January 5, 2017
2016 ARCA Racing Series championship team Cunningham Motorsports has signed Shane Lee to drive the No. 22 Ford for the full 2017 ARCA season.
Lee competed in 10 ARCA races last season, earning a career-best finish of fourth at Pocono and earning the Menards Pole Award at Chicagoland Speedway.
“You know I first noticed him at the second Pocono,” said Cunningham Motorsports co-owner Kerry Scherer.
“But the thing that really impressed me was that he sat on the pole at Chicago and then sat on the outside pole at Kentucky and he ran us ragged in those races. When we found out we had an opportunity to sign him I couldn’t jump on it fast enough…it was great.”
Lee, a Newton, N.C. native, compiled one top-five and five top-10 finishes in his first season racing in ARCA. The 23-year-old also competed in three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races, as well as a few late model races in the Whelen All-American Series in 2016.
“It’s pretty awesome coming into an organization like Cunningham,” said Lee. “They’ve got plenty of smart people over there and Paul (Andrews)…he’s a great crew chief. I’m really excited…seeing how good they were last year with both cars and how many races they won and how many races they could have won.”
Being led under veteran crew chief Paul Andrews, the No. 22 car found its way to victory lane twice last season, something Andrews hopes they can do more of while working with just one driver throughout the year.
“I haven’t worked with one driver for a season for a few years now so that’s a welcome relief,” said Andrews. “It lets us build more on the driver and understand the driver and I’m excited to see what we can build with Shane…it’s going to be fun.”
Lee joins Dalton Sargeant for the upcoming 20-race season. Sargeant, the 2016 SCOTT Rookie of the Year, signed on to drive the No. 77 car full-time in early December. Coming off of a championship season, anticipation is no-doubt running high for the entire organization looking ahead.
“This is one of the strongest teams, if not the strongest team we’ve ever put on the racetrack, with Dalton and Shane running for us,” said Scherer. “My expectations for both teams are really high and you can tell people in the shop are really fired up about this year.”
For additional information on Cunningham Motorsports, please visit www.cunninghammotorsports.net and follow on Twitter (@cunningham_race).