This past weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Patrick Sheltra was spotted sitting on the No. 21 pit box for Clint Bowyer during the Nationwide race.
Sheltra Motorsports earlier this year expressed that they were negoitating to get Sheltra into a full-time Nationwide Series ride after winning the 2010 ARCA Re/Max Series Championship. In 20 races this past season, Sheltra had two wins, 12 top fives and 17 top 10s on his way to his first championship.
The combination of Sheltra and Richard Childress Racing would seem unlikely, however, as RCR has announced they will not be doing a Nationwide Series program in 2011. Though speculation has it that this could lead to Sheltra running some races in the No. 21 car to close out the season as no full-time driver is in place.
The ARCA Series has been known for producing great NASCAR drivers as both Justin Lofton, Parker Kligerman, Michael McDowell, T.J. Bell and Justin Allgaier have recently moved up from the ARCA ranks. Each driver has had their own degree of success, however the 2008 and 2009 champions have experienced the most lately.
Justin Lofton, the 2009 champion, is driving the No. 7 truck in the Craftsmen Truck Series this year for Tuner Motorsports. So far this year, Lofton has four top fives and six top 10s in 20 starts.
Justin Allgaier, the 2008 champion, is driving the No. 12 car in the Nationwide Series this year for Penske Racing. So far this year, Allgaier has one win (Bristol), seven top fives, 18 top 10s and one pole in 31 starts. Allgaier hopes to catch the eye of a sponsor or a new team owner as he could left on the sidelines next year.
Parker Kligerman, the 2009 series rookie of the year, looks to follow in the footsteps of Allgaier as he is currently under a developmental contract with Penkse Racing.
Could Sheltra be the next success story? It is very well possible as Sheltra showed this year that he can be consistant, determined and ready for the next level.