Shane Lewis takes first U.S. Mini Cooper Top-10.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. January 31, 2003 -- Shane Lewis, of Jupiter, Florida, drove the Nuzzo Motorsports #20 Mini Cooper S to the car's first North American top-10 finish in the Grand American Street Stock Series (Grand-Am Cup) today. Lewis, who started 14th in Street Touring I (ST I) class, finished tenth with a dramatic last lap pass of the #3 Lexus of Charles and Paul Menard. The Mini Cooper S, just named North American Car of the Year, was making its United States racing debut with Lewis and owner/driver Tony Nuzzo behind the wheel here at Daytona International Speedway.
"It was an exciting race," remarked Lewis following the first checkered flag of Daytona Speedweeks. "The Nuzzo Motorsports and Bodymotion guys did a great job getting this Mini together. I was able to catch a draft off a few cars a couple of times which dramatically helped some of our lap times and allowed us to close the gap there at the end on the Lexus. But, overall, we had to drive the wheels off this car to bring home the top-10. The competition has substantially more horsepower than we do. The only way to make this a contender for top-five in-class is to give us a few breaks on how we can make power. The Mini Cooper is not quite a ST I machine but it's a little too much for ST II. It's just stuck in the middle and I hope Grand-Am can help us out some. What you saw is what this car had to give. The Mini Cooper is awesome and everyone loves it but we just need a few more American ponies under that British hood."
The Daytona 250 Grand-Am Cup race, marking the first race of the 2003 road racing season, will be broadcast on Saturday, February 8th at noon (EST) on SPEED Channel. Making the broadcast even more exciting will be the Mini Cooper S/ Nuzzo Motorsports on-board camera giving viewers the chance to ride with Lewis as he makes the spine-tingling last lap pass for the top-10 finish.
Shane Lewis is the 1998 Professional Sports Car Racing Rising Star award winner and is a multiple race winner in IMSA, SCCA Pro and Grand-Am sanctioned events. In 2002, he competed in the GS I and GS II classes of the Grand-Am Cup winning overall at Phoenix and in-class twice, including at the Daytona season-finale. The popular Lewis is also a regular on the American Le Mans Series where he has earned multiple podiums and top-five finishes.
For more on Shane Lewis please see www.ShaneLewis.com. For more on Nuzzo Motorsports visit www.NuzzoMotorsports.com.