Team Confident In No. 60 Toyota Camry
JOLIET, August 27, 2010: ARCA Racing Series (ARS) presented by RE/MAX and Menards championship contender Patrick Sheltra mounted the sixth fastest time in practice Thursday afternoon at Chicagoland Speedway in preparation for tomorrow’s Ansell Protective Gloves 150, site of round number 15 on the 2010 calendar.
After piloting a Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS and a Dodge Charger respectively in the last two ARCA Racing Series contests, Sheltra climbed back behind the wheel of a Toyota Camry for Thursday’s short practice run.
During the quick one hour and twenty minute session, Sheltra steered his Jon Wolfe led Toyota Camry to as high as second on the speed charts before eventually sliding down to sixth. Turning 36 laps overall around the 1.5-mile speed plant, the Indiantown, Florida native maneuvered a fast time of 31.312 seconds or 172.458 miles per hour.
“The car is pretty good,” said Sheltra, who will make his fifth Chicagoland ARCA start Friday. “We tweaked on the handling throughout most of the practice and I was pretty happy with the way it turned on our last run of the day. We didn’t do any mock qualifying runs, as we didn’t think it would be an advantage to us today, so we mainly worked on race setup, which I feel really comfortable with.”
Sheltra, who finished ninth, a track best at Chicagoland Speedway last August added, “We have an extremely short practice session tomorrow morning, so we’ll do our final fine-tuning and make our qualifying run(s) and hope with what we’ve found today and tomorrow, we can be in contention for back-to-back wins.”
Indeed, Sheltra is searching for a second consecutive win after snookering the field on a late restart last Sunday at the Illinois State Fairgrounds that allowed the NASCAR bound driver to secure his second career ARCA victory in the Allen Crowe 100. Steve Arpin is the only other ARCA competitor this year that has two wins after delivering victories at Salem (Ind.) Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway respectively earlier this season.
“I’ve won a race on a short track and a dirt track. It would be neat to win one on a big track like Chicagoland. I feel our No. 60 Sheltra Motorsports Toyota Camry is strong enough to do it, we just need to have some more luck, much like we had last weekend,” Sheltra sounded.
Earlier Thursday afternoon, Sheltra Motorsports was granted the 12th of 39 positions for Menards Pole by Ansell qualifications, which is set for Friday morning at 11:30 a.m.
Currently, Sheltra sits fourth in the ARCA Racing Series championship chase, just 40 markers out of the lead held by nine time ARCA champion Frank Kimmel. So far this season, the Mooresville, North Carolina team has amassed one win, seven top-fives and 11 top-10 finishes in 14 races. The Sheltra Motorsports also leads the ARCA Racing Series speedway challenge sector leaning into tomorrow’s event with a 65-point margin over the No. 32 Win-Tron Racing team with two speedway events remaining (Chicagoland and Kansas).
Chicagoland Speedway also marks the fourth and final race in the 2010 edition of the Bill France Four Crown. In that race, Sheltra sits fourth in the standings, just 45 markers behind leader Joey Coulter.
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Entering Chicagoland, Sheltra has 81 ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards starts to his credit with two career victories at Salem (Ind.) Speedway (April 2009) and the Illinois State Fairgrounds (August 2010). During his ARCA tenure, Sheltra has accumulated 17 top-fives and posted 33 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 eight times for 188 laps.
The Ansell Protective Gloves 150 (100 laps / 150 miles) is the 15th of 20 events on the 2010 ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards schedule. The 10th ARCA event held at Chicagoland Speedway is a two-day show. A Happy Hour practice run has been set for Friday morning August 27 from 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Menards Pole by Ansell qualifying is slated to begin at 11:30 a.m. The field will take the green flag shortly after 6:00 p.m. The event will be televised live on SPEED with additional broadcast coverage including live timing and scoring throughout the 1,308 race for the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards since it was formed in 1953 will be available through the ARCA Racing Network (ARN) online at arcaracing.com presented by ARCANation.com. All times are local.