TEAM NEWS: California Daytona Prototype Drivers Lewis and Ruhlman return to Laguna Seca this weekend with Southard Motorsports

Photo by John Thawley Salinas, CA (May 17, 2007) – With their competitive driving deeply rooted in California, both Southard Motorsports' Daytona Prototype drivers are returning this weekend to one of their favorite home tracks, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. As co-drivers of the team's No. 3 Preformed Line Products Lexus Riley, Randy Ruhlman and Shane Lewis are looking forward to running together at the beautiful Monterey area track on Sunday, May 20th in Round Five of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal.

Both Lewis and Ruhlman have special memories of their successes at the road course at Laguna Seca, having started their long professional careers racing here and at tracks across the West Coast. The pair of California drivers have both worked hard and been lucky enough to have long-lasting careers as professional drivers in road racing. And together, they give Southard Motorsports one of the most potent one-two punches in the Grand-Am Rolex Cup Series, as well as one of its most personable driver combinations.

Randy Ruhlman, who went to college in Northern California at Stanford University, won numerous races at Laguna Seca in his early days with the SCCA Showroom Stock series, later returning to the track with success in the top-ranked Trans-Am Series. "This is a challenging track and one that I really look forward to running each year. It's like coming home again. I learned a lot of my racing here, and I love it," says Ruhlman.

A life-long Californian, Shane Lewis won his first major professional race here at Laguna Seca in the Bridgestone Supercar Championship, driving a self-prepared Corvette against a full field of factory entries and factory supported teams. Lewis calls that win, "Pretty much one of my top highlights and what pushed me to actually have a driving career. And this weekend, it's great to be back in California and to be able to race at Laguna again. I'm really looking forward to being back here again in the Prototype."

Along with co-driving the Southard Motorsports No. 3 Preformed Line Products Lexus Riley, Lewis and Ruhlman have a lot in common -- both on and off the track. "We've both taught driving, have a lot of endurance driving experience and have both been full time, professional drivers since 1990. We even learned to drive on the same tracks," says Ruhlman. "But the funny thing is," adds Lewis, "is that while we have so much of our racing experience in common, we actually never met until last year. Randy was driving in the Trans-Am Series, and I was able to do well in several different series over the years and got a lot of 24-hour race experience. But we have a lot of the same experiences with teams and Series, and we get along so well. It's nice to have that kind of camaraderie with a teammate."

Fresh from their twelfth place finish at Virginia International Raceway, Ruhlman and Lewis are counting on their past race experience on the 2.238-mile, 11-turn track, where they both have won races and hope to continued to find success. This weekend's Grand-Am Daytona Prototype race begins at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 20th and television coverage begins at 4 p.m. on the SPEED Channel.

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