LEICHT BRINGS HOME A HARD FOUGHT 13TH-PLACE FINISH IN MILWAUKEE
WEST ALLIS, Wis. June 24, 2006) -- A pit road penalty and a late race spin kept Stephen Leicht from his second straight top-10 finish during Saturday night's AT&T 250 at The Milwaukee Mile. Leicht, driver of the No. 90 CitiFinancial Ford, fought back from a lap down to finish on the lead lap in 13th.
Leicht started the 250-lap event in the 21st position. When the first caution fell on lap 62, he was running in 18th and fighting a tight condition. The No. 90 came down pit road for service to his Ford Fusion. During the pit stop the CitiFinancial team took on four fresh tires and fuel, along with a trackbar and air pressure adjustment. Quick work in the pits would put Leicht in 16th for the restart on lap 73.
After the restart Leicht started moving toward the front. "Still tight in the center, but getting better every lap," was Leicht's comments to his crew on lap 115. The CitiFinancial Ford returned to pit road on lap 123 for their second pit stop that included four tires, fuel and a slight air pressure adjustment. He rejoined the race in 16th. Over the next several laps, Leicht continued to gain track position and moved into the 11th spot on lap 180.
Trouble found the Robert Yates Racing entry on lap 207 as Leicht headed down pit road for the team's final stop of the race. Leicht pitted outside of the box and was penalized one lap. He restarted the race in 23rd, one lap down to the leaders.
The team would catch a break when a caution fell on lap 228 and Leicht became the recipient of the "Lucky Dog" award, putting him back on the lead lap. As he was making his way back toward the front, contact with the No. 64 would send Leicht for a spin on lap 240. Crew chief Jerry Pitts called Leicht down pit road for four tires. Leicht would steer clear of a last lap pile up and gained six positions to finish in the 13th position.
"I just want to thank my guys for hanging in there with me after I made that mistake on pit road," said Leicht. "The Citifinancial Ford was fast when we unloaded for first practice so I knew that we were going to be competitive for the race. We had a couple of unfortunate incidents, but the entire team pulled together and we brought home a solid top-15 finish."
Paul Menard won his first NASCAR Busch Series race. Denny Hamlin, J.J. Yeley, Jason Leffler and Mike Wallace completed the top-five.
Leicht will be back behind the wheel of the CitiFinancial Ford when the NASCAR Busch Series returns to action on Friday, June 30 for the running of the Winn Dixie 250 at Daytona International Speedway. Coverage of the race will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET. FX and MRN will carry live coverage.