Shane Lewis and Craig Stanton to Team Again Southard Motorsports Announces Driver Lineup for Next Two Rolex Series Daytona Prototype Races MONTEREY, Calif., May 5, 2006 -- Southard Motorsports confirmed today that Craig Stanton (Long Beach, ...
Shane Lewis and Craig Stanton to Team Again
Southard Motorsports Announces Driver Lineup for Next Two Rolex Series Daytona Prototype Races
MONTEREY, Calif., May 5, 2006 -- Southard Motorsports confirmed today that Craig Stanton (Long Beach, Calif.) will rejoin Shane Lewis (Jupiter, Fla.) in the No. 3 TrueChoice/ PAP-Parts BMW-Riley for the next two Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve races. Stanton, who teamed with Lewis at the most recent race at Virginia International Raceway (VIR), will share driving duties here this weekend at the U.S. Sports Car Invitational at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (Monterey, Calif.) and next week's GAINSCO Grand Prix at Phoenix International Raceway. Lewis had entered the weekend with no designated co-driver. However, team owners Steve and Martha Southard called upon Stanton who showed himself extremely well at VIR despite having never driven a Daytona Prototype before. The decision came to put Stanton in the BMW-powered Riley chassis shortly before today's second practice.
Lewis, a multi-time winner in Grand American-sanctioned events, and Stanton, the 2004 Grand-Am Cup and 2005 Rolex Series GT class Champion, started and finished 15th in their first race together in Virginia on April 23rd. The team had to start at the back of the grid for the 400 kilometer race when a puddle of water broke the car's undertray, at speed, while Lewis ran the qualifying race. The finish followed the Powell, Ohio-based team's best career Daytona Prototype result of third at the Long Beach Grand Prix with lead driver Lewis and co-driver Bill Auberlen (Redondo Beach, Calif.).
"We are definitely glad to have Craig back in the car," said Lewis. "He did an awesome job for us at VIR. He had never driven a prototype before and he came out and got right up to speed. He is good with the equipment and communicating to the crew. He fits in real well with the Southard guys. So, it's really cool to have Craig back in the car. This is one of my favorite tracks. We had a really good run here last year and we've been showing ourselves well almost everywhere we've raced this year. With Craig in the car I think we'll recapture that momentum."
Lewis has had six different co-drivers in the first five races this season including the multi-driver format of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Until Stanton, only one driver, NASCAR Busch Grand National Champion Randy LaJoie (Kannapolis, NC) had repeated in the seat of the red, white and blue No. 3. With the pair of easy-going, native Californian's in the car for the next two rounds, the team hopes to find a grove that will allow them to repeat the Long Beach performance.
"I'm really excited to be back with the Southard team," commented Stanton. "I'm stoked that it will be for the next two races. This is a good team, a growing team. I hope over the next couple of races we can find some continuity and find a rhythm. The team knows how to get to the front and I am just going to do my best to help Shane and Steve and Martha and all the guys do that. I'm still learning these cars but I know this track really, really well. It seems like I grew-up racing here at Laguna Seca. Some of the biggest moments of my career happened right here so I hope I can add another to the list this weekend. I definitely want to thank Shane and the Southards for making this happen."
Also for the second race in a row, the field for the U.S. Sports Car Invitational will be set by a qualifying race. The 30-minute event, which Lewis will drive, will take place tomorrow at 1 PM local time. Stanton, who will also race the 200-mile Grand-Am Cup event on Saturday in the No. 38 BGB Motorsports Porsche, will start the Southard entry in Sunday's Rolex Series race before turning the car back over to Lewis.
The U.S. Sports Car Invitational can be seen live on SPEED at 3 PM (EDT), Sunday, May 7. A second broadcast can also be seen on SPEED at 12 PM (EDT) on Monday, May 8. Live timing and scoring of all sessions and the race can be found at www.GrandAmerican.com.
For more on Shane Lewis please see www.ShaneLewis.com.
Information on Craig Stanton is at www.CraigStanton.com.
Southard Motorsports can be found at www.SouthardMotorsports.com.