Michael Shank Racing takes 2nd at VIR
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(Alton, VA) April 24 2009-Despite the Bosch Engineering 250 getting off to an inauspicious start, Michael Shank Racing staged a strong recovery on Saturday with both team entries and returned to the Rolex Sports Car Series podium as John Pew and Michael Valiante finished second in the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley after making a tremendous comeback at Virginia International Raceway.

The sister No. 60 of Mark Patterson and Oswaldo Negri finished 6th despite having to make an extra pit stop following a cut tire midway through the race.

"I'm really proud of the performance we had this weekend," said team owner Mike Shank. "Our guys drove strong races, the engineers made some great calls with pit strategy, and our guys were great in the pits once again. We were hoping to get back to the top of the podium, but this was still a strong weekend for us and now we'll look for more at New Jersey."

The two hour and forty-five minute event got off to an undesired start after Pew's strong qualifying performance, which netted him 7th on the grid, was thrown out the window when another car sent him off-course on just the third lap of the race. Fortunately the damage wasn't so severe that he was forced to retire, and he was able to return to the track to begin work on recovering positions from deep in the field. A full course caution was a welcome development, as the field was repacked for a restart. But for the second time, Pew was again crashed off-course shortly after the restart, this time by a different car.

Once again, he was able to get back on track and into the thick of battle before turning the car over to Valiante.

Meanwhile, Patterson was able to make the most of a car that had him smiling inside his helmet as he was up to 8th by lap 7, and then following the caution, took the restart from third in the order. That well-handling car was put to full pelt as the defending Rolex Champion Ganassi machine harried the South African for third, but after getting off to a clean restart, Patterson established and kept a gap before turning the machine over to Negri.

Midway through the race, Michael Shank Racing ran 5th and 6th with Negri and Valiante looking to keep the team's strong form in the results continuing. But soon thereafter, the two cars' fortunes took separate turns, as Negri was able to keep control of the car despite a high-speed tire problem, which forced him to take to the pits with only three patches of rubber before he took on fresh tires and rejoined deep in the pack.
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