Daytona 24: Shane Lewis race report

Shane Lewis Marks Career Milestone at Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., February 6, 2005 -- As Shane Lewis belted into No. 3 OZEXE/ PAP-PARTS Cegwa Sport-Southard Motorsports Lexus-FABCAR Daytona Prototype (DP) yesterday afternoon, the Jupiter,...

Shane Lewis Marks Career Milestone at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., February 6, 2005 -- As Shane Lewis belted into No. 3 OZEXE/ PAP-PARTS Cegwa Sport-Southard Motorsports Lexus-FABCAR Daytona Prototype (DP) yesterday afternoon, the Jupiter, Fla. resident passed a career milestone. The 2005 Rolex 24 At Daytona, the season-opening round of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, marked Lewis's 20th career 24 hour race. In that time he has earned three class and two overall victories in 24 hour races. He has driven in the Rolex 24 eight times and at Le Mans three times. A progressive run for the five-man driving squad brought the car steadily through the field. After pulling a triple stint- three tire and fuel changes without relinquishing the wheel- the former Daytona Endurance champion handed the No. 3 over to '05 teammate and Cegwa owner Darius Grala to take the checkered flag. The No. 3 would finish 14th in the DP class, 23rd overall having completed 630 laps in the 24 hours since the green flag.

Lewis, a former Grand American winner, piloted the car as high as ninth with four hours remaining in the endurance classic. However, a suspension failure shortly after the 20 hour mark would alter the results. A small tab which acts as the mounting point for the rear suspension broke while Lewis ran the car in the top-10. The Cegwa-Southard crew went to work completing the major repairs in less than an hour. While they returned to the track, the time lost was too great to reclaim. As a racer, Lewis had set his goals for the event to reach 24 hours and earn as many points towards the season-ending DP standings as possible. While 14th place points may not have been all he had hoped for, every marker will come into play at the end of the season.

Lewis will now turn his attentions to the BMW-powered Riley chassis of Southard Motorsports. The March 5th race at Homestead-Miami Speedway will return Lewis to the full Southard Motorsports team which just received delivery of the Riley two weeks ago. Homestead will be the first race for the Steve Southard-owned team with the new Riley chassis. Lewis and Grala will co-drive the No. 3 OZEXE/ PAP-PARTS Southard Motorsports BMW-Riley in the remaining Rolex Series events.

Shane Lewis: "I had a good time this weekend. The guys did a great job. When the suspension broke, to fix it they had to drop the transmission, repair the tab and put it all back together again. That would normally be a half-a-day job. They got us back out in 45 minutes. I was really impressed with the effort to do that. We had a first generation car so our goal for this weekend was a little conservative. We wanted to get points and we did that. In fact, the car ran very well. We would have had a good top-ten finish I think if it weren't for the suspension failure. Darius and I can now move on to Homestead with the new Riley and the BMW engine. I am looking forward to the rest of the season."

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Shane Lewis , Darius Grala , Steve Southard