Sheltra Aiming For Perfection

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - If there is one driver who is anxious to get the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series under way, Patrick Sheltra is probably the most excited. And he has every reason to be. After producing some very stout and impressive times in pre-season testing at Daytona International Speedway in December, Sheltra has been named as a pre-race favorite for Saturday's Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona.

If Sheltra was to succeed and post a win in Saturday’s ARCA RE/MAX Series opener it would be the biggest win of his career and his first in a stock car. How’s that for pressure? While the pressure is on, Sheltra is ready to perform.

Ready to deliver.

“I tell you what, I’m ready for Daytona,” said Sheltra. “Pre-season testing was great for us and it really has us looking forward to the season. If we were able to pull off the win on Saturday, it’s going to be more than a great way to start off the season.”

Sheltra, the Indiantown, Florida native will make his second-career start at the “World Center of Racing” but the 22-year old feels he was robbed of a top-10 finish in last year’s event which gives Saturday’s event an ample opportunity for revenge.

“We dodged the big one and were tangled up in a late race skirmish but still had a competitive car last year,” Sheltra recalled. “We had a top-10 finish literally taken from us on a controversial call in the pits. We crossed the line eighth but ended up with top-15 finish. Hopefully this year, the cards will fall our way and we’ll sail to our first top-five finish at Daytona.”

A year after bringing a Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS to Daytona, Sheltra Motorsports led by crew chief John Hayden is bringing Dodge Chargers as its primary manufacturer for this year’s festivities. Sheltra Motorsports ran a Dodge Charger in a limited schedule last year but the Whitesville, Kentucky-based team will turn to the Chrysler nameplate as its lead manufacturer for the 2009 ARCA season.

“We’re excited about running Dodges and we’re off to a fast start,” sounded Sheltra. “Believe it or not this is the same car that we finished fifth with at Talladega Superspeedway last October. We cut the Chevrolet body off during the off-season and put a Charger emblem on it. It’s a former Richard Childress Racing car with a Dodge hemi under the hood.”

For the second consecutive ARCA RE/MAX Series speedway event, Quality Turf of Okeechobee, Inc returns to Sheltra Motorsports as a major marketing partner of Sheltra’s No. 60. Located in the heart of Okeechobee, Florida, Quality Turf serves their customers with pride and presence. From landscaping to sod to even irrigation installation, Quality Turf of Okeechobee, Inc. can meet your every outdoor need for an affordable price. Quality Turf of Okeechobee, Inc. services the Florida counties of Okeechobee, St. Lucie, Indian River, Martin and Palm Beach.

“We’re glad to have Quality Turf of Okeechobee, Inc. back on-board with us for Daytona,” said Sheltra. “Daytona is a little closer to home for them. We gave them a top-five finish at Talladega. Now, we’ll try and give them a win!”

Immediately following Daytona, Sheltra will have zero time to relax as he’ll head to Volusia County Speedway two days later and return to his racing roots behind the wheel of the No. 23 Chevrolet for six nights of dirt racing. Sheltra will also race against new Sheltra Motorsports teammate Shannon Babb, who will be on-hand to watch Sheltra compete in the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona Saturday afternoon.

Sheltra Motorsports acquired an in-car camera for Saturday’s anticipated thriller. It will mark the second time in Sheltra’s ARCA RE/MAX Series career where fans will be able to experience the action from inside the cockpit of the No. 60 Dodge Charger.

Entering Daytona, Sheltra has 46 ARCA RE/MAX Series starts to his credit with a career best finish of second at Toledo Speedway (May 2008) and the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds (September 2008) with four additional top-five finishes, (fourth) at Toledo Speedway (October 2008), (fifth) at Talladega Superspeedway (October 2008), (third) at Illinois State Fairgrounds (August 2007) and (fourth) at Berlin Raceway (July 2007) while holding additional top-10s at Nashville Superspeedway (August 2008), Michigan International Speedway (June 2008), Kentucky Speedway (May 2008), Kansas Speedway (April 2008), Iowa Speedway (April 2008), Kentucky Speedway (June 2007), DuQuoin State Fairgrounds (September 2007) and Toledo Speedway (October 2007). An eighth place qualifying effort at Kansas Speedway (April 2008) is Sheltra’s best time trials efforts to date. He has controlled the ARCA field three times for 17 laps.

The Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona (80 laps/200 miles) is the first of 22 events on the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule. The 46th ARCA race held at Daytona is a three-day show. Practice begins Thursday, February 5 with a five hour practice session planned from 12:00-5:00 p.m. ARCA pole qualifying is set for Friday, February 6 slated to begin at 12:00 p.m. A one hour and five minute final practice session is etched in on Friday evening from 5:10pm-6:15 p.m. The event will take the green flag on Saturday, February 7 shortly after 4:00 p.m. The race will be televised live on SPEED with additional race coverage including live timing and scoring and radio broadcast through the ARCA Racing Network (ARN) online at arcaracing.com. All times are local.

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