Fire Ends Shane Lewis/ MINI Homestead Dominance HOMESTEAD, Fla., March 28, 2004 - Shane Lewis, who yesterday controlled Sport Touring (ST) class qualifying for today's Grand-Am Cup 250 here at Homestead-Miami Speedway, dominated the early going...
Fire Ends Shane Lewis/ MINI Homestead Dominance
HOMESTEAD, Fla., March 28, 2004 - Shane Lewis, who yesterday controlled Sport Touring (ST) class qualifying for today's Grand-Am Cup 250 here at Homestead-Miami Speedway, dominated the early going of the three-hour Grand-Am Cup event with his No. 20 Nuzzo Motorsports MINI Cooper S. The Jupiter, Fla. resident, who set a new class track qualifying record in time trials, quickly pulled away from his ST competitors in the opening laps of the event before a yet-to-be determined electrical problem started a fire under the neon blue MINI Cooper S. Lewis continued to improve on his lead as multi-colored smoke filtered into the cockpit. An early full course caution allowed the Nuzzo Motorsports' team to inspect the car and send Lewis back out. Despite having fallen out of the lead with the stop, Lewis was quickly closing on the class leaders when the fire burned through the gearbox shift linkage ending his day 21st in class.
Shane Lewis will compete in the next Grand-Am Cup event at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, April 10. He will follow that morning race with a night event in the Grand American Rolex Series No. 7 Southard Motorsports/ PAP Parts BMW FABCAR in the Daytona Prototype class.
about the race: "We had the car. The Nuzzo MINI was just awesome out there all weekend. We had all the pieces together. Once we got the full course yellow, I brought the car in and the guys made sure nothing was on fire. I just asked them not to lose us a lap and I would get back into the lead. They did their part and I had the leaders back in sight when the gearbox went. We would have had them I know. On one hand it is unbelievably disappointing to fall out after dominating like we were but, on the other hand, we know we have a great car with this MINI Cooper S. We should have a good car in Phoenix but we had THE car here."
about the fire: "If I'm leading, unless my suit is on fire, I'm not pulling in. I wasn't too worried about it really. The car was filling up with colors of smoke I had never seen before. If I hadn't been working so hard, I guess it would have been kind of pretty. But, there weren't really any flames; so I wasn't too worried."
Shane Lewis has been racing since 1989 with multiple race wins in Grand-Am sanctioned events, in the IMSA Supercar and SCCA Pro Series and the Historic SportsCar Series. He has starts in ARCA stock car competition, at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb and is a former Daytona Endurance Champion and Formula Ford Festival winner. He has driven in seven Rolex 24s and three 24 Hours of Le Mans- leading the race in GT class in 2003. He has two overall and one class-victory at the 24 Hours of Nelson Ledges. Lewis was honored as the 1998 Professional Sports Car Racing Rising Star award winner. Lewis also serves as a test driver and private coach. In 2004, Lewis is the lead driver of the No. 7 Southard Motorsports/ PAP Parts BMW FABCAR in the Grand American Rolex Series.
For more on Shane Lewis please see www.shanelewis.com. To learn more about Nuzzo Motorsports, please visit www.nuzzomotorsports.com. For more on the MINI Cooper S, see www.miniusa.com.