Thursday
Jun212007

TEAM NEWS: Michael Shank Racing ready for home event at Mid-Ohio

Photo by John Thawley (Columbus, OH) 21 June 2007--Michael Shank Racing will be back in action this weekend, racing in the EMCO Gears Classic at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio for round seven of the 2007 Rolex Sports Car Series season. The EMCO event will see the Daytona Prototype-only field racing into the sunset with a 5:45 PM EST start time slated for Saturday evening.

John Pew will share the driving duties with Ian James as the two will look for the lead once again after coming home a strong fourth in the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen earlier this month.

Mark Patterson and Oswaldo Negri will look to do new sponsor KeyBank proud in the sister Lexus-Riley combination. The two scored a fine third place last month at Laguna Seca, and Patterson will also be focused on narrowing the gap to fellow Trueman Award combatant Tracy Krohn. The Pew/James No. 6 is currently eighth in the championship standings, with Patterson and Negri hard on their heels in ninth just two points behind.

The race weekend is a special one for the Columbus-based team, as the 2.258-mile natural terrain road course also served as the setting for the team's original formation as team owner Mike Shank catapulted from the novice ranks as a driver. The small group of volunteers that were on hand to help young Shank out have since grown into a deeply talented group of over twenty people on hand to support the twin Lexus-Riley entries for every Rolex race. The team is now based in Pataskala, east of Columbus in a state-of-the-art 20,000 square foot custom build race shop.

"We are really looking forward to this weekend," said Shank. "We always have a big group of friends and family with us, and this year of course there is a big group from KeyBank as well, so it is going to be super busy. Our luck frankly hasn't been the best here, but we had a great test here a few weeks back and hopefully that will translate into a strong showing for us with both cars."

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