Inclement Weather Wipes Out Second Day of ARCA Testing at Talladega; Patrick Sheltra Finishes as Test Leader
(TALLADEGA, Ala.) - Inclement weather this morning and the forecast of additional rain this afternoon in Alabama caused the cancellation of the second and final day of open testing for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards at Talladega Superspeedway.
Today's opening session, the third of four scheduled this week, had been delayed for two hours for rain, and an official cancellation announcement was made at the track at 11:05 a.m. Central.
Patrick Sheltra, the 2010 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards champion, finished atop the week's speed chart with a best lap of 50.575 seconds (189.343 mph) in the No. 63 Sheltra Motorsports Toyota. Sheltra's leading lap came Tuesday afternoon in drafting practice.
"The car is decent," Sheltra said. "We need to make it stick a little better in the draft, but it should be a decent piece. The car could suck up a little better, but that's just a matter of going over our notes with (crew chief Jon) Wolfe afterwards and fine-tuning some things."
Sheltra - whose Toyota is a recent purchase from the inventory of Eddie Sharp Racing, last season's championship runner-up - had not initially planned to drive Tuesday, but saw the forecast for Wednesday and decided to test.
"By no means did I plan to get in the car (Tuesday) but the weather looked bad for the second day so I jumped in," he said.
Sheltra won two races - at Springfield, Ill. and Chicagoland Speedway - on the way to the series championship last season, and indicated that he may attempt to defend at least one victory.
"We're going to run some mile-and-a-half stuff this year with the ARCA Racing Series," he said. "Chicagoland, Kansas, we're working on that. Hopefully, I can run Talladega too."
Dakoda Armstrong, last season's winner at Talladega, finished the test second after a lap of 50.589 seconds (189.29 mph) in the No. 22 Cunningham Motorsports Dodge.
Tim George Jr. finished with the best lap time in Tuesday morning's single-car test session, steering the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Development Chevrolet to a lap of 51.936 seconds (184.831 mph). His best time, though, came in the afternoon drafting session, when he drove a lap in 50.732 seconds (188.757 mph), to chart third.
Kyle Fowler and Hal Martin, teammates at Venturini Motorsports, rounded out the top five.
Ty Dillon, Max Gresham, Pierre Bourque, Tom Hessert, and Maryeve Dufault comprised the remainder of the top 10. In all, 18 drivers charted test laps.
Series Talladega test, day one report
Sheltra Motorsports Talladega test notes 2011-03-30