Ruhlman and Lewis Battle their way to Twelfth in Southard Motorsports Daytona Prototype at Crown Royal 200 at The Glen
Watkins Glen, NY (Aug 15, 2007) -- Battling their way around the historic Watkins Glen International Raceway short course, Shane Lewis and Randy Ruhlman drove the Southard Motorsports No. 3 Preformed Line Products Lexus Riley to a twelfth place finish in Round 12 of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve. The Daytona Prototype race, the Crown Royal 200 at The Glen, was part of the weekend action also featuring NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Grand National races.
For the two-hour sprint race, Ruhlman took the wheel first and immediately began making his way through the traffic. “For the most part it went pretty well,” says Ruhlman. “The changes we made before the race were good and we had a consistent car. We still have some problems with the Pontiacs. It was difficult getting around some of the traffic in the first stint and I got really held up by another competitor. In that type of situation, you can either try to put a guy off and risk hurting both of you or you can bide your time and make the move when it's right. We just didn’t have quite what it took today. All in all, I think we did about as well as we could with a twelfth.”
“Like Randy said, we're actually pretty happy with our finish,” continues Lewis. “When you take into consideration the weekend we had and some of the things we went through, it's actually pretty awesome. We didn’t have anything for the leaders in terms of speed, but we played it smart and that put us in a good position. We both had the same problem with some of the traffic. I got hung up as well behind a couple of other racers, and that slowed our progress down. But, we were able to gain back the two laps and finish on the lead lap, so that was great. Luck seems to be on our side.”
There are just two events left in this season’s Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve. Headed next to Infineon Raceway on August 24, and then to Miller Motorsports Park, September 15, there is no doubt that the Southard Motorsports team and the drivers, Ruhlman and Lewis, will be ready for both.
The No. 3 Preformed Line Products Daytona Prototype is campaigned by Southard Motorsports of Powell, Ohio. The Riley chassis is powered by Lexus engines with technical expertise by TRD Engineering and carries sponsorship from Preformed Line Products from Mayfield Village, Ohio.
Shane Lewis is widely considered to be one of the sports leading development drivers and has competed in twenty-four 24 Hour Races--nine-times in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, three-times at Le Mans and twice at Nürburgring. An instructor at The Mid-Ohio School and always a fan favorite, Shane Lewis, resident of Florida, earned two Daytona Prototype podium finishes with Southard Motorsports in 2006, at the Long Beach Grand Prix and Phoenix. He has multiple wins in the Rolex Sports Car Series and Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series, as well as the IMSA Supercar Championship and the SCCA Pro Series World Challenge. Lewis was the 1998 Professional Sports Car Racing Rising Star award winner.
Randy Ruhlman, a veteran of the popular Trans-Am Series, has extensive racing experience. Ruhlman makes the record books as fourth in Top Ten finishes in Trans-Am history and was the top American driver in the 2005 Trans-Am Drivers' Championship, holding the points lead throughout the season and scoring a pair of wins--the season opener at the Long Beach Grand Prix and the Cleveland Grand Prix. He was named the 2005 BBS "Most Improved Driver of the Year". Concentrating most recently on road racing, Ruhlman spent many years driving the ovals and road courses of the ASA and the NASCAR short track series. In 2006, Ruhlman, a native of Greensboro, NC, drove the No. 40 Preformed Line Products Daytona Prototype for Derhaag Motorsports.
Southard Motorsports reflects the goals and dedication of its owners, Steve and Martha Southard, both former drivers themselves in Historic and Professional racing. One of only two teams to have competed in every Grand American Rolex Daytona Prototype Sports Car event since 2004, they have shown the continuity and commitment that are hallmark to all winning programs and the team was pivotal in winning the inaugural Jim Truman Driver's Award. Southard Motorsports' experience and knowledge was highlighted by last year's successful Daytona Prototype season, as they captured two podium finishes, a third at the prestigious Long Beach Grand Prix and another third at Phoenix. The team recently announced an alliance with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption to increase visibility and awareness for the Foundation and its programs.
Preformed Line Products (PLP) is an international manufacturer and supplier of hardware and support systems for the communications and energy industries. Products include COYOTE® Fiber Optics and VORTEX® Vibration Dampers used in the telecommunications, cable and energy industries. Manufacturing facilities are located worldwide in the USA, Canada, China, Brazil, Mexico, England, Spain, South Africa, Australia and Thailand.