TEAM NEWS: Busy Race Day for Southard Motorsports at Daytona

Photo by John Thawley Daytona Beach, Fla. (July 6, 2007) -- It was a busy day for the Daytona Prototype teams on Thursday, July 5th, at the Brumos Porsche 250. Part of the NASCAR Pepsi 400 weekend at Daytona International Speedway, the one-day event for Round Eight of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve challenged the teams by setting up practice, qualifying and the race all within a fifteen hour timeframe. The Southard Motorsports No. 3 Preformed Line Products Lexus Riley with co-drivers Shane Lewis and Randy Ruhlman showed well in the race, working their way forward in the 70-lap race to finish thirteenth in the highly competitive field of Daytona Prototypes.

"With so little time in the practice sessions, it kind of put us behind the Eight Ball," said Ruhlman, who qualified and started the race. "But once the crew worked on it, I think we had a decent car to begin the race. We got off to a good start and picked up a couple of cars right away. It was just a tough night all the way around. I do think the car was capable of moving up in the field some, but even early on, it started to get a little loose in the back and tried to kick around. When the yellow came out and Shane got in, it probably got a lot worse for him. I think we've got a decent direction going for Iowa and from here on out. Some of the problems we've experienced in the past are just that--in the past, but we definitely have to keep moving forward."

Lewis, who took the second stint and finished the race said, "The car was a handful, I felt like I was just hanging on. I ended up relying a lot on my experience here at Daytona. I knew the areas of the track that I could push and the areas not to. Also I knew my job was to make sure that we had a race car at the end. We did that, but it wasn't easy. We need to dig a bit deeper and harder and find ourselves a race car that will be able to run up-front and work for the whole race. We have the team and we have the drivers to do that. I'm looking forward to the month of July to make that happen."

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