Front Row Start for Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian at Long Beach

MSR_Racing_logoLong Beach, Calif. (11 April 2014) –  Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian will start the Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase from the front row in Saturday’s 100-minute TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race through the streets of Long Beach.

IMG_8874Ozz Negri was tabbed to qualify the No. 60 AERO Paint Ford Ecoboost Riley during Friday’s 15-minute qualifying session and posted a quick time of 1:15.366-seconds which was just .041-seconds shy of the pole time.

It was a thrilling session with Negri running in contention for the pole throughout the entire 15-minutes of qualifying.

“Hard work, works!” said an enthused Negri. “We’ve been working nonstop since Sebring. The car rolled out of the trailer awesome and with the car being good the way it was we could just keep working on laps and improving. We made very little changes for qualifying. I was optimistic because I realized the lap time I did during the short session, I did on old tires and I really thought I could improve quite a bit. We did all of our homework. Ford did their job. Shank was asking me giving me two tenths (during the qualifying run) and I was digging as hard as I could and I’m just very happy.

“I’m very happy for John (Pew) who puts a lot of effort into this. The day today was a long day but we never stopped since the morning session until now just looking at data and looking at data and analyzing everything and it paid off. I’m very happy for Ford – they’ve been great with us and I can’t say enough about their support and help.”

John Pew will have an outstanding view as he makes his Long Beach debut as he will open the race from the second starting position. The 2012 Rolex 24 winner will start the 100 minute race before turning the car over to Negri as the team looks to make the right strategy call to make the most of the condensed sprint format.

IMG_8877“I’m super happy for the team,” said Team Owner Mike Shank. “I’m very proud of Ozz and the run he put in today. He and John (Pew) have been working hard all day to get the most out of the car. John’s never been to this track before and has done a great job.  We started with a good car and just kept working, all day today.  This is what we work for – thanks to the team, Roush Yates, our engine guys Charles Vogel and John Maddox. We’re trying as hard as we can. Hopefully we can turn this into a big result tomorrow-it’s exciting for all of us and we are really focused on tomorrow.”

The Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase event is set to go green at 3:10 PM local time with FOX Sports 1 televising the race live at 6:10 PM ET.

Live timing and scoring is available at