Shane Lewis running planned pace in Rolex 24. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., January 31, 2004 - Shane Lewis, of Jupiter, Fla., was running tenth at the first quarter-mark (the sixth hour) of the 42nd Running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona (International ...
Shane Lewis running planned pace in Rolex 24.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., January 31, 2004 - Shane Lewis, of Jupiter, Fla., was running tenth at the first quarter-mark (the sixth hour) of the 42nd Running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona (International Speedway). Lewis, the lead driver of the No. 7 PAP PARTS BMW-FABCAR of Southard Motorsports, made a strong run through the field at the start of the race handing the car over in seventh position overall. Shortly after, a rear suspension component broke on the car while George Robinson was behind the wheel. The necessary repair time dropped the car through the standings. Once repaired, rain moved into the Daytona-area bringing a new set of challenges to the Daytona Prototype (DP) cars, the quickest of the three classes racing in event. Lewis and his co-drivers: Jack Baldwin, Vic Rice, Robinson and Steve Southard must now fight not only the average struggles of closing speeds with the two slower classes, but they must do it in the rain. The team is following its strategy to make it through the nighttime hours and go racing much harder in the final hours of the race which will take the checkered flag shortly after 1 pm Sunday.
about the race to this point:
"The start of the race was awesome. There is nothing like the excitement of starting a 24 hour race. Even though your goal and your strategy is to set a pace that can be quick but maintain the integrity of the car, you always seem to push a little harder when that first green flag drops. I did a pretty long first stint and after the first full-course caution we took tires and fuel and I pushed pretty hard. I brought the car home without a scratch on it and in seventh-place overall which I was very happy with. We had a small suspension component break about three hours in. It sent George [Robinson] for a wild ride in the infield. He did a great job of keeping it off the wall. The crew did an amazing job getting the car fixed but it set us back a lot. We've been playing catch-up ever since. I'll be really pleased if we can leave here with a top-10 towards the championship."
about the importance of the Rolex 24:
"The Rolex 24 at Daytona has such a great heritage and being a fulltime Florida resident for over a decade makes it even more special. I've got a lot of fans pulling for me here. Some from Florida, some from across the country and some from around the world. So I want to put on a good show and a good finish for them and I want to reward the Southard crew for all of the hard work they have done this weekend."
about the weather:
"It's wet, cold and slippery. And that's just the best part of it. There is no place like Daytona in the dry and there's no place like Daytona in the wet. The car is actually very drivable in the wet. The biggest concern is looking out for other traffic. We also have a small issue with the wiper blade right now that makes visibility extremely limited. That might sound like I'm not having fun but I absolutely love a challenge."
For more on Shane Lewis please see www.shanelewis.com. To learn more about Southard Motorsports, please visit www.pap-parts.com or www.autoassets.com.