Patrick Sheltra Lands Eighth In Final Practice At New Jersey Motorsports Park
Topics: Patrick Sheltra, Garden State ARCA 150
MILLVILLE, New Jersey (August 11, 2010) - - Under gorgeous practice conditions, ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards driver Patrick Sheltra maneuvered the eighth fastest lap Saturday afternoon in the final practice session leading up to tomorrow’s Garden State ARCA 150 presented by American Red Cross, the third-ever ARCA road course event held at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP).
After negotiating the ninth fastest time in the first practice session earlier today, Sheltra and his Sheltra Motorsports team led by veteran crew chief Jon Wolfe put their thinking caps on and came up with a few changes for the one-hour session; also known in racing as “happy hour”; hoping to improve the handling of Sheltra’s Chevrolet bowtie while also make a dent in his gap to the lead pack.
During his 10 lap-tango with the 2.25-mile paved road course, Sheltra maneuvered his black No. 60 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS to a time of 84.236 seconds, transferring to a speed of 96.158 miles per hour. The Mooresville, North Carolina-based team enjoyed nearly a second and a half pick-up time from their best practice effort in the hour and a half session earlier Saturday.
In the final five minutes of happy hour, the team opted to make a qualifying run hoping to give them a baseline on what they possibly could expect later this afternoon in Menards Pole by Ansell qualifying. Initially, Sheltra jumped from ninth to fourth on the rundown before his other ARCA competitors made their simulated qualifying runs which slid the No. 60 down the scoring pylon to eventually land eighth.
“Overall, we’re happy with the car,” said a smiling Sheltra. “Jon (Wolfe, crew chief) and the guys on this Sheltra Motorsports team really gave it their all during practice today and I couldn’t be more pleased with their efforts. We tried a few things in this second practice session and our fastest lap time increased dramatically; so that’s a step in the right direction.”
The 24-year old added, “this is the best we’ve ever had this car overall here at New Jersey heading into qualifying, so I’m optimistic about that later today. Our biggest goal for time trials is to have a clean group session and obtain the best starting position possible.”
When talking about his assessment of New Jersey Motorsports Park, Sheltra commented by saying, “New Jersey is a great facility. The people are real nice here and the track is a lot of fun. It’s a 12-turn racetrack that keeps you on your toes. After finishing in the top-10 (seventh) here last year, I have no doubt that we can have a similar if not better run tomorrow afternoon.”
Instead of the normal qualifying draw that determines the spot a team would qualify, the ARCA Racing Series sanctioning body has elected to divide today’s time trials session into groups of five machines that will be grouped based on their overall (combined) practice speeds today. It is expected that Sheltra will be in the second group of qualifiers that will eventually set the starting grid for the 13th race of the year.
The Indiantown, Florida native is searching for his third consecutive top-10 finish on a road course on Sunday afternoon. The streak started off at NJMP last September and continued with a 10th place outing in February in the ARCA Racing Series inaugural stop to Palm Beach (Fla.) International Raceway, where Sheltra wheeled his No. 60 Sheltra & Son Construction Chevrolet to a 10th place finish in the rain-soaked Tire Kingdom 150 presented by ModSpace.
Sheltra will pilot the No. 60 Recycling Services / Ferguson Pipe Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS for this weekend’s contest. It is and expected to be the second and final time in 2010 that the Mooresville, North Carolina team will carry the legendary bow-tie as its primary choice of manufacturer.
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Entering New Jersey, Sheltra has 79 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 16 top-fives and posted 32 top-10 finishes. A third place qualifying effort at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway (April 2009) and Michigan International Speedway (June 2010) is Sheltra’s best time trials effort to date. He has controlled the ARCA field seven times for 173 laps.
The Garden State ARCA 150 presented by American Red Cross (67 laps / 150 miles) is the 13th of 20 events on the 2010 ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards schedule. The third ARCA event held at the New Jersey Motorsports Park is a two-day show. Practice begins Saturday, August 14 with an hour and a half practice session planned from 11:15 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. A final “happy hour” session has been etched in from 1:35 p.m. – 2:35 p.m. Menards Pole by Ansell qualifying is slated to begin at 4:30 p.m. The field will take the green flag on Sunday, August 15 shortly after 1:00 p.m. The race will not be televised but race coverage including live timing and scoring throughout the weekend will be available through the BAS Racing Network in conjunction with the ARCA Racing Network (ARN) online at arcaracing.com presented by ARCANation.com. All times are local.
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About Sheltra Motorsports:
Sheltra Motorsports (sheltramotorsports.com) is a three-tier professional Motorsports organization consisting of dirt and asphalt competition. Patrick Sheltra, a 24-year old native of Indiantown, Florida competes in the UMP and WoO (Dirt) Series; while also running a full schedule in the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards (No. 60) and a limited schedule in the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR). 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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