Michael Shank Racing head to Indianapolis with a fresh line-up and new sponsors for the eight round of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.
Curb Records will be the new sponsor of the team’s two Ford-Riley Daytona Prototype machines, with Gustavo Yacaman and AJ Allmendinger piloting the #6 machine, while longtime Michael Shank Racing drivers John Pew and Ozz Negri take the wheel of the #60.
Allmendinger will be doing double duty this weekend, also driving in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Brickyard 400 on Sunday. While both Allmendinger and Yacaman have never driven the road course, both have previous experience on the oval layout, with Allmendinger leading NASCAR and IndyCar races and Yacaman claiming his first Indy Lights pole at the Brickyard last year.
“It is exciting to have this new pairing with Gus and AJ, and I think there is a lot of potential for us to have a strong weekend,” said team owner Mike Shank. “Both these guys are quick at the Speedway but of course this is going to be their first time on the road course, so they’ve got a little bit of homework to do before we get there!”
Pew and Negri both drove in last year’s inaugural Grand-Am race at Indianapolis, but contact with a GT machine caused significant damage to the #60 Ford-Riley and were forced to retire just moments after taking the lead of the race. The duo have two consecutive fourth places under their belt this year, and will be hoping luck will hold out for them to make the step up on to the Grand-Am podium.
“While Ozz was recovering, we started to lean on John a little bit more—whether that was in testing or just helping to lead our engineering path during the race weekends,” said Shank. “He’s responded really well, and just keeps stepping up his game, time after time. And when Ozz got back in the car at Mid-Ohio, he was immediately quick, so it is just a matter of time before those two come out with a result that shows their pace.”