Michael Shank Racing Endure “Really Tough” Six Hours Of The Glen

Driver John Pew and Ozz Negri had a spin apiece, but battled to sixth place (Photo Credit: Grand-Am)

After two spins during the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen Michael Shank Racing finished in sixth position.

Despite racing back into a strong position following two setback the Ohio-based team were unable to keep the lead of the North American Endurance Championship, falling back to fourth place in the championship within a championship intended to highlight the endurance aspect of the 2012 Rolex Series.

Both drivers – John Pew and Ozz Negri – suffered spins in the #60 Ford-Riley Daytona Prototype. Pew started the race, the gentlemen driver running strongly until he spun while trying to lap a GT class Porsche at the Bus Stop chicane, stalling the car and requiring a push start. Though the stationary car brought out the race's second full course caution Pew still lost lap to the leaders before returning to the race, but by not pitting during the caution the Shank team were able to regain the lead lap.

“I was very disappointed with what happened in the Bus Stop,” said Pew. “Looking back at it I'm trying to think if I could have done something different. It's hard to say. You know you have everyone behind you and they're trying to go two-by-two, and it didn't work.”

Negri too would spin at the chicane, the Brazilian's delay coming as a result of close quarters racing for position with a fellow DP driver, though happily Negri kept the Ford engine running and was able to continue without further delay.

Though hampered by a slow pitstop that cost them track position the team's persistence had kept them on the lead lap during a three hour tranche of green flag racing, and with all the DPs grouped together after a flurry of cautions at the start of the final hour Negri. Though the opportunity was there to make up positions late in the race Negir could only finish in sixth at the end of a frustrating day for the Rolex 24 winners.

“Really tough day – there were so many highs and lows in it,” assessed team owner Mike Shank. “The best thing is that no one gave up. We really dug for that whole three-hour long green flag run trying to unlap ourselves and get back the lost track position. But it was a tough deal. On the last pit stop we had a little trouble getting out of the pit box before that last restart. But everyone did a great job – John continues to amaze us, and Ozz made up so much ground on track, just a great effort. This wasn't what we wanted but now we'll just focus on both drove real well. ”

The next date for Michael Shank racing is the open test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend in preparation for the Rolex Series' first race at The Brickyard as part of the Kroger SuperWeekend where a three hour race will decide the North American Endurance Championship.