Dickinson’s Cole Lewis eyeing a Southwest Speedway championship in the Pure StocksChad Jahner is all but certain he isn’t going to repeat as the Southwest Speedway’s season champion in the Pure Stocks class. He’s calling his cousin, Cole Lewis, the favorite.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
Chad Jahner is all but certain he isn’t going to repeat as the Southwest Speedway’s season champion in the Pure Stocks class.
He’s calling his cousin, Cole Lewis, the favorite.
“I ain’t going to win the championship this year,” Jahner said. “It’s going to be Cole.”
After seven years of building experience and paying his dues, Lewis said he is ready to make a legitimate run for the Pure Stocks title — though he’d like to keep his goals a bit more private.
“You gain more experience every year,” Lewis said. “I’m hoping this year is the year I have better luck and finish every feature, that’s my goal at least.”
The 28-year-old Dickinson driver started racing in 2006 as part of a team car. In 2010 he bought that ride, a 1974 Chevrolet Chevelle, and now enters his third season as a solo driver.
Last summer, Lewis ended up fourth in the season points race with an early season runner-up feature finish. He never won a feature.
Jahner said Lewis’ improvement, however, has begun to show thanks to the amount of time he has put into racing.
“Most of Cole’s differences is he spends time on the car in the garage,” Jahner said. “He’s figured out, you’ve got to spend a Wednesday night out in the garage and it pays off on Saturday.”
The Southwest Speedway’s 2012 season is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Lewis said he’s revved up and ready to go racing.
His old car looks new.
It has a new paint job, new decals and an overall crisper look than it has in past years.
Sponsorships are there and his job working in the oil industry affords him more time to devote to the car, though some weekends can be difficult.
“I have to leave early in the morning or something like that, but I do what I can to make it out there,” Lewis said. “This year, with Highway 22 being open, my days won’t nearly be as long. I shouldn’t have a problem making it to any races.”
Lewis said he could see himself moving up to Wissota Street Stocks or IMCA Modifieds one day. But he added that he likes Pure Stocks and won’t put a time frame on leaving the class.
“Someday I would like to, but I’m still learning odds and ends of racing,” Lewis said. “It’s affordable here. I’m having fun. I like the class I’m racing in. Everyone’s a pretty clean driver. It’s pretty nice not having to fix your car.”
Speedway still searching for a promoter
Darcie Dennis has resigned herself to double duty.
It’s her first year as the Roughrider Racing Association president and the rigors of trying to get the Southwest Speedway’s season on schedule are not easy, she said.
To make matters worse, the track is still searching for a promoter and are lacking volunteers. Dennis said she is doing the work of the promoter as the RRA attempts to fill the position.
Bob Klein stepped down as promoter after last season. Ken Decker and Bob Steier have held the position in recent years.
“We are in a rough spot with that right now,” Dennis said. “We’re trying to see how that’s going to go.”
Southwest Speedway 2012 schedule
Saturday, May 19 – Regular races
Saturday, June 2 – Regular races
Saturday, June 16 – Regular races
Saturday, June 30 – Regular races
Friday, July 6 – Mid-Season Championship
Thursday, July 12 – Dakota Classic Modified Tour
Saturday, July 21 – Regular races
Saturday, Aug. 4 – Regular races
Saturday, Aug. 11 – Regular races
Saturday, Aug. 18 – Regular races
Saturday, Aug. 25 – Season Championship
Friday, Sept. 7 – Harvest Shootout
Saturday, Sept. 8 – Harvest Shootout
Friday, Oct. 5 – Frost Bite
Saturday, Oct. 6 – Frost Bite
Note: All regular races feature IMCA Modifieds, Wissota Street Stocks, Pure Stocks and Thunder Fours. Races begin at 7 p.m. Rain-out make-up dates are Sunday following the scheduled date.