Watkins Glen: Michael Shank Racing preview
Michael Shank Racing going for glory at the Glen Watkins Glen, NY(17 June 04)--Michael Shank Racing (MSR) is looking for a strong result this weekend in the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen this weekend in the fifth round of racing for the Rolex ...
Michael Shank Racing going for glory at the Glen
Watkins Glen, NY(17 June 04)--Michael Shank Racing (MSR) is looking for a strong result this weekend in the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen this weekend in the fifth round of racing for the Rolex Sports Car Series. MSR tested at the Glen in May, and is hoping to put the lessons learned to use in the endurance classic to move up in the team championship standings with a good result in Sunday's race. MSR is third in the team championship heading into the weekend, only eight points behind the powerhouse Ganassi squad.
MSR is eager to put the last round at Mt Tremblant behind them, where the team was leading late in the race before contact from another car hampered the cars speed in the closing laps of the race, and forced the team to accept a sixth place result at the finish.
Award-winning team owner Mike Shank knows that his team, which helped drivers Oswaldo Negri and Burt Frisselle move up the standings on every pit stop at Tremblant, has what it takes to get back onto the podium.
"We have been so strong, but haven't had the results we are looking for, but hopefully we can change that this weekend," Shank said. "Our drivers ran really well here in testing, and this long track certainly suits our Lexus motor, so we are looking for a good result. Everyone on this team, from the drivers to the truck driver, is just so hungry for success."
The Grand American Team Performance Index, which rates teams based on a number of factors beyond just finishing position, has MSR in second position, behind only the Ganassi team, which also benefits from Lexus power.
"We learned a lot about the car at Tremblant, and the Glen is another natural road course, so knowing how the car works over a race distance on this kind of circuit should also be a benefit as well," Shank said.
Friday will feature two practice sessions, with qualifying taking place at 1:25 pm on Saturday. The race will start at 11:00 am on Sunday, and will be broadcast live on SpeedChannel.
Based in Columbus, Ohio, MSR was formed in 1989 when Michael Shank first began driving racing cars professionally, taking the award as SCCA-Ohio Valley Region's Novice Driver of the Year. Shank retired from the cockpit in 1997 after moving up the motorsports ladder to focus his efforts on running the team, which quickly found success in the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship, with several race wins leading Shank to be named as Team Owner of the Year twice in four years. MSR has campaigned drivers including Johnny Rutherford Jr., Kenny Wilden, and 2001 and 2002 Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish, Jr.
MSR is making the transition to the Rolex Series from open-wheel competition for the 2004 season in the Rolex Sports Car Series, campaigning a Lexus-powered Doran JE4.
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