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Keeping Pace


Gary Lewis leads in the No. 73 Chevrolet (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Gary Lewis leads in the No. 73 Chevrolet (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

With three straight victories in the Montana 200, Gary Lewis returns to Montana Raceway Park looking to grabs his first career ARCA West Mac's Series victory and a Best of the West Showdown win over two days of racing action.

For Immediate Release
Courtesy: Gary Lewis Racing LLC

SNOHOMISH, Wash. (August 12, 2009)–The last time Gary Lewis ran a race at
Montana Raceway Park his victory went down as a race for the ages en route
to his third consecutive Coors Light Montana 200 victory.

This weekend the driver of the SEFNCO Communications Chevrolet returns to
run his first-ever “Best of the West” 100-lap event and on Saturday makes
his first career start on the ARCA West Mac’s Series.

With the potential to haul over $10,000 back to the team’s Snohomish,
Wash. race shop the prize money is an allure but not the primary reason
for a third trip to Big Sky country in the 2009 season.

“(This weekend’s events) will be a first for us and we take pride in doing
new things and having success when we run a new series or race,” Lewis

“The prize money is something we do think about when we plan out a season
schedule because the initial cost to run these races is very expensive. We
know we’ll need to finish with a top-3 in order to break even at just
about any race we go to now when you run on a limited budget like we have
for so long.

“It’s crucial for us to prepare that way in order to keep racing but once
we get to the track I don’t think about that at all as we have to be sure
we’re focused on what we came to do and that is win.”

Mark Owens and Corey Wolfe made Lewis work for his $12,000 winner’s check
at July’s Montana 200 but with recent changes made to The Sign Factory USA
Impala the three-time late model touring champion is confident things will
be in tip-top shape for two days of racing.

“I made some set-up changes that led us off track from what we normally do
and when I realized it we were already way to far down the road to go back
(at the Montana 200). We made it work that day but some recent adjustments
will have our car much better this time around I believe,” Lewis said.

Lewis has traveled all over the Northwest in recent weeks with runs in
Idaho, Montana and his home track in Monroe, Wash. Next weekend the ASA
Northwest Late Model Tour, where he leads the point standings with three
races remaining in 2009–heads to Roseburg, Ore.

All of the travel can challenge an all-volunteer crew and limited
resources, Lewis explained.

“We all have full-time jobs so the travel schedule does create a challenge
for us to get the car ready in time for our race in Roseburg. Hopefully
the car comes out of this weekend’s event without too much damage because
it’s a full week of work to turn it around for the ASA race even without
any damage. If we have a problem it will make the upcoming week that much
more of a challenge.”

Some in the Northwest racing community have said that to beat the No. 73
ARP Bodies crew and driver purchasing the race car itself may be the only

The driver doesn’t agree with that statement.

“When you’re racing at this level it takes a combination of many things to
win the races we have in the last few years,” Lewis said. “You must have a
good car of course but driver and a great team with some good luck go a
long way as well. You always have to make the correct chassis adjustments
and make good decisions on the race track.

“As for whether it’s time for someone else to have this car and we build a
new one–all I can say is we’ll talk about that this winter.”

Before winter hits Lewis has at least a few more goals to accomplish in
2009. Having already won a third straight Idaho and Montana 200, only the
Yakima Speedway Fall Classic is left to conquer this season, he noted.

“We will be working very hard on our program at Yakima this Labor Day
weekend (site of the ASA NWLMT second to last race of the year). The Fall
Classic would be a huge win if we could pull it off. We’ve been close in
the past but that doesn’t count in racing and we aim to win this year.”

This weekend’s two-day Bill Clark Can-Am Memorial at Montana Raceway Park
kicks off Friday night with a 100-lap main event paying $5,000 to the
winner with the ARCA West Mac’s Series set to take the green flag on
Saturday. Live audio and video is available on the track’s website at

For more information on Gary Lewis Racing check out the teams website at or Gary Lewis Racing LLC on Facebook.

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Keeping Pace

Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.