Michael Shank Racing will start P2 on the grid for the 2014 Tequila Patrὀn Sports Car Showcase on the streets of Long Beach after a thrilling qualifying session.
Qualifying the No.60 AERO Paint Ford Ecoboost Riley was Ozz Negri Jr, setting a time of 1:15.366 to go P2, just 0.041 of a second behind the pole sitting No.1 Telcel/Chip Ganassi Racing EcoBoost Riley.
After the session, an enthused Negri said: “Hard work, works! We’ve been working nonstop since Sebring. The car rolled out of the trailer awesome and with the car being good the way it was we could just keep working on laps and improving.
“We made very little changes for qualifying. I was optimistic because I realized the lap time I did during the short session, I did on old tires and I really thought I could improve quite a bit. We did all of our homework. Ford did their job. Shank was asking me giving me two tenths and I was digging as hard as I could and I’m just very happy.
“I’m very happy for John Pew who puts a lot of effort into this. The day today was a long day but we never stopped since the morning session until now just looking at data and looking at data and analysing everything and it paid off. I’m very happy for Ford – they’ve been great with us and I can’t say enough about their support and help.”
Team owner Mike Shank also commented, saying: “I’m super happy for the team. I’m very proud of Ozz and the run he put in today. He and John have been working hard all day to get the most out of the car. John’s never been to this track before and has done a great job. We started with a good car and just kept working, all day today.
“This is what we work for – thanks to the team, Roush Yates, our engine guys Charles Vogel and John Maddox. We’re trying as hard as we can. Hopefully we can turn this into a big result tomorrow-it’s exciting for all of us and we are really focused on tomorrow.”
Starting the No.60 Riley will be Pew, who is making his Long Beach début this weekend, with the 58-year-old handing over to Negri for the final period of the race.