Keeping Pace

LEWIS RETURNS HOME LOOKING FOR THIRD STRAIGHT VICTORY

Gary Lewis interviews with MRN Radio's Paul Bartholomew after winning the Coors Light Montana 200. (Photo courtesy of Caren Strimple, Northfork Photo/Montana Raceway Park) (The Spokesman-Review)
Gary Lewis interviews with MRN Radio's Paul Bartholomew after winning the Coors Light Montana 200. (Photo courtesy of Caren Strimple, Northfork Photo/Montana Raceway Park) (The Spokesman-Review)

Gary Lewis picked up the Montana 200 win in the wee hours of Sunday morning then turned for home less then six hours later; not much time for celebrating or getting a car ready for Monroe’s “big track.”

Courtesy: Gary Lewis Racing LLC


SNOHOMISH, Wash. (July 23, 2009)–With a win at the ASA Northwest Late Model Tour’s last event, the Pacific Raceway’s road course, followed by a third straight Coors Light Montana 200–Gary Lewis has the hot hand and is the marked man heading into this week’s ASA stop at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Wash.

Lewis picked up the Montana 200 win in the wee hours of Sunday morning then turned for home less then six hours later; not much time for celebrating or getting a car ready for Monroe’s “big track.”

“The Montana 200 race was a tough one with the heat reaching about 104 degrees during the day. We were still feeling wiped out on Tuesday evening at the race shop as we started to get the SEFNCO Communications Chevrolet ready for this week’s race.

“There is a fair amount of maintenance work to be done along with a weight change and all the set-up changes so The Sign Factory USA crew guys and I have been busy in a short amount of time.”

With nearly two decades of racing experience on both the three-eighth interior oval and the big five-eighth at Evergreen the 38-year old Snohomish, Wash. resident has had a few laps around the facility to figure things out. What will be tough this week is changing the car back to handle on a Goodyear racing tire after winning last weekend on the Hoosier used at Montana Raceway Park.

Lewis is not concerned about the impending changes, he noted.

“The switch in tires shouldn’t make a difference on the car. What it does do is make you think a little more about how you’re driving the car. We have already made some changes in the set-up thanks to Mike Leary from Leary Racing Products that are for the Goodyear that also worked with the Hoosier last week. I know that 175 laps on the left side (which is required by ASA rules for this weekend’s race) may be a challenge though because we have the left side working very hard.”

The bigger challenge facing the team heading to Monroe is the competition, Lewis added.

“To be honest the biggest challenge we’re going to face is the 25 or so other drivers also looking to win this race. We need to make sure we get a good balanced car for the long run and keep our nose clean then race hard at the end.”

Lewis heads into the Monroe race just six points behind first place Brent Harris in the chase for the 2009 ASA NWLMT championship. Fresh off his third straight Montana 200 victory in a race some say was one of his best drives of a stellar career, Lewis has a hard time putting into words what a fourth late model touring title would mean coupled with his third 200 victory.

“Oh man is that a tough one (to put into perspective) that’s for sure. Both would be huge on my list. The third 200 deal is just incredibly huge for us; we still can’t believe we pulled it off. As for the championship, we race to win and don’t think about the points and that’s how we’ll approach this weekend,” Lewis said.

Once the ASA NWLMT event is over there is no stopping the team or rest for tired crewmembers, as Lewis will be preparing for the Idaho 200 that runs August 2. Lewis and the team came into the summer with a chance to win all four “Northwest Majors” the Montana 200, the Idaho 200, this weekend’s ASA event and the Miller 200 at South Sound Speedway on August 8, but Lewis said that may not be in the cards.

“We race one race at a time and that’s all I have to say on that one and at this point we are not looking to run the Miller 200. The (Miller 200) is an awesome race for sure but my guys need a break and some already have plans for that weekend.”

This weekend racing gets underway at Evergreen Speedway Saturday, July 25 at 5 p.m.

For more information on Gary Lewis Racing check out the teams website at www.garylewisracing.com 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.





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