NASCAR Driver Tuned Up with Skip Barber

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Wednesday, January 19, 2005 BRASELTON, Ga. – NASCAR Busch Series driver Ashton Lewis, Jr., drove his #25 Marines Ford Taurus to a fifth- and a third-place finish in the Skip Barber Southern Race Series event at Road Atlanta January 14-16. Okay, it wasn’t his Busch car, it was a Formula Dodge R/T 2000, but he’s confident that by going back to his roots — he was the Skip Barber Race Series Midwest Region champion in 1991 — he’ll be more prepared than his NASCAR Busch Series competitors when that series visits Mexico and Watkins Glen this year. Those are the two road course races on the 2005 Busch schedule.

”Great stuff, I started to get most of it back,” Lewis said. ”In Saturday’s race I was dicing for second but the guy in front of me missed the braking point for Three. And I did too! See, those are the kinds of things I wanted to work on, why I came back to Skip Barber; you know, look in front of the cars you need to get around, set people up, time the drafts, that sort of thing.”

Lewis finished fifth in that race, then Sunday got on the podium, behind winner Lucas McConnell and Tim Traver. ”It took a bit of time to get used to the sequential gearbox, then I was right at home, but I wish I had come earlier in the week to get more testing in!”

After winning the Skip Barber Midwest title in 1991 at age 19, he went on to the Barber Saab Pro Series, winning twice in 1992 on his way to second place in the championship behind champion Robert Amren.

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NASCAR driver Ashton Lewis, Jr., thought doing some Skip Barber racing would be an excellent refresher for the two Busch Series road course races he’ll be driving this year.

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Ashton Lewis, Jr., with ”tires on fire” going into Turn 10 at Road Atlanta in Sunday’s race.

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Ashton ”in the helmet,” ready to race…

Rick Roso

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