“This is one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with–just the idea of not being able to be in the car is so tough,” said Negri. “But my doctors agree that this is the best path to take, and I owe everything to this team for supporting me through this. John (Pew) has been great and very understanding – he has as much passion for fitness as I do and he knows that this is the right path for me professionally. I’m eager to get going already, and will be working hard to be back and better than ever in Detroit.”
Next weekend’s Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park marks round three of the 2013 Grand-Am season. Michael Shank Racing has a long history of success at the track, having scored four podium finishes including a runner-up result in 2010.
Valiante is no stranger to Michael Shank Racing, having first worked with the team in 2009 as Pew’s full-time teammate. He is also familiar with the role of sub, having scored his most recent Rolex Sports Car Series victory last year when he was stepping in for another driver at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
“It’s obviously unfortunate for Ozz to have to take a little bit more time to get back to 100%,” said Valiante, who scored pole position at Barber Motorsports Park in 2008. “I hope he’s able to get back quickly and I am just going to try to make the most of the opportunity and support the team the best that I can. I’ve had a lot of great races with John (Pew) and I’m happy that the team gave me the call to jump in here for these two races.”