WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., Saturday, August 10, 2002 - Shane Lewis of Jupiter, Florida narrowly missed making his first Winston Cup race at Watkins Glen International on Friday. The pilot of the National Healing Corporation/ Otto Motorsports Ford Taurus...
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., Saturday, August 10, 2002 - Shane Lewis of Jupiter, Florida narrowly missed making his first Winston Cup race at Watkins Glen International on Friday. The pilot of the National Healing Corporation/ Otto Motorsports Ford Taurus prepared by Last Lap was attempting to qualify for NASCAR's premier division's Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen. Lewis' #09 was .9 seconds from making the top-36 fastest qualifiers, a position that would have assured the Lancaster, California native's first Winston Cup start.
"Obviously we are pretty disappointed," said Lewis from the Last Lap Motorsports' transporter. "We made a change right before qualifying and it bit us. You know when you make a change and go out without trying it that it might not work but we felt like it was the right move. This was one of those times that it did something that no one anticipated. It was an entirely different car when I went out to make my qualifying lap. I knew it was wrong going into the first turn. Everyone at Otto Motorsports and Last Lap really put together a great effort. I mean they really worked hard these last three weeks to make it come together. Everyone should be proud."
The Ford Taurus that Lewis drove was a special tribute car to 2002 National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame inductee, Edward Otto, Sr. Otto Sr.'s son, Edgar, is the owner of the National Healing entry that honors his father. Otto, Sr. was NASCAR's first vice president and was heavily involved in promoting events, particularly in the northeast, for the stock car sanctioning body in the early years. Among the events that Otto promoted was the first NASCAR event at Watkins Glen International 45 years ago.
"We have to be realistic about this and realize that we put this whole program together in less than four weeks," offered Lewis looking at the car that nearly carried him in Sunday's race. "But, really, you know, that doesn 't take the edge off. I am a racer and have never missed a race in my life. Every race I have ever tried for, I have been in. So, this is pretty hard to accept. But, I know from my time behind the wheel of this #09 National Healing Ford Taurus that I can run here and run well."
National Healing Corporation is a hospital-based wound care provider throughout the United States. As an outsource partner to hospitals in seventeen states, National Healing helps doctors heal wounds more quickly by pioneering a multi-disciplinary approach to wound care.
Shane Lewis is the 1998 Professional Sports Car Rising Star award winner and has multiple race wins in the IMSA Supercar and SCCA Pro series. He 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 lead driver for the #43 Orison Marketing-Planet Earth Motorsports Corvette Z06 in the Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series and has been a regular top-five finisher in the American Le Mans Series GTS-class.
For more on Shane Lewis please see www.ShaneLewis.com. More on National Healing Corporation can be found at www.NationalHealing.com. To learn more about Last Lap Motorsports, please visit www.lastlap.cc.