IPS: Homestead: Shane Lewis debut preview

Shane Lewis to Make Indy Pro Series Debut at Homestead-Miami Veteran Road Racer to Do Florida Double with Southard Grand-Am and Michael Crawford Pro Series Entries HOMESTEAD, FL., March 21, 2007 -- The list of cars that Shane Lewis has raced...

Shane Lewis to Make Indy Pro Series Debut at Homestead-Miami

Veteran Road Racer to Do Florida Double with Southard Grand-Am and Michael Crawford Pro Series Entries

HOMESTEAD, FL., March 21, 2007 -- The list of cars that Shane Lewis has raced and won with is far-reaching. The Jupiter, Florida-resident has driven everything from Daytona Prototypes to ARCA stock cars, Le Mans leaders to record-setting Mini Coopers. This weekend, as he rolls out of pit lane in the Michael Crawford Motorsports No. 8 for Saturday's Miami 100 he will add an Indy Pro Series car to that list. Lewis will be making his debut in the IndyCar support series at Homestead-Miami Speedway (HMS) while continuing his led role with Southard Motorsports in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series for the Grand Prix of Miami, also scheduled for Saturday at HMS.

Lewis will pilot the red and white Michael Crawford Motorsports entry on the 1.5-mile Homestead oval with the goal of racing in the 91st Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 27th. The team wants to pursue additional open wheel racing experience for Lewis prior to the Indianapolis 500. However, the Michael Crawford Motorsports IndyCar, a G-Force chassis powered by Honda's V8 racing engine, is not yet updated to 2007 specifications and will not be ready in time for Lewis to take part in an IndyCar Series event prior to the Month of May. Therefore, the team opted to get vital experience this weekend in the Indy Pro Series. The HMS oval was the site of Lewis' Indy Pro Series rookie test and the road course has been the site of some of his most impressive driving.

Lewis is not unfamiliar with oval racing. The 24-time, 24 hour event starter, cut his teeth in motorsports on the dirt oval in Willow Springs, Calif. prior to moving to open wheel road racing. It was not until the opportunity presented itself did Lewis make the change to sports car racing, taking him to Le Mans, Nurburgring and Daytona to name but a few events. Opportunity again presented itself on ovals first in the form of an ARCA stock car ride at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2001 where he gained 15 positions to finish 16th in his stock car premiere. Now, the opportunity has arisen to take him back to his roots and potentially take him all the way to his dream of competing in the Indy 500.

Lewis will be making his third start of the Daytona Prototype season behind the wheel of the No. 3 Preformed Line Products/TrueChoice Motorsports Lexus-Riley the 2.3-mile HMS road course. He and teammate Randy Ruhlman (Greensboro, N.C.).had an impressive performance at the most recent Grand-Am race in Mexico City. The Steve and Martha Southard- owned entry ran as high as fourth before events forced them to drop to 15th overall at the checkered flag.

The double race weekend will challenge Lewis with the new experience of an open wheel race on an oval and the quick transition back to a sports car on the road course. In all, he will transform from sports car veteran to open wheel rookie seven times over the course of two days including the back-to-back races on Saturday.

Shane Lewis:
About Racing in the Indy Pro Series: "I'm excited! I've raced almost everything on wheels but this will be my first time in an open wheel car on an oval. Michael, Tim [Whiting, engineer] and all the Michael Crawford Motorsports guys have been great to work with. I was hoping to be here at Homestead in the IndyCar but I couldn't pass on the chance to race the Pro Series car. If you look at the depth of talent and the professionalism of the teams in this series, I think this will be the best open wheel race of the weekend."

About Competing in Two Races Back-to-Back: "Racing in completely different cars, in two different series, on a different course configuration all in the same day will be a blast. I think it will keep me sharp and focused. I am lucky that I have the support of both teams and the sanctioning bodies. The schedule works out great. I have just enough time to work with both teams and cars properly. I wouldn't do this if I thought I couldn't give 100% and do it right. After all, I plan on winning both of these races!"

-credit: www.ShaneLewis.com

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Shane Lewis , Randy Ruhlman