Patrick Sheltra Ready To Get Down To Business At Talladega

Making his return to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) for the first time since 2007, last year’s ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards champion Patrick Sheltra aims to make a statement in Saturday afternoon’s sixth annual Coca-Cola 250 Powered By fred’s 250 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

The 25-year old Sheltra will drive the No. 99 Bucked Up Apparel / Ford F-150 for T3R. The Indiantown, Florida native will make just his second NASCAR appearance of 2011 on Saturday. In February, the driver nicknamed “Mr. Showtime” competed in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) season-opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

It’s only fitting for Sheltra, also considered a dirt ace to return to action on a superspeedway where the fearless driver has impressed immensely at both restrictor plate tracks including last April at the 2.66-mile oval where Sheltra led his first career Nationwide laps driving for RAB Racing with Brack Maggard. He also finished second in the Talladega ARCA 250 after pushing fellow truck competitor Dakoda Armstrong to his first career ARCA Racing Series win last April en route to the championship.

Set to make just his eighth NASCAR start overall, the Floridian driver wants to draft his way to the front, stay there and rightfully earn his growing team some exposure in hopes of grasping his first ever NASCAR top-10 finish. Sheltra, also wouldn’t mind to attract some attention to himself in hopes of returning to action on a permanent basis in 2012.

“I’m looking forward to racing at Talladega again,” said Sheltra. “I cannot thank everyone at T3R and the Silas family enough for the opportunity. I think we’ll have a decent truck in qualifying but something to bolt into contention during the race.”

42 trucks have filed an entry for the 22nd race of the 2011 NCWTS season, meaning Sheltra and Co. will have to better six other teams in order to make the starting field on Saturday afternoon.

“Yeah, it’s nail-biting when you’re a go-or-go-homer, but we really can’t worry about that until qualifying,” he offered.  “I think even with the big field, we’ll still have a pretty good truck that should qualify decent and put us somewhere mid-pack. From there, it will be finding the right drafting partner and riding until its go time.”

Sheltra added, “I haven’t raced a lot this season, but that doesn’t mean I have forgotten how to race. I know Talladega is a mental game and it’s about being at the right place at the right time. We’ll be smart when we race on Saturday and try to avoid the “Big One”, if it should develop. The main goal though is to be around for the final 15 laps when the action will peg and it will be game on and every driver for themselves.”

Motorsports veteran Cal Boprey will call the shots as crew chief for the three-time ARCA winner on Saturday afternoon. It will be the first time the duo has worked together. Additionally, like he did in 2009, Sheltra’s racecar will sport a pink-based paint scheme in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Knight Motorsports Management PR

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