As a two-time and defending Idaho 200 champion, Gary Lewis knows that he will have his work cut out for a third straight victory come this Sunday's main event.
For Immediate Release: Gary Lewis Racing LLC
SNOHOMISH, Wash. (July 29, 2009)-Gary Lewis came into the SEFNCO Communications Racing Team’s summer stretch of three races in three weeks with the goal of repeating as Montana 200 champion, win the ASA Northwest Late Model Tour Washington 500 and capture a third Idaho 200.
Lewis has a win in the Montana 200 for the third consecutive summer. At Evergreen Speedway last Saturday night The Sign Factory USA pit crew and Lewis picked up a fourth place finish in the ASA NWLMT 100-lap event. For the Idaho 200 Lewis sees the potential to have another top-5 finish or even grab a third NAPA Auto Parts Idaho 200 crown.
Taking a realistic approach to winning in Montana, Washington and Idaho has kept the team focused after earning a third straight Coors Light Montana 200 title, Lewis said.
“That was crazy for sure (winning a third Montana 200). The SEFNCO Communications team was able to accomplish the three-peat and winning a third Idaho 200 would be as big a deal for this team. This race is so important to our team that my shock guy, Mike Leary of Leary Racing Products, is flying in to help us and some other teams that will be in the race.”
The ASA NWLMT event in Monroe, Wash. last weekend was originally set for 175 laps with a break at lap 100. With weather in the area the race went to the 100-lap mark and was called. Lewis notes that running a shorter distance may help with the team’s preparation for the Idaho 200.
“(I think running a shorter race) helped us out as we had some problems with the car during practice. We were able to bust out a good qualifying lap but the car was way too loose for the race,” Lewis explained. “Being that it was an impound race last weekend we were stuck with what we had in the car. We probably could have made some adjustments at the break though and maybe had a better finish.
“Notes from last year (at Stateline Speedway for the Idaho 200) will hopefully help speed up the (set-up) process this weekend.”
Similar to Montana and Evergreen, the team’s biggest challenge will be all around them come Sunday, Lewis said.
“Just like I had said heading into the Montana 200 (our biggest obstacle) is the other 25 or more teams that are also planning to win this race on Sunday.”
Both Montana Raceway Park and Stateline Speedway are quarter-mile race tracks. Lewis has led laps at Stateline this season on the ASA NWLMT before suffering a mechanical failure, won in Montana and finished second to Garrett Evans at the Tour’s season opening event on Wenatchee Valley Super Oval’s quarter-mile-all of which shows the strength of the team’s short track packages. For Lewis each venue is different and there is still much to be learned heading into the Idaho 200.
“Actually each of those tracks is little different these days. The banking is much less at Stateline then say Wenatchee or Montana Raceway Park so some minor Swift spring changes need to be made to adjust for that. This ARP Bodies Impala SS usually runs very well at (Stateline) so we’re very excited for this weekend’s race,” the three-time late modeling touring champion said.
“We are still learning at every track we go to no matter how many starts we have or how big a facility it is. Stateline for example is very different from day into night especially when it’s hot during the afternoon as it will be this weekend. We also have some new things we are trying for this race so that will be a challenging process within itself to win our third Idaho 200,” Lewis added.
The NAPA Auto Parts Idaho 200 is set to take the green flag on Sunday, August 2 at 2 p.m. For more information log onto Stateline Speedway’s website at www.raceidaho.com
To learn more about Gary Lewis Racing LLC check out the team’s page on Facebook or go to www.garylewisracing.com