TEAM NEWS: Pew breaks through in Mid-Ohio, Patterson converts near-disaster into fastest lap

Photo by John Thawley (Columbus, OH) 22 June 2007--In just his first Rolex Sports Car Series qualifying effort with Michael Shank Racing, John Pew looked more like a wily veteran than a tentative rookie as he pushed the No. 6 Playboy Lexus-Riley to a fast lap time of 1:20.048-seconds to score eighth on the grid for Saturday evening's EMCO Gears Classic presented by KeyBank at Mid-Ohio.

"I just felt so confident with the car that I was really comfortable and I could really push myself," said Pew. "The guys did a great job and the car was set up nearly perfectly. It was a little loose, but today loose was fast. I really like this track and once I got a clear lap, my times just kept coming down."

The sister KeyBank Lexus-Riley entry of Mark Patterson and Oswaldo Negri will start from eleventh on the grid after Patterson made a full recovery from what should have been an off-course excursion to post his fastest lap of the session late in the running.

"I had a ball out there even though I lost a lot of time on my quickest lap," said Patterson. "But that was my fastest lap ever here at Mid-Ohio and the car was so much nicer today than it was in testing yesterday. I got some great coaching from Oz on how to get the most out of the back section of this track, and it really showed today."

"Both these guys did just an absolutely awesome job in qualifying today," said Shank. "Just more than we could have asked for from them, I'm really impressed. We've had a good start to the weekend and we just want to keep this momentum up through the race tomorrow. Today's been good day with all the KeyBank folks here with us visiting the garage, and there's going to be a really big group here tomorrow, so hopefully we can give them something to get excited about."

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