Keeping Pace

LEWIS OUT TO WIN ‘BIG RACE’ IN HIS HOME STATE

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)

Gary Lewis has wins on the ASA Northwest Late Model Tour in the state of Washington and in Roseburg, Ore. en route to the 2009 championship, including a title-clinching victory on Sept. 19 in Yakima and will rely on that momentum this weekend in the 22nd Annual Yakima Speedway Fall Classic

Courtesy: Gary Lewis Racing Media Relations

SNOHOMISH, Wash. (October 1, 2009)-Gary Lewis has won the state of
Montana’s biggest late model race, the Coors Light Montana 200, three
consecutive times, has three straight Idaho Napa Auto Parts 200 titles,
but what he lacks is his home state’s grand prize-the Yakima Speedway Fall
Classic-and enters this weekend’s event with high hopes to close out 2009
with the prestigious title.

The four-time late model touring champion confirms the desire to win the
22nd annual running of the Central Washington event as high on his list of
things to accomplish.

“A victory here at the Fall Classic would be huge for this Shocked by Mike
Leary Racing Products team. We have some big wins under our belt but one
in my own state would be awesome,” Lewis said.

Lewis has wins on the ASA Northwest Late Model Tour in Washington and in
Roseburg, Ore. en route to the 2009 championship, including a
title-clinching victory on Sept. 19 in Yakima and will rely on that
momentum this weekend, he noted.

“Yes for sure (winning a few weeks ago) does help,” confirmed the driver
of the No. 73 AP Brakes Chevrolet. “We took that set-up and tried to make
it better heading into this weekend so we’ll see on Friday (during open
practice) how all of that has turned out for us.”

Working to find the right set-up for over 300 laps of late model racing on
a tough surface like Yakima demands a near perfect approach, according to
Lewis.

For the ARP Racing Bodies Impala to sit in victory lane for the 125-lap
Limited Late Model main event Saturday night then again after 200 laps of
racing Sunday will require overcoming a continuous challenge the team has
faced nearly the entire ASA season.

“The biggest challenge for us this weekend is going to be the tires we’re
racing on. They are constantly changing sizes and they are different from
one set to another. Yakima is a track that seems to be very tough on this
tire. Our right side tires were blistered very badly at the ASA
championship race two weeks ago during our practice and first-half run. We
know how far it will go with the set-up we used and now have to work to
get it to last the entire race.”

Lewis has won a Fall Classic limited event in 2007 but would like to add
his name along side the likes of Garrett Evans, Pete Harding, Rick Schultz
and other regional greats who have captured the 200-lap Sunday finale.

The drive to win outmatches the desire to make the 200-lap Yakima race a
more meaningful victory over a Montana or Idaho 200. Lewis admits to its
importance on his resume but notes it does not consume his preparation.

“No (it does not consume me) but yes (it can) meaning that it’s not on the
resume and I would like to add it. Even if it was something we’d won in
the past we want to win it bad because of its prestige.”

To win Lewis will need to be strong through practice and qualifying heats
plus hit his marks correctly in qualifying trim. Starting positions in the
200-lap race are important but the length of the race does allow for a
slim margin of error if need be, he said.

“Qualifying is always important but it is a long race so we would have
time to work our way to the front if needed.”

The 22nd Annual Yakima Speedway Fall Classic kicks off on Saturday, Oct. 3
and concludes Sunday with the 200-lap finale of late model racing in the
Northwest.

For more information on the newly crowned ASA Northwest Late Model Tour’s
champion, log onto www.garylewisracing.com or find the team on Facebook
under 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.






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