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The Gary Lewis car dominated the racing on Sunday.The Spokesman Review (Brian Plonka The Spokesman Review / The Spokesman-Review)
The Gary Lewis car dominated the racing on Sunday.The Spokesman Review (Brian Plonka The Spokesman Review / The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane County Raceway ASA Northwest Late Model Tour winner, Gary Lewis, heads to Ronan, Mont. in search of his second consecutive Big Sky 150 victory.

Courtesy: Gary Lewis Racing LLC

SNOHOMISH, Wash. (May 21, 2009)-Coming off a win at Spokane County Raceway during the last stop for the ASA Northwest Late Model Tour, Gary Lewis heads to the state of Montana in defense of his Big Sky 150 title from last year and aiming for his fourth consecutive win in the state when coupled with back-to-back Montana 200 victories.


Momentum has been a big key to the Sign Factory USA race team’s success in 2009 as Lewis has finished in the top-5 running order for his first three starts. That good fortune has been a huge turnaround for a team that felt it was off its game a bit closing out 2008.


“We have been working very hard for this (recent success) and we believe with some luck we have a great chance (this weekend) in Montana. Spokane was a great test for this new tire and the set-up stuff that we have been working on.


“Ronan (site of Mission Valley Speedway’s Big Sky 150) will be another big challenge for the new Goodyear tire.”


Race surfaces that require the most grip from a tire, like Spokane and Ronan only help with preparing for Yakima Speedway coming up June 6, Lewis added.


“The good ting about all the racing we’ve done on the tougher surfaces is this will help us for the Yakima event in a few weeks.”


Once Yakima is completed the team will begin the process of changing over their race car for Pacific Raceway’s road course, something that challenges an all-volunteer crew, according to Lewis.


“Yes we have some big challenges ahead of us for sure,” Lewis confirmed. “We only have one car at this time so it will require massive amounts of work to prepare what we have for the road course event at Pacific. Then after that event of course we’ll have to go in and switch it all back (for July’s Montana 200 and Evergreen Speedway races) but hey that’s what we do.”


Lewis admits that some of the biggest demands as a driver lie ahead of him in coming weeks with Ronan on Sunday followed by Yakima then Pacific Raceway.


“(Ronan) is definitely a driver’s track. Mission Valley is very line sensitive and the timing must be spot on (when entering and exiting a corner) to be fast and consistent. I would say that road course racing is the toughest challenge to master though (in coming weeks).”


Like Ronan, the Nutter Racing Engines Chevrolet team is the defending race champion at Pacific and will have something to work with at the event.


The unknown is the Tour’s new double-file restart rule, something that Lewis as grown to over the course of the series’ first two events.


“There is lots of excitement with the new commitment cone (used to make a competitor choose which line to re-start a race in) that’s for sure. It’s a learning curve for everybody involved even the Tour officials but I do not have a problem with it.”


Leading the points standings and holding that position for a fourth late model touring championship will play no part in how Lewis approaches restarts or a race for that matter, he added.


“We’re not event thinking about points at this time. We go to a race track to win and that’s all at this point in the season.”


For more information regarding Gary Lewis Racing log onto or check out the team’s Facebook page, Gary Lewis Racing LLC.

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Keeping Pace

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