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Keeping Pace


Gary Lewis after the ASANWLMT event in East Wenatchee, Wash. (Photo courtesy M.E. Wright) (The Spokesman-Review)
Gary Lewis after the ASANWLMT event in East Wenatchee, Wash. (Photo courtesy M.E. Wright) (The Spokesman-Review)

Gary Lewis begins his quest for three straight Idaho and Montana 200 titles this weekend with the running of the 19th Annual Coors Light Montana 200.

For Immediate Release: Gary Lewis Racing LLC

SNOHOMISH, Wash. (July 16, 2009)-Despite the historic run Gary Lewis went on in the Montana and Idaho 200’s as the only driver to win both races for two straight years, the driver of SEFNCO Communications Chevrolet knows that the challenge of winning three consecutive 200’s will be even bigger this summer.


With 36 drivers pre-entered for the Montana 200 the field has some of the stiffest competition Lewis has seen for this caliber of race. The biggest attraction is the location of the track as it’s nestled in the Rocky Mountain plus a $12,000 winner’s check.


“This is just such a huge event among us racers and it means so much to anybody that could pull off the win. The track is one of the best around and thy put out one hell of a show for the fans and the racers,’ Lewis said.


Lewis has multiple wins on the quarter-mile high banked Montana Raceway Park. With a NASCAR track qualifying record, wins on the NASCAR Northwest Series at the facility, wins on the ARCA West Late Model Series and consecutive 200 victories the 38-year old driver considers MRP a home away from home racetrack.


“Personally I just love to race a banked track like Montana Raceway Park which forces you to go faster then what your brain is telling you that you can go into the corner. This track forces you to step up your game to keep the speed in your car,” the three-time late model touring champion explained. “It’s also a nice smooth track which works very well with the technology we use on the car from Mike Leary and Leary Racing Products.”


Lewis hits Montana Raceway Park fresh off a road course victory on the ASA Northwest Late Model Tour where he trails series points leader, Brent Harris, by just six points. With wins in Spokane and Seattle along with strong runs in Yakima and Wenatchee, the Sign Factory USA crew has given their driver great race cars throughout the season, but Lewis notes that a few more wins may have gotten away from them over the last few weeks.


“We have been running great lately but just don’t have the wins to back it up. In my opinion we have lost two races so far this year that we should have won but had some demons that need to shake off. This team believes that those are behind us now and we look for a much stronger second half to our season which gets going this weekend at the Coors Light Montana 200.”


That second-half stretch includes stops at Evergreen Speedway next weekend followed by the Idaho 200, a weekend off then a return to Montana Raceway Park on August 14-15 for the running of the “Best of the West” and Can-Am 125 races.


All that racing in such a short amount of time can be taxing on a team, according to Lewis.


“Oh man this is a grueling stretch for sure,” he said. “We can do it and are ready for the challenge; we just may have to sacrifice even more much needed sleep.”


Having a strong crew led by crew chief Ralph Lewis could make the difference in winning a third Montana 200 this weekend, Lewis added.


“Each part (crew, sponsors and their efforts) is so very important and we can’t do it without either of those pieces. The team has really stepped it up here lately to keep the car in winning condition. Every little bit of help you can get from a sponsor whether it’s money or product also helps a ton. This is a team sport for sure and all aspects of these facets create the great team we’ve built here at Gary Lewis Racing.”


To learn more about Gary Lewis Racing LLC check out the team on FaceBook or log onto The Coors Light Montana 200 will be broadcast on KDBR 106.3 FM in the Flathead Valley and on the race track’s website. For Montana 200 information log onto

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Keeping Pace

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