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Three-Time Montana And Idaho 200 Champion Set To Make NASCAR Debut

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 conquered some big races across the Pacific Northwest and now takes the next step in a stellar career with a start on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West which kicks off its season on March 27 in Roseville, Calif.

Courtesy: Gary Lewis Racing Media Relations

 

SNOHOMISH, Wash. (March 24, 2010)-Four-time late model touring champion, Gary Lewis, is to debut on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series Wes this weekend at All-American Speedway in Roseville, Calif.

 

Lewis will be behind the wheel of the No. 09 Chevrolet owned by Dick Midgely and sponsored by SEFNCO Communications, Montana Raceway Park and The Sign Factory USA. This will the Snohomish, Wash. native’s second start behind the wheel of Midgley’s race car after a successful run in South Africa as part of the Free State 500 held in January.

 

Making a start on the West Coast’s premier NASCAR Touring Series is a pinnacle mark in Lewis’ career, he said.

 

“Personally I have strived to reach a higher level of NASCAR racing for many years,” explained the 1998 and 2006 NASCAR Northwest Series champion. “I am very excited for this opportunity that Midgley Motorsports has given me. Hopefully we can get a good clean run and then maybe run a few more races (later in the season) together.”

 

Having worked with Midgley’s team in South Africa and having key personnel from Gary Lewis Racing helping in Roseville, a comfortable bond is developing that should prove successful for 2010, Lewis added.

 

“I know that Dick Midgley and his guys are working very hard to give me the best car they can (from their stable). It’s a pretty cool deal too because Dick has actually been calling me off and on bouncing set-up stuff off me for this weekend. I think we are at a point already that we trust and respect each other opinions and ideas.”

 

With a strong run under his belt in a Midgley intermediate car at the Free State 500, Lewis believes that many of the things learn while running that event could carry over to the West Series opener.

 

“Yes I do believe that experience in South Africa will help but short track racing is what I do primarily (in the Northwest) so I feel very comfortable going to a new track like All-American and learning the line and the car all at the same time,” said the 39-year old driver. “This will not be an easy task at all but this race is what I have been working up to for a long time so I think we will do just fine.”

 

Using set-up notes from short tracks across the West Coast that Lewis has had strong runs can be applied to the SEFNCO Chevrolet, he added.

 

“I think that some of the same theories would apply for the most part. I just need to learn a few things in regard to the shocks, big springs and truck arms. I feel that I can make a smooth transition fairly quick this weekend to the different type of car in a short track environment.”

 

If things go well this weekend Lewis is hopeful of a run with Midgley Motorsports at upcoming NASCAR K&N Pro Series West events including Phoenix in April.

 

“At this point in my career I’m trying to step out and focus on what I really love to do. I want to race the big tracks, road courses and also defend my Montana and Idaho 200 titles. Of course racing the big track stuff would be in the K&N Pro Series West and that requires some big advertising programs which in the end will be the determining factor on if we’re able to some of those or not.”

 

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West 2010 season opener is set for Saturday, March 27 at All-American Speedway in Roseville, Calif. With a starting field of 24 cars many of the West Coast’s top drivers have circled the opener as a place to start off with 150 laps of solid short track racing.

 

To learn more about this weekend’s event at All-America Speedway log onto www.nascar.com For more information on Snohomish’s Gary Lewis who will be making his series debut log onto www.garylewisracing.com or find 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.