Reno racecar owner takes second place in Supermodified Racing League championship | NevadaAppeal.com

Reno racecar owner takes second place in Supermodified Racing League championship

Rhonda Costa-Landers
Appeal Staff Writer

Courtney Lewis, owner of the No. 96 Supermodified Racing League team, said he is happy with his second-place finish in car owner points in the SRL. He has been an owner in the series for five years.

“I am quite happy with our one win in Roseburg, Ore. with Mike Baisch,” Lewis said. “Mike is a very productive driver.”

The SRL finished its season Sept. 17 at Madera Speedway in Madera, Calif. The Carson City team S&S Motorsports, owned by Steve Shaw and Tom Silsby, won the championship as owners for the second consecutive year.

Lewis said he raced “a long time ago.” He pitted with driver Harold Long in the mid-1970s, helped Tom Silsby for a while, then as the years went on, noticed a shortage of cars in the Supermodified Racing League.

“I decided to build one and did it with the help of Steve and Tom.”

Reno’s Lewis said ownership and sponsorship is important. It’s all about the money.

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“I’ve never worked a proposal, I’ve just used a little black book and called friends.”

Friends include Steverman Trucking, Western Nevada Industrial Parts and Sierra Racing Products.

Unlike some professional motorsports series, Lewis does not require his driver to bring sponsorship with him.

“But he does contribute,” Lewis said of Baisch.

“I pretty much run the car out of my hip pocket. But it doesn’t help when payouts aren’t that great.”

Lewis plans to run the 2006 season with the new owners of the series, Elizabeth Williams and Rick Cameron, and Baisch as his driver.

“I had a great year,” Baisch said. “I struggled the first part of the year, but the last part of the season was good.”

Baisch, 43, from Salt Lake City, said racing with Lewis has been a great deal for him as the equipment Lewis uses is second to none.

“This is my first whole season with Courtney. By the end of the year, things really started to gel.”

The crew consists of Russ and Randy Baisch, Gary Romano and Bill Burdette.

Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at rcosta-landers@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1223.