PHOENIX, Saturday, April 20, 2002 - Shane Lewis took a dominating victory in today's Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series event here at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) this afternoon. Piloting the ...
PHOENIX, Saturday, April 20, 2002 - Shane Lewis took a dominating victory in today's Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series event here at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) this afternoon. Piloting the #43 Orison Marketing - Planet Earth Motorsports Corvette from seventh on the starting grid, Lewis drove a masterful race to take the win seven seconds ahead of Devon Powell and Doug Goad's no. 11 Corvette. The Jupiter, Florida resident took over driving duties from co-driver/owner Joe Nonnamaker early in the event and stalked the leaders before taking the point at the one-hour and 30-minute mark of the three-hour timed event. Lewis, who drove the Corvette Z06 to the top spot in each of the weekend's practice sessions, never relinquished the lead or had it fall below three seconds after taking the lead.
"I am just ecstatic! It is great to be back on the top-step of the victory podium," enthused the multi-time Le Mans starter. "I knew this Orison Marketing - Planet Earth Vette could do this, I just didn't know it would be so soon. Everything just worked this weekend. I think Joe and I can get a couple more wins this season. I want to thank Joe and the Nonnamaker family for giving me such a great opportunity. We had some incredible battles out there today and the 11-car never let us rest. Devon and Doug were always right there breathing down our neck. This was about as much fun as you can have in a race car!"
As part of Planet Earth Motorsports and Shane Lewis' dedication to the environment, 10% of the earnings from today's victory will be donated to the Prescott (AZ) Earth Day Network, a local environmental cause group.
Lewis, fresh out of the winning green, blue and black Corvette, beamed as he reflected over the weekend. "Looking at the time sheets you'd think this weekend was a cake-walk for Joe and I but it was far from it. We definitely had our struggles but we would always get it together when we rolled it out on the track. The guys [Planet Earth Motorsports' crew] had to change engines after the first day of practice and we came right back out and set fast time the next day. That is a testimony to how hard everyone worked over the winter and since Fontana. When we lost the horsepower in the engine at Fontana and fell out of the lead with just 25-minutes to go it was heartbreaking but no one let it get to them. Then with about 15 [minutes] to go we lost all of our oil pressure and I thought 'oh no, here we go again' but she held together. When I came around and saw the white flag I thought, 'come on, where's the checkered?' but I just kept pushing and pushing until I saw it. Just an awesome effort by everyone on the Planet Earth team."
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 (ALMS) 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. In 2002, he is competing as the lead driver for the #43 Orison Marketing - Planet Earth Corvette Z06 in the GSI-class of the Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series and as lead pilot of the #45 American Viperacing Dodge Viper in the ALMS GTS-class.