By NASCAR News
Civil Air Patrol joined the Concord, North Carolina based team as primary sponsor just prior to the start of the 2002 Busch Series Season, giving the organization the resources necessary to be competitive on a weekly basis. The family-owned race team (father Ashton Lewis, Sr. and his sons Ashton Jr. and Charlie, crew chief) was formed in September of 1999 and made their debut during the 2000 season running a limited schedule of Busch Series races. The team hopes to be in contention to win before the season is over.
Ashton Lewis, Jr. enters the 2002 NASCAR Busch Series season with something he’s never had before: major sponsorship. The Chesapeake, Virginia native will run the entire 34 race Busch Series season in Chevrolet cars sponsored by Civil Air Patrol. Lewis ran the entire 2001 season without a primary sponsor but still managed to be competitive on the track. He posted fifth place finishes at Kentucky and Charlotte where he also qualified in the top-10. Lewis finished the season with two top-fives and three top-10s and looks for a more competitive season in 2002 flying the colors of the No. 46 Civil Air Patrol Chevrolet.
CONCORD, NC – The Civil Air Patrol (CAP), an auxiliary of the United States Air Force, today announced a multi-year agreement as the primary sponsor of the NASCAR Busch Series No. 46 Lewis Motorsports Chevrolet.
By signing on as primary sponsor, CAP hopes to increase awareness of their three primary missions: Cadet Programs, Aerospace Education, and Emergency Services.
“The NASCAR Busch Series offers the Civil Air Patrol an affordable and effective marketing platform that will provide the vehicle to inform and educate the general public about CAP,” said CAP National Commander, Brig Gen Richard Bowling.
“The enormous reach of the sport will enable us to introduce our 60 year old organization to millions of people over a short period of time.” Bowling continued, “This will provide the impetus necessary to effectively augment and advance CAP missions.”
The Civil Air Patrol found a perfect fit with driver Ashton Lewis, Jr., and the family owned team of Lewis Motorsports.
“Once the Civil Air Patrol recognized the marketing potential available to us through primary sponsorship in the NASCAR Busch series,” Bowling related, “it became necessary to find the right team — or the right fit — for CAP. We were not interested in just any team. Other than the obvious criteria — a driver with the ability to win races — there were other requirements that had to be met if we were to enter into this arena. The Lewis Motorsports team fit the bill for us. They are a family owned and managed team. CAP is a family oriented membership organization. We have many members where the entire family participates in CAP missions — Some even go back to the grandparents who joined during World War II.”
Ashton Lewis, Jr will pilot the No 46 Civil Air Patrol Chevrolet, while his brother Charlie Lewis will continue calling the shots as crew chief.
“We have worked for years to get to this point, and to have our first sponsor be the Civil Air Patrol is more than I could have ever asked for. The Civil Air Patrol is new to the sport and we want to make their first year very memorable, and that is my major focus for the 2002 season,” said driver Ashton Lewis, Jr.
“Last year we ran in the front with teams that have 20 or 30 guys at their shop. Lewis Motorsports had eight guys total, including the team owner – my father, who drove the hauler for the second half of the season,” Lewis added. “Now we have sponsorship and a real budget that we can work with and those variables have allowed us to hire additional guys to work in the shop to compliment the team we had in 2001. With every positive thing that Lewis Motorsports has going for us this season, we are sure to make a lasting impression in the NASCAR ranks.”
The No. 46 Civil Air Patrol Chevrolet will make its debut run on February 16, 2002 in the Daytona 300 at the Daytona International Speedway.
In September of 1999, Lewis Motorsports began as a venture between a father, Ashton Lewis, Sr, and his two sons, Ashton Lewis, Jr and Charlie Lewis. Lewis Motorsports made their debut in 2000 by running a limited NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division schedule.
In 2001, Lewis Motorsports ran a full NASCAR Busch Series schedule in an effort to gain valuable seat time for driver Ashton Lewis, Jr and a young and eager crew posting two top-five finishes (Kentucky and Lowe’s), three top-10s, seven top-15s, 14 top-20s and eight top-10 qualifying efforts.