SCC: Phoenix: Thursday practice report

Lewis, Salama quickest on opening day. PHOENIX (April 18, 2002) -- The Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series opened the weekend of racing at Phoenix International Speedway today with practice sessions. Shane Lewis clocked the quickest time during ...

Lewis, Salama quickest on opening day.

PHOENIX (April 18, 2002) -- The Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series opened the weekend of racing at Phoenix International Speedway today with practice sessions. Shane Lewis clocked the quickest time during practice for Saturday afternoon's UnitedAuto Sport 250, while Don Salama recorded the fastest time during practice for Friday night's UnitedAuto Touring 250.

Lewis led both Grand Sport sessions in Planet Earth Motorsports #43 Orison Marketing Corvette, clocking a 1:06.186 lap at 82.132 mph during the late afternoon session. He credited the cooling track with helping reduce his times in the second session, but also remarked that it came at a price. "At the end of that last session, the sun was really bad coming out of NASCAR turn four. That is where it's going to be at the end of the race on Saturday," said Lewis. "It's going to be a really big issue at the end of the race. I couldn't even see the person signaling me into the pits. But, that's what makes this fun."

Although the Planet Earth Corvette was quickest during today's practice sessions, it will start tomorrow with a new engine. The Corvette lost its engine on the final lap of the last practice.

Powell Motorsports' pair of Corvettes posted the second- and third-fastest times of the day, while the SpeedSource #65 Porsche 911 posted the quickest Grand Sport II time.

Salama led Sport Touring practice in the #36 ELI.com BMW Z3 of Villaconn International, recording a 1:10.399 lap at 77.217 mph. "All the fast cars went out together. I have never been to this track before, so I just followed them around, the fourth of four cars, until I got used to the track. Then I just took advantage of opportunities as they came up," he remarked.

Villaconn's #34 BMW Z3 clocked the second fastest time, followed by King Motorsports #64 Acura Integra R, which was quickest in the first session of the day. The Nonnamaker brothers led the Sport Touring II class in their HRPworld.com #41 Acura Integra LS during both practice sessions.

Tickets for Friday night's UnitedAuto Touring 250 and Saturday afternoon's UnitedAuto Sport 250 at Phoenix International Raceway, as well as the Rolex Sports Car Series UnitedAuto 200 presented by azcentral.com, are available online at www.phoenixinternationalraceway.com or by calling 602-252-2227. Additional information about the Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series can be found online at www.grandamcup.com.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Shane Lewis , Don Salama
Teams SpeedSource