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Racer Profile: Paul Lewis
An Opinion

May 25, 2007
By Allen Madding

Allen Madding

Johnson City, Tennessee’s Paul Lewis, born September 28, 1932, made his debut in the NASCAR Grand National Division in 1960 at the age of 27. He made 22 starts driving Jess Potter’s No. 32 and No.1 Chevrolets. He recorded a sixth place finish at Asheville-Weaverville Speedway in North Carolina in April logging a total of four top-10 finishes for the year.

In 1961, Lewis finished seventh in the season opener at Charlotte Fairgrounds in Charlotte, North Carolina and in the Hickory 250 at Hickory Speedway in April charting a total of five top-10s for the year. In 1962, Lewis made only six starts in Grand National competition, his best a 12th place finish at Piedmont Interstate Fairgrounds in Spartanburg, South Carolina in May. In 1963, Lewis drove his own No.53 Ford in the Southern 500 at Darlington but completed only two laps. He drove Jess Potter’s No. 52 Chevrolet in the Wilkes 400 at North Wilkesboro in 1964 but overheated on the 27th lap.

In 1965, Lewis campaigned his own No.27 and No.1 Fords in 20 NASCAR Grand National Division races and drove Curtis Larimer’s No.56 Ford in four events. At Harris Speedway in Harris, North Carolina in May, he qualified on the pole and finished 19th after dropping out of the event on the 16th lap. He logged three top-5s and 13 top-10s.

In 1966, Lewis competed in 21 NASCAR Grand National Division events driving his own No. 1 Plymouth in 20 events and driving Petty Enterprises’ No. 42 Plymouth in the American 500 at Rockingham. He qualified 11th for the Southeastern 500 at Bristol, Tennessee and finished second. He recorded third place finishes at Smoky Mountain Raceway in Maryville, Tennessee, Asheville-Weaverville Speedway, in the Buddy Shuman 250 at Hickory Speedway, in the Capital City 300 at Richmond, in the Joe Weatherly 150 at Orange Speedway in Hillsboro, North Carolina, and in the Wilkes 400 at North Wilkesboro.

Lewis qualified 27th for the Smoky Mountain 200 at Smoky Mountain Raceway in Maryville, Tennessee in July. He led 64 of the 200 laps on the ˝-mile dirt track and won the race. It would prove to be his sole NASCAR Grand National Division career win. For the year, he charted one win, nine top-5s and 14 top-10s for the season.

In 1967, Lewis made 14 starts in Grand National competition driving his own car in the Augusta 300 At Augusta Speedway in Georgia where he finished second to Richard Petty. He drove A.J. King’s No.1 Dodge in 8 events, Emory Gilliam’s 00 Dodge in four, and J.D. Bracken’s No. 2 Chevrolet at Ashville-Weaverville Speedway recording three top-5s and eigth top-10s.

In 1968, Lewis raced with the NASCAR Grand National Division in four events. He finished fifth at Montgomery Speedway in Alabama driving J. D. Bracken’s No.2 Chevrolet and finished 13th in the World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway driving Bobby Allison’s No. 2 Dodge.

In 114 career starts in NASCAR Grand National Division competition, Paul Lewis recorded one win, one pole, 16 top-5s, and 45 top-10s.

Discuss this and other racing matters in the Prodigys@Speed Forum

You can contact Allen Madding at .. Insider Racing News

The thoughts and ideas expressed by this writer or any other writer on Insider Racing News, are not necessarily the views of the staff and/or management of IRN.

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