DSR, NHRA veteran executive Lewis ready to hit the throttle at Charlotte
DSR, NHRA veteran executive Lewis ready to hit the throttle at Charlotte to propel B.R.A.K.E.S. message to young drivers
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Sept. 13, 2016) – Mike Lewis, quite simply, is a born and bred drag racer.
When he puts on his helmet this weekend to compete in the 270-mph Top Alcohol Dragster category in the ninth annual NHRA Carolina Nationals near Charlotte, it will be a respite from a hectic year as senior vice president for Don Schumacher Racing and board member for his family’s Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, Pa.
In the past year, Lewis successfully battled a serious health issue while guiding the expansion of DSR headquarters outside of Indianapolis, a 145,000-square-foot operation he helped build in 2006 after joining DSR four years earlier.
Most recently, he assisted in the addition of an eighth nitro team at DSR, an organization that has won 18 out of a possible 36 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series titles this season.
And course what free time he has is devoted to his wife, Vicki, two daughters and four grandchildren.
But when he has an opportunity to pursue his passion of being in a cockpit and help a worthy cause and friend in the process, well, that is one of the easiest decisions he’s faced in the past year.
Lewis will strap into the A/Fuel Dragster owned by Anthony Dicero Racing (ADR) of Lizton, Ind., in this weekend’s Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series race at zMAX Dragway and proudly promote the life-saving efforts of Doug Herbert’s B.R.A.K.E.S. safe driving program for young drivers (PutOnTheBrakes.org).
“2016 has been a hectic year, personally and at DSR, and I’m excited to finally be able to take my helmet and driver’s suit to a racetrack,” Lewis said. “We’re planning on also racing the ADR dragster at Maple Grove, too, and will have our hands full with two of the best fields of the season.
“I’m proud to race on behalf of Doug Herbert and his amazing B.R.A.K.E.S. organization. B.R.A.K.E.S. has trained over 20,000 young people on safe driving techniques at facilities across the country.
“I recall the day Doug received the call in January 2008 that his sons James and Jon lost their lives in a traffic accident. I can say with some conviction that Doug’s commitment to B.R.A.K.E.S. has been a life-saving force and a great tribute to James and Jon. “Doug is an old personal friend and a great friend of DSR,” said Lewis, a former longtime executive with NHRA before joining DSR.
“This was just a great opportunity for us to help Doug and B.R.A.K.E.S.”
B.R.A.K.E.S. is based in the Charlotte area and will conduct two of its major fund-raising events this week with the Denim and Diamonds B.R.A.K.E.S. Gala Thursday evening at Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, N.C. (for tickets call 704-720-3806).
The annual B.R.A.K.E.S. Pancake Breakfast from 8 to 10 Saturday morning in one of DSR hospitality tents where the public is invited.
While Lewis is donating the branding space on his dragster, he is focused on winning his first Top Alcohol title after being a runner-up twice.
The ADR A/Fuel Dragster is a former DSR Top Fuel chassis (#DSR007) that he drove at the Reading national event in 2014 and advanced to the semifinals where he lost to event titlist and world champ Chris Demke. He also competed the following spring at zMAX where he lost to young, up and coming driver Mia Tedesco in the first round.
He was TAD runner-up at Maple Grove in 2008 and 2009, a year when he also set low elapsed time (5.21 seconds) and top speed (272 mph) in the prestigious U.S. Nationals.
He hales his greatest achievement as a driver when he won the 2012 California Hot Rod Reunion Funny Car class in the Brand X Mustang owned by Henry Gutierrez.