Patrick Sheltra, driver of the No. 60 car, is having a perfect season right now in the ARCA Re/Max Series. After Michigan, he leads both the championship standings and the Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge standings.
The Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge is a separate title that combines points from the superspeedway races on the ARCA schedule. This year that includes: Daytona, Texas, Talladega, Pocono, Michigan, Chicagoland, and Kansas.
The first recipient of the award was Davey Allison in 1984, with past winners including: Eddie Sharp (driver Justin Lofton), Ray Evernham (driver Erin Crocker), Larry Clement (driver Frank Kimmel), Ken Schrader (driver Bill Baird), Harold Steele (driver Tim Steele), Kerry Scherer (driver Mark Gibson), Barry Owen (driver Mike Wallace), James Finch (driver Jeff Purvis), Ron Keselowski (driver Bob Keselowski), Cathy Venturini (driver Bill Venturini), and Don Biederman (driver Tracy Leslie), just to name a few.
This award is officially presented to the car owner as part of the annual championship awards banquet in December.
"We've stepped it up this year," Patrick Sheltra said in the team press release. "There's no questioning that. Our restrictor plate performances have been more successful this year than in all my other years of competition. Not to mention our strong run at Michigan last week. There's still a long road ahead as far as the speedway challenge is concerned, but to have everyone chasing us is a nice change instead of the other way around."
"To be leading the speedway challenge in the ARCA Racing Series is a testament to our race team," Grace Sheltra, owner of Sheltra Motorsports, said in the press release. "We've struggled more on the bigger tracks in the past compared to this season. Previously, we've never ever been close to contending for this honor. The dedication, focus and "want" from the team, and Patrick, has installed the drive to succeed on all of the tracks this season. We cannot predict what may happen in upcoming races, but we plan to be a threat nonetheless. It sure would be nice to take home two trophies at year's end."
Sheltra has yet to finish outside of the top 10 this year, which is why he finds himself at the top of the board. Finishes of fifth at Daytona, seventh at Texas, second at Talladega, fourth at Pocono and third at Michigan have put him at the top of the Challenge standings.
"I would say to post eight top-10 finishes in eight races this season is pretty commendable," Sheltra added. "We haven't been able to seal the deal with a win yet but in time, that will come. We just need to keep doing what we've been doing and that is top-fiving and top-10ing the field to death. Eventually, the door will open up and we'll celebrate in victory lane again.
"It's not like we've gone to the races this year and finished inside the top-10, but weren't a threat for the win. We started off the season in championship mode and really haven't looked back since. I know when Matt Kenseth won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in 2003, he only won one race. There is no doubt in my mind that our team will win more than one race this season. We'll get there; it's just taking a little longer than we all would like. Until then, we'll keep running like we have been all season long and keep turning some heads."
The No. 25 car owned by Cathy Venturini with driver Mikey Kile sits second currently, with 855 points, 65 points behind Sheltra. No. 32 Torn Racing team (owner Nate Thiesse/driver Justin Marks) sits in third, No. 81 Eddit Sharp Racing team (owner Eddie Sharp/driver Craig Goess) in fourth, and No. 44 Kimmel Racing (owner/driver Frank Kimmel) team in fifth.
The next race that is part of the Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge is July 31st at Pocono, while the next event for the ARCA Re/Max Series is the Prairie Meadows 200 at Iowa Speedway on July 10th.
Later on this week, thoughts from both Patrick Sheltra and Mikey Kile will be available, so stay tuned for more information on the ARCA Re/Max Series
Quotes are credited to Sheltra Motorsports PR