Keeping Pace

LEWIS RETURNS TO STATELINE LOOKING TO CONTINUE SUCCESS

Gary Lewis picked up his first victory of 2009 on the ASA Northwest Late Model Tour at Spokane County Raceway. (Photo courtesy of M.E. Wright) (The Spokesman-Review)
Gary Lewis picked up his first victory of 2009 on the ASA Northwest Late Model Tour at Spokane County Raceway. (Photo courtesy of M.E. Wright) (The Spokesman-Review)

With two consecutive Idaho 200 victories, an ARCA West pole to go along with a runner-up finish, Gary Lewis sees Stateline Speedway's ASA NWLMT event coming at just right the time in his season.

Courtesy: Gary Lewis Racing LLC

SNOHOMISH, Wash. (June 10, 2009)–Gary Lewis has just three career starts at Stateline Speedway, site of this week’s stop on the ASA Northwest Late Model Tour. In those events the three-time late model touring champion has been very successful and heads into Saturday’s 125-lap race in hopes of continuing that hot streak.

With two consecutive Idaho 200 victories, an ARCA West pole to go along with a runner-up finish, Lewis sees the Stateline event coming at just right the time in his season.

“Stateline has been a great track for us the past couple of years that’s for sure,” he said. “It’s just an awesome little track to race on and we can’t wait for this weekend’s event.”

Coming off a runner-up finish last week at Yakima Speedway, the Snohomish, Wash. native heads to the Post Falls, Id. track nearing the half-way point in the ASA schedule but facing the longest stretch of his season.

“We don’t separate the races like that (looking at what point the team is at on the touring schedule). We have a schedule and that’s what we’re sticking too. July and August are two very busy months for us with races in Montana, Idaho, South Sound and our hometrack of Evergreen.

“Our Nutter Racing Engines team needs to get good clean runs so we don’t have to work ourselves to death in those months plus we’re throwing in a road course event at Pacific Raceways right in the middle of all that so this will be a tough stretch for us.”

With over a dozen races left in the team’s season Lewis has not had time to take in the success the ARP Bodies Chevrolet team has had thus far in 2009.

“I can’t believe we’re almost halfway through the ASA Northwest Late Model Tour season already,” Lewis noted. “I know that we have 13 races left on our team’s schedule so we’re still looking at many more races to come this year.”

The Sign Factory USA pit crew has given Lewis consistent race cars at each of the events they’ve enter in 2009. Top-5 finishes, a win at Spokane County Raceway, a top-3 at the 43rd Annual Apple Cup and runner-up in their most recent event have shown that the team can transition from aiming for race wins, such as 2008, to looking to win while also maintaining consistency.

That is a mark of a good team and tough competition, Lewis explained.

“This is a very tough year for sure and that’s the way it should be (when racing at the top level in the Northwest). We have a handful of teams that could win at any given event we go to. Mike Longton has had the best car for most of the races so far and he is really making everybody work hard for their finishes. Brent Harris has also stepped up his game as well. There are many great racers out there right now so we should have some exciting races to come the rest of this year.”

While always looking to improve from week to week, Lewis and his team have been challenged by a new wrinkle in 2009–the Goodyear Eagle racing tire used on the Tour.

“The Goodyear tire has been the biggest surprise for us I would say so far this season. It has really thrown us off at a couple of tracks and we are working real hard to get a grip on this tire (heading into the July and August stretch),” Lewis said.

The ASA Northwest Late Model Tour takes to the green flag Saturday, June 13 at 9 p.m. at Idaho’s Stateline Speedway. Log onto www.raceidaho.com to learn more.

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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