Reining ARCA Champion
Patrick Sheltra Rewards Tony Marks Racing With First Career
MARNE, Michigan (July 11, 2011) - - In his
first ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards start since
capturing the coveted ARCA championship at Rockingham (N.C.)
Speedway last October, Patrick Sheltra recorded a commendable
fourth place finish at Berlin (Mich.) Raceway in the Hantz
Group 200 for Tony Marks Racing (TMR).
Sheltra, the Indiantown, Florida native was
subbing in the No. 12 Mad Croc Energy / Dodge Motorsports
/ VR-12 Dodge Charger for ARCA Rookie of the Year candidate
Maryeve Dufault who was nursing a minor shoulder injury
since being involved in a hard crash in the previous race
at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway.
With car owner Tony Marks calling upon the
25-year old to wheel the team’s race car, it wasn’t
a surprise to anyone when the garage area considered the
TMR team a sleeper for the 10th race of the 2011 season.
2010 champion crew chief Jon Wolfe made the
trek with Sheltra up to the .4-mile oval where the duo notched
a satisfying second-place finish the year before.
In the only practice run on Saturday afternoon,
Sheltra maneuvered his No. 12 Mad Croc Energy / Dodge Motorsports
/ VR-12 Dodge Charger near the top of the board by hoisting
the third fastest lap for nearly three-fourths of the session.
Sheltra eventually slipped to 12th in the final rundown
as his competition made their simulated mock qualifying
Knowing that he had a good car, Sheltra conferred
with Wolfe and TMR management which included Darren Wolfe
(no relation) and Ryan Chism where collectively they thought
their qualifying setup would put the team close to the front.
During time trials, Sheltra quickly hustled
around the Marne, Michigan race track to record the fourth
fastest lap. He would only be passed by two other ARCA drivers
to start the Hantz Group 200 from the sixth starting position,
a career-best for the Mooresville, North Carolina-based
From the drop of the green flag, it was evident
that Sheltra was hungry to get to the lead. He nearly avoided
disaster on lap one though as multiple cars stacked up near
Sheltra with the No. 12 No. 12 Mad Croc Energy / Dodge Motorsports
/ VR-12 Dodge Charger escaping the chaos with minimal cosmetic
When racing resumed, Sheltra would slowly
begin his march towards the front. Moving from fifth to
fourth and then into third near the halfway mark, the team
was hoping for a caution to allow the Indiantown, Florida
native to receive four new tires and fuel.
That opportunity occurred on lap 117 when
the second yellow flag of the night was displayed. Wolfe
brought his driver to pit road for four tires and fuel.
Sheltra exited pit road in the fourth position.
On the restart, Sheltra’s car struggled.
Battling a tight condition, the reigning champ slipped to
as far back as seventh before crawling back into sixth.
Remaining his position on the lead lap, Sheltra took advantage
of a late-race caution to bring his automobile to pit road
for two tires and a chassis adjustment.
Setting up for a shootout style, Sheltra was
locked and loaded.
On the restart, Sheltra made his charge from
sixth to fifth but would be stalled when nine-time ARCA
champion Frank Kimmel spun in turn four. The yellow flag
would setup for the green and white flags to waive together,
meaning Sheltra often knows as “Mr. Showtime”
by many had just one lap to earn this fourth career ARCA
On the final lap, Sheltra made a daring move
to the outside which positioned the TMR entry into the top-five
but as the field exited turn four, a wad of cars including
Sheltra made contract racing for the best finish possible
with Sheltra making contact with the outside wall coming
to the checkered flag.
Initially it was thought that the 25-year
old finished fifth but upon video review by ARCA Racing
Series officials, Sheltra was credited with a fourth place
run, a career-best for Tony Marks Racing in just their 11th
“Overall it was a good night,”
said Sheltra. “I appreciate Tony Marks, Mad Croc Energy,
Dodge, VR-12 and everyone on the TMR team for allowing me
to drive for them tonight. Our car was real good at the
beginning but after the pit stop, we became extremely tight
with no real reasoning. We’ll have to get the car
back to the shop and see why that happened. I wasn’t
racing for point, so I was doing everything I could to put
this team and their great sponsors in victory lane. We were
a threat, that’s for sure. Maybe I’ll have another
opportunity down the road.”
Car owner Tony Marks was exceptionally pleased
with Sheltra’s effort and the focus of his freshman
team. “I’m happy,” offered Marks, a successful
entrepreneur from Ohio. “Patrick did a great job for
everyone at TMR including our sponsors, Mad Croc Energy,
Dodge and VR-12. He wasn’t afraid to push the buttons
when he needed to and kept himself in the hunt all night
long. I can’t ask for much more than that. I want
to thank Patrick for doing an exceptional job for TMR.”
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series presented
by Menards is a trip out West to Iowa Speedway in Newton,
Iowa for the running of the Prairie Meadows 200 on Saturday,
July 16th. The 11th race of the season will air live on
SPEED and ARCARacing.com beginning at 4:00 p.m. TMR will
field two entries for the 11th race of the season with Jared
Marks in the No. 8 Dodge Charger and Sorel Quebec’s
Maryeve Dufault returning to the reins of the No. 12 Dodge
For additional information on TMT, Inc. please
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TEAM COMMUNICATIONS CONTACT:
NAME: Chris Knight, Knight Motorsports Management
EMAIL: [email protected]