Leilani Munter to race at South Boston

Former model Munter looks to star at South Boston. SOUTH BOSTON, Va. (March 31, 2003)-- Not many Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway competitors can say they were a model, much less a photo double for Academy Award-winning actress Catherine ...

Former model Munter looks to star at South Boston.

SOUTH BOSTON, Va. (March 31, 2003)-- Not many Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway competitors can say they were a model, much less a photo double for Academy Award-winning actress Catherine Zeta-Jones. Leilani Munter can claim that distinction, but she'd also like to add "Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway winner" to her diverse resume.

Munter is planning to compete in South Boston's NASCAR Late Model Stock division on April 5 and 19, with the possibility of additional starts in the future. The Rochester, Minn., native is in a driver development program with Team Bristol Motorsports, in which she learns more about racing from inside the shop and behind the wheel. She is also studying under the tutelage of former South Boston standout and Team Bristol driver Hermie Sadler. Sadler owns Munter's Zapf Creations Chevrolet, which she practiced at South Boston March 26 and 27. Munter said she has benefited from Sadler's expertise.

"He's really good," she said. "Not only is he a great driver, but he's good at explaining things in a way that somebody's who's new can understand."

Munter's South Boston test was successful, as she spent the first day learning the track and the second day making changes to the car. She was surprised, however, at the size of the facility.

"Somebody told me it was like Hickory (Motor Speedway)," she explained. "I tested quite a bit at Hickory last year, so when I first pulled up, I was like, 'No way, this is bigger.'" Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway measures .363 mile, while South Boston is four-tenths mile.

Along with her Late Model starts, Munter will compete in several NASCAR Busch North series events this season. She has previous experience in amateur road racing competition and the Allison Legacy Series. Munter finished seventh in her 2001 Allison Legacy Series debut. While she is constantly learning about racing, she also taught racing at the Richard Petty Driving Experience at the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. She also studied racecar setup and geometry with race instructor Mike Loescher and former NASCAR Winston Cup crew chief Larry McReynolds.

Munter's South Boston debut will come April 5 in the Late Model twin 110s. The evening will also feature 50 laps for the Sheetz Limited Sportsman and 30 laps for the Pure Stocks. The "Racing for Kids Challenge" continues for children age four to seven. Adults pay $10, youth age 10 to 15 pay $5, and children nine and under are free. Grandstand gates open at 5 p.m., with qualifying at 5:30 p.m. Racing begins at 7 p.m.

In 2003, Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway celebrates 46 years of racing excitement and affordable family entertainment. To learn more about Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway or to order tickets, call the Speedway toll-free at 1-877-440-1540, or log on to www.southbostonspeedway.com. Tickets are also available via www.tickets.com.

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Hermie Sadler , Leilani Munter