Birmingham: Southard Motorsports preview

Taste of Success is Fresh as Southard Motorsports heads to Barber Motorsports Park, Team Looks to Keep Momentum Going After Iowa BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (July 19, 2007) -- One week ago at Iowa Speedway, the Southard Motorsports No. 3 Preformed Line ...

Taste of Success is Fresh as Southard Motorsports heads to Barber Motorsports Park, Team Looks to Keep Momentum Going After Iowa

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (July 19, 2007) -- One week ago at Iowa Speedway, the Southard Motorsports No. 3 Preformed Line Products Lexus-Riley fought a determined battle for a podium finish. Though a late race pit stop dropped the team to eighth in the final Grand-Am Daytona Prototype event standings, the hard earned run left the taste of success. Team driver Shane Lewis looks to savor that competitive flavor again this weekend at the Porsche 250 Presented By Bradley Arant at Barber Motorsports Park.

While the 2.3-mile, 16-turn permanent road course just outside of Birmingham, Alabama is a far cry from the short, tight infield road course at the new Iowa Speedway oval, the flowing Barber track has been a favorite of drivers and teams since it first became a fixture on the Grand-Am schedule in 2003. "We want to carry the momentum of the Iowa race on to this weekend at Barber," says Shane Lewis. "This is a beautiful track, probably the prettiest track we'll race on all season. We know that we can be competitive--Iowa showed that. The whole team was really excited by the results there. That was a great event; we had our strongest run since our podium finishes last year at Long Beach and Phoenix. I want to keep that going here at Birmingham and keep moving towards the front of the pack at every race. We know we can do it."

The team's momentum is strong as it heads into the final rounds of the 2007 Grand-Am season. Last weekend, the team was joined at Iowa Speedway by NASCAR Nextel Cup standout Mark Martin. Teammates Shane Lewis and Randy Ruhlman worked to set up the car in the practices before the race and Martin was scheduled fly in to start the car, but he arrived too late to qualify. Martin started from the rear of the field, quickly rocketing to a top-ten running position before handing the wheel over to Lewis. Lewis kept the surge going forward and posted as high as fourth, before a late race pit stop dropped the car back. Lewis battled forward and brought the car home in eighth place, earning the team the SunTrust Hard Charger Award for advancing the most places during the event. It is the second time that Southard Motorsports crew has taken that honor.

Lewis will be joined for the race this Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park by a soon to be announced second driver. Last-minute race schedule conflicts prevent regular driving partner Randy Ruhlman from joining the team this weekend. Ruhlman will return to the No. 3 Preformed Line Products Lexus Riley in two weeks, when the Grand-Am Series heads north for Rounds Eleven and Twelve of competition at Montreal and Watkins Glen.

-credit: sm

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Shane Lewis , Randy Ruhlman , Mark Martin