BUSCH: Fontana: Ashton Lewis race notes

Lewis has best ever California Speedway finish. FONTANA, CA (April 26, 2003) - Ashton Lewis, Jr. piloted his Civil Air Patrol Chevrolet to a 12th place finish in today's CaliforniaSpeedway.com 300 at California Speedway. His best previous ...

Lewis has best ever California Speedway finish.

FONTANA, CA (April 26, 2003) - Ashton Lewis, Jr. piloted his Civil Air Patrol Chevrolet to a 12th place finish in today's CaliforniaSpeedway.com 300 at California Speedway. His best previous finish at the 2.0 mile facility was 16th in 2002.

The Civil Air Patrol racing team spent the entire weekend struggling with the car. During inspection on Thursday there was a problem with the rear deck lid, which required some extra effort on the crew's part to get the car through inspection.

On Friday morning, the Busch cars took to the track for their first practice session. The No. 46 car ended up 16th on the time sheets, with a speed of 39.910. The fastest car in practice was the No. 21 of Kevin Harvick who had a top speed of 39.186. Qualifying took place that afternoon and Lewis was the 16th car on the track. He circled around the speedway at a speed of 40.031, which ended up placing him 15th at the end of qualifying. Kevin Harvick was on the pole with a new track record of 39.143.

Friday evening the Busch Series continued their on tracfk time with 'Happy Hour', and Lewis ended up seventh on the time sheet with a speed of 40.572. Once again, Harvick set the quick time with a fast lap of 40.321.

Saturday was a typical beautiful Southern California day. The weather was in the 70's and partially cloudy, a perfect day for racing. The green flag fell, but before the field could settle in, the first caution flag came out on lap four. Lewis had already worked his way to the tenth position by that time.

The second caution flag came out on lap 41, and almost the entire field took advantage of the opportunity to pit and work on their cars. The CAP racing crew changed four tires, put in fuel, made a track bar adjustment and pulled the front fenders out to help with aerodynamics. The changes were a bit too much for the car, and when the third caution came out on lap 59, Lewis came back to his pit for fuel and another track bar adjustment. He lost some positions on the track, but the changes did help the car some.

The fourth caution was brought out on lap 68 for debris, and the 46 crew was forced to pit when Lewis ran over some of that debris on the track. They again put on four new tires, topped off the fuel and made a wedge adjustment. Lewis was 24th for the restart, but was able to quickly work his way through the field. By lap 87 he was in 15th place and continuing to work through the field.

Around lap 100 many of the leaders were forced to pit under green flag conditions, and when the fifth caution flag came out on lap 118 it caught many of them a lap down. The Lewis Motorsports team caught a real break here, because they had been planning to make a green flag stop on lap 120. For their final pit stop they put on four tires, filled up the fuel, made a tire adjustment and a wedge adjustment.

Lewis finished the race in 12th position, and gained a spot to 14th in owner's points. The next race on the Busch schedule is the Hardee's 250 at Richmond International Raceway. The race will be aired live on FX and broadcast live on MRN beginning at 7:30 ET on Friday, May 2 , 2003. Qualifying for the event will take place Thursday, May 1 at 4:00 pm ET and will be aired on Speedchannel.

-lm/cap-

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Ashton Lewis