JUPITER, Fla., Monday, April 15, 2002 - Shane Lewis has two top-ten finishes in the opening rounds of the 2002 Grand-Am Cup season and sees a win in the future for the Planet Earth Corvette. Lewis returns to the cockpit of the GSI-class ...
JUPITER, Fla., Monday, April 15, 2002 - Shane Lewis has two top-ten finishes in the opening rounds of the 2002 Grand-Am Cup season and sees a win in the future for the Planet Earth Corvette. Lewis returns to the cockpit of the GSI-class #43 Planet Earth Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette Z-06 this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). The Jupiter, Florida resident wants and expects better results going into the third event of the street-stock road racing series' eight race schedule.
"This car will win this season," said Lewis with the knowing passion of experience. "We came so close at Fontana until a problem with the fuel line started to starve us of horsepower at the end of the race. The Nonnamakers have given us a great car all season. Joe (Nonnamaker, co-driver and team owner) and I have clicked well behind the wheel and I feel very good about our chances. I have driven a lot of Vettes over the years and this car just feels right. It gives me a lot of confidence. Phoenix could be our day but, if not, we'll get one at some point during the season."
Lewis, who is also a regular in the American Le Mans Series as the lead driver of the #45 American Viperacing Dodge Viper GTS-R, was leading the most recent Grand-Am Cup event at California Speedway with 25 minutes remaining in the race. On the final restart, the car began to lose horsepower costing him the win. The hugely popular driver currently sits tied with Nonnamaker for 12th in season-long Grand-Am Cup GSI-class points.
"Being tied for 12th right now is disappointing but we are only 22 points out of the lead. The points can turn around really quickly in this series. I feel like we still have a solid chance for the championship because I know that we can win in this car. We aren't going to go out and just cruise for points and hope the others break. This car is capable of winning and I can taste the champagne. PIR is a great track and the time on the oval-portion really plays to Planet Earth car's strong suit-- horsepower. As we continue to develop the car we will be able to improve our qualifying position. But, if we don't we'll just cut through the field like we have the last two races. It makes it a bit tougher but it just means we'll put on a better show for the fans. Besides, racing like that is always fun. That is why we do this; to go fast, pass cars and win races."
Shane Lewis has been racing since 1989. He is the 1998 Professional Sports Car Rising Star award winner and has multiple race wins in the IMSA Supercar and SCCA Pro series. Lewis has American Le Mans Series podium finishes at Silverstone, Nurburgring and last season at Portland. This former Daytona Endurance Champion has driven in 16 24-hour races including two 24 Hours of Le Mans, six 24 Hours of Daytona and six 12 Hours of Sebring.