John Pew Takes Best-Ever Qualifying Effort for Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

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John Pew Takes Best-Ever Qualifying Effort for Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

3e16af30-aabd-4e27-9afb-a70e142780c4.jpgMonterey, Calif. (2 May 2015) – It was a big day for Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian on Saturday when John Pew took the No. 60 Honda-powered Ligier JS P2 to fourth on the grid for the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The result marks Pew’s career-best qualifying position since his 2007 prototype debut with Michael Shank Racing at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Pew continually improved his lap times on each lap of the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship 15-minute qualifying session and set his quickest lap time of 1:19.651-seconds on his 10th lap of the 11 lap run.

“I was just pushing it as hard as I could,” said Pew following the session. “This Honda Ligier and this track go really well together. I’m not quite at the limit although I found the limit in a couple of corners! It was good. It’s a great car, and a great track. Ozz (Negri, co-driver) has been a great friend, a great coach, and a mentor and a guy I look up to in many ways. He’s very helpful. We don’t really know what will happen tomorrow. With all of these classes there could be many yellows. Our car tends to start out a little bit slower because it’s light but we’ll see what happens in the race.”

Pew’s co-driver Ozz Negri was beaming from pit lane when Pew leapt to fourth in the grid order. 32f00fa4-41e2-456a-88b4-dd46bfe06bab.jpg

“I am just so super happy for John,” smiled Negri. “We had an early morning practice session and we worked all the way up until just before qualifying looking at video, looking at data, and notes and John did exactly what we wanted him to do today!”

The No. 60 machine returned to pit lane following the run and when Pew climbed out of the car, he was welcomed with high-fives, hugs, and smiles from everyone on the Michael Shank Racing team.

“I’m really pleased, it’s the best he’s ever done and he deserves it,” said Team Owner Mike Shank. “We think the car is pretty good. It takes a little while for our tires to come in but that’s the only downside compared to a Daytona Prototype. We are managing our expectations for tomorrow but I’m really happy for John (Pew) today. He puts in as much effort as anybody I know. He has come so far, worked so hard, and one of the reasons we went to a P2 car was so that we could have a car that’s a little easier to manage and it is certainly designed for a track like this so it matches up well. It also speaks to the potential for John and I’m excited to see where it goes this season.”

Pew will take the green flag for the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix at 1:00 PM local time (4:00 PM ET). FOX Sports 1 will carry live coverage of the race.

6f4b072d-5fef-444a-8f6a-90750125ab19.jpgBased in Columbus, Ohio, Michael Shank Racing was formed in 1989 when Mike Shank first began driving racing cars professionally. Shank retired from the cockpit in 1997 to focus his efforts on running the team, which quickly found success in the Champ Car Toyota Atlantic Championship. With several race wins under his belt, Shank was named as Team Owner of the Year twice in four years. Michael Shank Racing joined the Rolex Sports Car Series in 2004 as the team proved as quick in endurance racing as in the sprint formula car format. Michael Shank Racing scored a debut Rolex Series win in 2006 at Miller Motorsports Park, and fans selected the victory as the 2007 Rolex “Moment of the Year.” After opening the 2008 season with a front-row sweep of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the team closed out the year taking wins in the final two races of the year.

The team scored a dramatic victory in the 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona in 2012, and backed that race-winning effort up with a run to third place with the second team entry. | Follow us on Twitter! @MichaelShankRac | Follow us on Instagram! michaelshankracing

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