Leicht Wins in First Career ASA Late Model Series Start SPRINGPORT, Mich. (August 21, 2004) - Seemingly out in the middle of nowhere sits Calhoun County Speedway, set among the corn fields of Springport, Mich. This 0.375-mile oval was the...
Leicht Wins in First Career ASA Late Model Series Start
SPRINGPORT, Mich. (August 21, 2004) - Seemingly out in the middle of nowhere sits Calhoun County Speedway, set among the corn fields of Springport, Mich. This 0.375-mile oval was the location of the Calhoun County 100 presented by K105.3 FM and RV Performance Motor Sports, and was the site of Stephen Leicht's first ASA Late Model Series career start and victory.
In many ways, the track is reminiscent of a "Field of Dreams," and for Leicht it was indeed just that as he dominated the 100-green flag lap event, winning over second place Scott Baker by 15 car lengths.
"The car was awesome," Leicht proclaimed from the winner's circle. "We knew we were going to have a pretty good car and all night long the car was great."
Leicht's No. 89 Citgo Chevrolet could only be slowed by a couple of elements - the multiple caution flags which continually bunched up the field, and a penalty by the officials.
Starting seventh on the grid, Leicht powered by Baker on the outside to take the lead on lap 22. He paced the field until lap 77 when ASA officials placed him in third, penalizing him for restarts that they felt were improper, despite two warnings. The full-time ASA National Tour competitor quickly powered by then second place runner Bobby Stremme and set his sights on Baker who was back in the lead.
By lap 89 Leicht had caught Baker, and in a near mirror replay of the first time he passed Baker for the lead, he once again ran by on the outside groove. From there, Leicht stretched it out to an easy victory.
"ASA asked me to restart a couple of different ways and I did everything they asked," Leicht said of the penalty. "On the last one I did exactly what they asked and it caused a wreck and I guess they thought it was my fault and put me back to third. Luckily I had the car to get me back to the front."
"We didn't have anything to compete with the 89 car tonight," Baker said. "I'm not sure exactly what he has there, but he has a little more than what we got. I'm glad to finish second tonight; I wish we could have won. The team needs a win, but TopGun racing will be back and we'll get them at Sandusky (Ohio, the site of the next ASA Late Model Series competition)."
Baker, the recipient of the lead when Leicht was placed back to third, thought that might be just be the opening he needed to get his No. 94 Chevrolet the win.
"I thought that sometimes it looked like (Leicht) got a little bit loose so I thought maybe he would have a little more trouble getting back up there, but he just had a good car," Baker said of his second chance.
Kawkawlin, Mich., resident Mike Satkowiak finished third, remarkable considering he had a flat left rear tire on lap 8. He had lots of friends and family in the stands cheering him on to the podium finish.
"We got spun out (in a multi-car incident), had a flat tire and had to come from the back. I didn't think there was any way we could come through all of it, but we got lucky and made it through a lot of wrecks and it ended up being a good points night," he said of the race that saw the yellow flag fly 18 times.
"I was going for all I had," Satkowiak said of a strong late charge that moved him up through the field in the closing laps. "My tires were used up, and I was just going to see what we could get."
Doug True and the ASA Late Model Series driver points leader Stremme rounded out the top five finishers.
The next event for the ASA Late Model Series is Saturday, August 28 at Sandusky (Ohio) Speedway. Tickets are available by calling the track at (419) 625-4084. The American Speed Association is based in Pendleton, Ind., and has offered stock car racing programs since 1968, including the ASA National Tour, ASA Late Model Series, several regional touring series and the ASA Member Track programs. For additional information, visit asaracing.com.
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