BUSCH: Phoenix II: Penultimate round preview

* Stephen Leicht Brings Momentum To Adopted State of Arizona Southwest Start: Leicht's Racing Roots Trace Back To Arizona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 7) -- When he was three years old, Stephen Leicht (No. 90 CitiFinancial Ford) was an Arizona...

* Stephen Leicht Brings Momentum To Adopted State of Arizona

Southwest Start: Leicht's Racing Roots Trace Back To Arizona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 7) -- When he was three years old, Stephen Leicht (No. 90 CitiFinancial Ford) was an Arizona resident, living in the city of Ahwatukee, a suburb of Phoenix.

Now 19, Leicht's residence is in Huntersville, N.C., by way of his true hometown of Asheville, N.C., but his southwest roots were the force behind his racing career and his current place in the NASCAR Busch Series.

The Leicht family moved from Asheville to Ahwatukee in the early 1990s as Stephen's father Russ took a new job.

During his short stay in Arizona, Leicht began racing, starting in go-karts by age five before his family moved back to Asheville.

Stints in quarter midgets, dirt karts, sprint karts, Mini-Cup cars, Bandeleros, the ARA and ASA led Leicht to his developmental opportunity with Robert Yates Racing.

He debuted in Memphis one year ago, starting eighth and finishing 13th. His second race came at Phoenix International Raceway where he had a solid homecoming with a 15th-place finish.

After splitting time with other drivers in nine of the first 22 races this season, Leicht has been the driver of the No. 90 Ford for eight of the last nine events and is entered at Phoenix once again this weekend. In his last four races, Leicht has posted four top-15 starting positions, including a career-best third last Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway.

He was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race at Kansas (12th) and has registered top-20 finishes in his last four races. He looks for another strong finish as the season winds down, this one in his adopted home state.

"Traveling to Phoenix always brings back great memories for me, that is where I started racing," Leicht said. "When I was five, my father got me involved in racing at South Mountain Raceway Park near Phoenix and I haven't stopped racing since."

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Robert Yates , Stephen Leicht
Teams Yates Racing