SNOHOMISH, Washington — Fresh off a top-3 finish in Yakima Speedway’s 43rd Annual Apple Cup, three-time late model touring champion, Gary Lewis, heads to Wenatchee Valley Super Oval with momentum and the chance to add to his win total on the famed quarter-mile bullring.
"I have spent some time on the phone with my shock and chassis expert, Mike Leary, and we have a plan for this weekend."— Gary Lewis
Lewis has wins at WVSO in three of the last five seasons of touring competition on the track. Add to that impressive win total are a handful of top-5 finishes and the East Wenatchee, Wash. track has become a kind of a home away from home for the Nutter Racing Engines team.
“Wenatchee is just a great track to race at and luckily it has been very good to us as well,” Lewis said. “Garrett (Evans, whose family operates the race track) always puts on a great event for the racers and the fans.
We may not always be the fastest in the short runs there but seem to be very fast in the longer runs of a race.”
The Sign Factory USA pit crew gained valuable experience on the new Goodyear racing tire that is being used across the Northwest. Over the course of the Apple Cup weekend much was gained, but more work is ahead this weekend, Lewis noted.
“The tire is a bit of a challenge and it will take some work to get the car really good. I have spent some time on the phone with my shock and chassis expert, Mike Leary, and we have a plan for this weekend. We will test our theory out on Friday evening at the practice and see how we do.”
Faced with three races in four weeks on three different types of tracks will be a tremendous challenge for Lewis and his team, he added.
“It will be a tough couple of weeks for sure. Hopefully we come out of this race with no damage but we know that many things on our set-ups will have to change for the Spokane (May 9) and Mission Valley (May 23). Then you throw in this week’s Friday practice and that forces us to miss a day of work and in the shop-so yes it should be a busy couple of weeks for all of us.”
To prepare for the grueling schedule the team will keep this year on its quest to win the ASA championship, a third Montana 200 and Idaho 200 and throw in potential victories in three states Lewis took a well-deserved vacation to Hawaii to energize.
That trip will make all the difference, he explained.
“The vacation was great and was at a perfect time to catch a break, relax a bit and get ready for a busy race season.”
Energized for 2009 means keeping an incredible streak alive from the last three seasons. Lewis has just one DNF in that span heading into 2009 and has finished in the top-10 in all but one race in three years.
With such an amazing streak, focusing on wins hasn’t given way to establishing top-10 dominance, Lewis said.
“Oh man that’s a tough one (to explain why top-10s are not as important as winning). We don’t really ever except that (not getting a race win). We race to win and that’s that. We need to do a better job (in getting back on the winning track; something that hasn’t happened since August of last
year) and work hard to learn more to be successful this season.”
The ASA Northwest Late Model Tour takes to Wenatchee Valley’s Super Oval Saturday night with the green flag scheduled for 9 p.m. To learn more log onto www.asanorthwesttour.com
For more information on Gary Lewis Racing check out the teams website at www.garylewisracing.com