Sears Point: Southard Motorsports race report

Lewis and Ruhlman Show Well at Infineon Raceway in Daytona Prototype Sonoma, Calif (Aug 27, 2007) -- The No. 3 Preformed Line Products Lexus Riley of Southard Motorsports showed well this past weekend at Infineon Raceway with Shane Lewis and ...

Lewis and Ruhlman Show Well at Infineon Raceway in Daytona Prototype

Sonoma, Calif (Aug 27, 2007) -- The No. 3 Preformed Line Products Lexus Riley of Southard Motorsports showed well this past weekend at Infineon Raceway with Shane Lewis and Randy Ruhlman at the wheel. The exciting, Saturday, Aug 25th Armed Forces Grand-Am 250 race featured the Daytona Prototypes in the next to last round of the 2007 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve.

Making significant progress towards a good car setup by morning practice on Friday, both drivers were pleased with the results and felt they had a strong car for qualifying and the race. The team decided to have Lewis make the qualifying run and he was able to put it into seventh for the 99-Lap race on the 2.52-mile, natural terrain road course.

Pulling off the starting grid, Lewis ran as high as sixth during the early part of the race, gradually losing track position to the leaders. The team made a late race pit stop for gas, tires and driver change, but dropped a lap when the leaders came around as the car came out of the pits. Ruhlman took over and kept the car in the top ten. With just 13-laps to go in the race, the No. 3 car got hit by another Prototype as it turned in at Turn Seven. A quick pit stop under green for a broken valve stem on the right rear wheel and damage to the spoiler dropped them another lap to the leaders. Ruhlman was able to pilot the No. 3 car to a twelfth place finish with the race ending just one lap short of its scheduled 99-laps at the two and a half hour time limit.

"It was a long day," said Ruhlman. "And it was really a shame. After that hit and having to stop under green, we went a couple laps down. There wasn't much we could do, but ride it out and bring it home. It's too bad, because the guys worked hard all weekend long and the car was really good for the start of the race. Shane did two stints just flawlessly and kept the car up in the top. It's just real disappointing to have it end up like this."

"This was a good race," summed up Lewis. ""I was really pleased with our starting position. I love this place, it's definitely one of the most demanding tracks on the circuit and passing is very difficult. Starting seventh was definitely a plus. What happened to Randy wasn't his fault. It may be what they call 'part of racing' and there isn't anything you can do, but you don't have to like it. Our entire team did a great job. Today, I think we definitely ran out here much better than the results show."

-credit: sm

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Shane Lewis , Randy Ruhlman