know she’ll do an awesome job this weekend and I’m glad she’s on our side.”

Sitting seventh in the championship standings with just once remaining, Sheltra knows that a competitive finish walking away from Toledo can help him claim a strong position and a guaranteed spot on the stage at the Championship Awards Banquet on December 8.

“I can’t wait for the banquet. It’s going to be a great time. I can’t catch the other Justin (Marks) in sixth but we gained some points over Justin (South) in eighth but we have to head to Toledo this weekend with the same outlook we’ve had all year. If we don’t give 150 percent, we don’t need to be here. No worries though, we’re going to give 150 percent.”

Continuing their sponsorship of Sheltra's No. 60 entry this week is CP Concrete Products, US Construction, SawHorse Outfitters, Brady Ranch and FloraGanics.

Before turning all of his attention towards making his second career Toledo ARCA RE/MAX Series start, Sheltra will join a host of drivers at the third annual ARS Fan Fest at Toledo Speedway on Friday, October 12 from 5:00-6:30 p.m. local time.

Following Toledo, Sheltra and Co. will announce their plans for the 2008 season at the ARCA championship awards banquet at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington , Kentucky on Saturday, December 8.

The Hantz Group 200 presented by Belle Tire (200 laps/100 miles) is the 23rd of 23 races on the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule. The 62nd ARCA race held at Toledo Speedway is a two-day show. Practice begins Saturday, October 13 with an hour and-a-half hour practice session planned from 12:30-2:00 p.m. ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying is set for later in the day at 3:30 p.m. The event will take the green flag on October 14th, shortly after 2:00 p.m. The race will be televised live on SPEED with additional race coverage online at arcaracing.com. All times are local.

For more on Patrick Sheltra, please visit PatrickSheltra.com

Patrick Sheltra, Sheltra Motorsports, Toledo Speedway Notes of Interest:

· Sheltra sits seventh in the ARCA championship standings and third in the ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie-of-the-Year standings despite missing the season opener at Daytona International Speedway in February.

· Patrick Sheltra will make his 24th career ARCA RE/MAX Series start on Sunday afternoon. In his previous 23 starts, Sheltra has collected two top-fives at Berlin Raceway (July 2007) and Illinois State Fairgrounds (August 2007) while holding additional top-10s at Kentucky Speedway in June and DuQuoin State Fairgrounds in September.

· Patrick Sheltra is a native of Indiantown , Florida

· Patrick Sheltra and members of his Sheltra Motorsports team will officially announce their 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series plans at the Championship Awards Banquet at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, Kentucky on December 8.

· Sheltra Motorsports will participate in the three-day open ARCA RE/MAX Series test at Daytona International Speedway on December 14, 15 and 16 in preparation for the ARCA 200 at Daytona in February of 2008.

NAME: Chris Knight, Sheltra Motorsports
PHONE: 239.834.9797
EMAIL: Knight849@aol.com

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