Southard Motorsports adds Mark Martin to Iowa race

NASCAR Star Mark Martin & Southard Motorsports Prep For Grand-Am Rolex Series Race at Iowa Speedway COLUMBUS, Ohio (June 14, 2007) -- NASCAR driver Mark Martin will make his Daytona Prototype debut in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car ...

NASCAR Star Mark Martin & Southard Motorsports Prep For Grand-Am Rolex Series Race at Iowa Speedway

COLUMBUS, Ohio (June 14, 2007) -- NASCAR driver Mark Martin will make his Daytona Prototype debut in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve in the Friday, July 13th race under the lights at Iowa Speedway. The 1.3 mile track located in Newton, Iowa is designed by former NASCAR Champion and ABC/ESPN sports commentator Rusty Wallace.

Martin, who will drive the No. 3 Preformed Line Products Lexus Riley in the July race, was in Columbus for a seat fitting at Southard Motorsports. He met briefly with media representatives and Southard team personnel before heading to Michigan International Speedway for the Citizens Bank 400. Steve Southard of Columbus-based Southard Motorsports, Iowa Speedway President Stan Clement and Iowa Speedway VP and General Manager Craig Armstrong were also in attendance.

Martin is excited about his first time in the Daytona Prototype and at Iowa Speedway.

"I've heard good things about Iowa Speedway and know it's Rusty Wallace's pride and joy," Martin said. "I'm looking forward to driving the Daytona Prototype for the first time and I'm also very excited to see and race at Iowa Speedway. Co-driving with Shane will be fun. I know he can get the job done; he will be a big asset in helping me get comfortable in the car during our test sessions. I love road racing and sports car racing. I just need to get used to the car, and with the help of Steve Southard, I feel that won't take very long."

"We built a state-of-the-art track we call 'America's Place to Race,' and it's a privilege to have a world-class driver like Mark Martin race with us," Clement said. "The Rolex Series brings Daytona-style racing to Iowa's newest and finest road course, right here at Iowa Speedway."

"The great thing about Iowa Speedway's road course is that all of the racing action is in view from every seat in the house," Armstrong added. "With Mark Martin taking on the Daytona Prototype field on Friday, and the GT cars, MOTO-ST motorcycles and Lonestar country music concert on Saturday, there will be plenty of action during our Grand-Am Rolex Series weekend."

Shane Lewis, who will drive with Martin in Iowa, said the combination of NASCAR and Grand-Am racing experience on the Southard team should benefit the Iowa event.

"Everyone at Southard Motorsports is really excited about having Mark joining us at Iowa, and no one is happier about it than I am," Lewis said. "I've been asked if I am worried about how little track time Mark will have in the PLP Lexus Riley before he'll be running wheel-to-wheel in the race. I just sort of look at them funny. Mark is in the elite of the elite in the NEXTEL Cup Series. The guy was leading the points race earlier this year, and he has won the Rolex 24 twice. The man knows what he is doing. He'll be fine in the car."

The Southard Motorsports team, with regular team drivers Shane Lewis and Randy Ruhlman, will also compete in the EMCO Gears Classic presented by KeyBank at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, June 22-24. For tickets, call 1-800-MID-OHIO. The Daytona Prototype race will air Saturday, June 23 at 8 p.m. on SPEED and the GT race will air Sunday, June 24 at Noon on SPEED.

-credit: garra

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Shane Lewis , Rusty Wallace , Randy Ruhlman , Steve Southard , Mark Martin