2010 Champ Sheltra Lands Nationwide Role for Daytona with Rick Ware Racing, No. 41 Ford

2010 Champ Sheltra Lands Nationwide Role for Daytona with Rick Ware Racing, No. 41 Ford

(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - February 16, 2011) - NASCAR Nationwide Series practice is scheduled to open at Daytona International Speedway this morning, and among the latest names to be added to the entry list is 2010 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards champion Patrick Sheltra.

Rick Ware Racing has signed Sheltra to drive the No. 41 Fuel Doctor Ford Mustang at Daytona in Saturday's season-opening event, the DRIVE4COPD 300.     

Sheltra, 24, won the 2010 ARCA Racing Series championship on the strength of two wins, 12 top-fives, and 17 top-10 finishes in the 20-race ARCA schedule.  The Indiantown, Fla.-native is looking to continue that success in NASCAR's top three touring series in 2011 while getting his season off to a strong start with Rick Ware Racing at DIS.

"I'm very excited for this opportunity with Rick Ware Racing for the NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Daytona," Sheltra said. "This was a last-minute deal that we put together for Daytona, and I appreciate Rick trusting me with his race car.  I like superspeedways, and I'm looking forward to giving them a good performance with a solid finish."

Patrick Sheltra is no stranger to competing on Daytona's high-banks.  He has three ARCA Racing Series starts at the 2.5-mile oval with a best finish of fifth in 2010.  The Florida native also made his Nationwide Series debut at Daytona in 2008. Sheltra has a total of five career Nationwide Series starts, with a best finish of 18th at Talladega Superspeedway in 2010, where he also led his first laps in NASCAR competition.

Sheltra will set the mark for Rick Ware Racing's journey into the NASCAR Nationwide Series' new car carrying the Ford banner with Doug Richert as crew chief.

"We are really excited to have a champion like Patrick Sheltra starting off our new journey in the NASCAR Nationwide Series," said owner Rick Ware. "We got the opportunity to race against Patrick last year with our ARCA program and took notice of how fierce of a competitor he is. We look forward to a great weekend with Patrick in the Fuel Doctor Ford and are excited to get the season kicked off with a strong finish."

From Team Release

Hill Advances into Nationwide Series: Timmy Hill, who at 17 years old earned seven top-20 finishes in seven ARCA Racing Series starts last season, will also be on board for Rick Ware Racing in 2011.

With his 18th birthday coming six days after this weekend's race, Hill will not enter at Daytona. He will make his debut at Phoenix International Raceway on February 26.

"My dad, Jerry, raced for Rick back in the day, and I ran a few ARCA and (NASCAR) K&N (Pro Series) races with RWR last season," Hill said in a press release. ""Missing the first race of the season by a week really stinks; I'm not going to lie. On the bright side, Phoenix will be a good place to make my debut."

Former Kimmel Employee Stankiewicz Accepts Crew Chief Role: Jeff Stankiewicz, a member of the Kimmel Racing crew for six of Frank Kimmel's nine ARCA Racing Series championships, has accepted a role as crew chief of Parker Kligerman's No. 29 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series entry for Brad Keselowski Racing.

Stankiewicz previously worked with Turner Motorsports, Braun Racing, and Richard Childress Racing. Kligerman won nine ARCA Racing Series races in 2009, his only full season.