Strong Run For Leicht Ends with Bittersweet Top-20 in Texas FORT WORTH, Texas. (November 4, 2006) -- Despite running in the top-10 for most of the O'Reilly Challenge, rookie Stephen Leicht would fall victim to fuel mileage in the late stages of...
Strong Run For Leicht Ends with Bittersweet Top-20 in Texas
FORT WORTH, Texas. (November 4, 2006) -- Despite running in the top-10 for most of the O'Reilly Challenge, rookie Stephen Leicht would fall victim to fuel mileage in the late stages of the race, resulting in a 19th-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway.
After posting impressive practice times on Friday and turning in a career best third-place qualifying effort, it was apparent that Leicht was going to be a threat in Saturday's O'Reilly Challenge.
He began his ascent toward the front on the first lap when he moved into the second position. Leicht would alternate between the second and third position for the first 30 laps before the CitiFinancial Ford would come down pit road during a caution for the team's first pit stop. Four tires, fuel, an air pressure and chassis adjustment were performed by the No. 90 crew to help alleviate the loose in and tight off condition that was plaguing the CitiFinancial Ford.
Leicht would restart the race in fifth position on lap 34 and began to notice an improvement in the handling and continued to run in the top 10 for the next several laps. On lap 133, while running 10th, Leicht would come down pit road for a green-flag pit stop that would include a chassis adjustment, four tires and fuel. Once the field had cycled through, Leicht returned to the 10th position and was running comparable lap times to the leader.
Unfortunately, no caution flag would fall after Leicht's last pit stop, forcing him to pit for fuel under green with only six laps remaining in the race, relegating him to 19th.
"This entire CitiFinancial team did an awesome job today," said Leicht. "We were five or so laps short on fuel there at the end. For some reason this weekend we weren't getting the fuel mileage like we needed. A lot of guys were beating us on fuel mileage and it ended up being a fuel mileage race and it hurt us.
"It's just frustrating, I think the farthest back we ran today was about 11th-place up until we had to pit with six to go. We ran in the top-five, top-10 all day long. It's just not the finish that we deserved, that's for sure. These guys worked their butts off and I wanted to bring home a better finish for them."
For the second consecutive week Kevin Harvick dominated the field, finding his way to victory lane. Tony Stewart, Jeff Burton, Mark Martin and Ron Hornaday followed to complete the top-five.
The NASCAR Busch Series will travel to Phoenix International Raceway for the Arizona Travel 200 on Saturday, November 11. Coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. E.T. NBC and MRN will cover the live broadcast.