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ARCA Champ Sheltra finishes 24th at Daytona

Patrick Sheltra and his #41 Rick Ware Racing Fuel Doctor Platinum team hit the high banks of Daytona for the running of the first event of the year, the DRIVEFORCOPD 300 on Saturday night.

Sheltra qualified his Ford Mustang in the 30th position after having to qualify on time and knew he would need a good drafting partner to get to the front.

As the green flag dropped, Patrick got quickly shuffled to the 38th position before a caution came out on lap fifteen. The team took on fuel and added tape to the grill to help the Fuel Doctor Mustang pull up into the draft a little better.

The change seemed to help as he quickly moved into the 29th position before another caution fell just three laps later. Once again the team added fuel and more tape as the changes made a significant change in drafting.

When the green flag flew again on lap 28, Sheltra began his charge, moving up to the 19th position by lap 34 of the 120 lap event.

As Patrick worked with groups of three to four cars in the draft, leaders set sail in a two car tandem that was perfected by the cup drivers in the previous weeks of the Daytona festivities, leaving the Nationwide Series regulars at their mercy.

Caution fell again on lap 55 and Sheltra and the Fuel Doctor team went to work, taking four new Goodyear tires and fuel in hopes to get back in the hunt.

Restarting in the 28th position, one lap down, Sheltra battled six other cars for the lucky dog position but a long green flag run diminished that plan as the leaders placed all but twelve cars a lap or more down when a green flag pit stop was in order.

The Fuel Doctor team pitted on lap 96 for fuel and sent Patrick back into the hunt when a wreck involving several cars including Patrick brought out the next caution on lap 98. Sheltra slowed down to avoid the crash but was tagged from behind by the number 23 that sent him sliding.

The crew went to work, adding tape to the car’s tv panel and rear quarter panels over the next several laps.

With just seven laps remaining, Sheltra started 23rd and brought home a respectable finish in 24th as the checkered flag waved.

“It’s tough with all the Cup guys having so much practice with the new drafting style, but Patrick showed why he is a champion. He never gave up and kept turning better lap times each and every stint. We learned a lot with the NEW car and look forward to when Patrick can get behind the wheel for us again,” stated owner Rick Ware.

For more information visit or you can also follow the team on Twitter at @rickwareracing

Racing comes full circle with Lax and Earnhardt

Racing has always been about family and how members of NASCAR are a fraternity that help each other. This sentiment will ring true for Joe Lax as he becomes the Crew Chief for Jeffrey Earnhardt and the #1 Fuel Doctor Chevy in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series during 2011.

When Lax had dreams of NASCAR glory, he left home with a mere one hundred dollars in his pocket and the desire to succeed. Upon his arrival in the Mooresville area he was introduced to Dale Earnhardt and the two hit it off instantly.

Earnhardt provided a place on his ranch for the youngster to live and to follow his dreams rent free so he can focus on racing. Within weeks, Lax was hired by Donlavey Racing as a shop fabricator via a reference from the “Man in Black”.

The break from Dale was all that Lax needed. He continued to gain knowledge and confidence over the years as he worked for such organizations as Billy Hagan Racing, Don Beverly Racing, A.G. Dillard Motorsports , Clement Racing and Joe Bessey Motorsports before finding a home at Bill Davis Racing in 2000.

Career highlights include a Southern 500 win as well as a Daytona 500 victory with Ward Burton in 2002. Lax then moved on to Hendrick Motorsports Nationwide program and eventually to Tommy Baldwin Racing before taking over the crew chief duties for Mike Skinner in 2008.

The Lax-Earnhardt journey came full circle in December 2010 when Rick Ware Racing reached out to have Lax join the team as Jeffreys crew chief for the #1 Fuel Doctor Chevy.

When asked about his new position Lax commented, “I am very excited about accepting the crew chief position at RWR with Jeffery and Fuel Doctor. I look forward to getting to know and work with Jeffrey. I am sure that with the Earnhardt lineage the talent and desire is already in him. Knowing what I do about his grandfather’s competitive spirit I am sure we will all enjoy the show.”

Two generations of Earnhardt later, the attraction to Joe Lax remained strong; "I can't begin to tell you how excited I am about having Joe Lax on board with the #1 Fuel Doctor truck. Joe has obviously been a long time veteran of this sport, so his experience will be a great addition to our team. I am also looking forward to hearing some of the stories he can share with me about my grandpa, and how it came to be that he lived on his ranch for a year when I was just born" said Earnhardt.

When the green flag drops on February 18th, 2011 at the NextEra Energy Resources 250 (live 7:30pm EST on SPEED TV) the next chapter will begin in the Earnhardt-Lax story.

All in a Days work-RWR finishes 11th in 24 Hour Rolex debut

2011 started as the year for racing rookies for Rick Ware Racing. RWR is running for “Rookie of the Year” with Jeffrey Earnhardt in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Timmy Hill for the same title in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. RWR’s first ever Grand-Am event, the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, would also consists of all five drivers as rookies, a big task for any organization.

After 24 hours of the most grueling endurance event in all of American motorsports Rick Ware Racing and the #47 Fuel Doctor team took the checkered flag in their Porsche GT, 11th in class and 25th overall.

“When we started this entire project six months ago, our goal was to finish the race. We knew if we could keep the car in one piece and the drivers focused, it would be a great run for us,” owner Rick Ware said.

The team consisted of five drivers: Jeffrey Earnhardt, Maurice Hull, Scott Monroe, Doug Harrington, and Brett Sandberg. They all pulled multiple two-hour shifts, keeping the car at a steady pace.

“This race wasn’t a sprint; it was more of a jog. Kevin Roush (the crew chief) and our spotters kept us focused on the goal. Of course, we’re all racers, so I’m not going to lie. It was easy to forget that having the fastest lap wasn’t the goal. The goal was to keep the car in one piece for 24 hours,” driver Bret Sandberg said.

RWR did not sail smoothly through the entire 24 Hours without trouble. With approximately one hour to go, the Porsche GT broke an alternator, which took the team 15 minutes to repair. They did not lose a single position in the process.

“When we broke the alternator with one hour to go, we didn’t initially know what the issue was. We just saw smoke and fire pouring out of the engine compartment. I was pretty devastated, but the guys didn’t miss a beat, diagnosed the problem, and had us back on the track in no time. That was a defining moment for our run. Kevin Roush of GAS Motorsport did a fantastic job for me, calling the shots. Not many crew chiefs can hop in and help set up the car like he did! Kevin O’Connell and the entire O’Connell Racing team helped tremendously with overseeing our entire operation to help make our debut a success.” stated Ware.

RWR is already setting up for a multi-car effort in 2012 for the 50th running of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. The RWR team will carry their momentum back to Daytona in two weeks for the series openers in the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck series.

Keep up with their progress at or you can also follow the team on Twitter at @rickwareracing.