Stephen Leicht Has a Busy Week With Second at Madison and Truck Test 18-Year-Old Takes Over Points Lead and Preps for Illiana and ASL Debut CHICAGO, IL (June 1, 2005) -- It's sure not boring to be 18-year-old Stephen Leicht these days. The...
Stephen Leicht Has a Busy Week With Second at Madison and Truck Test
18-Year-Old Takes Over Points Lead and Preps for Illiana and ASL Debut
CHICAGO, IL (June 1, 2005) -- It's sure not boring to be 18-year-old Stephen Leicht these days. The young driver for WalTom Racing Development has found himself in plenty of new situations lately. In just the past week for example, he has tested a NASCAR Craftsman Truck, finished second to a noted veteran driver in an ASA Late Model race, gotten himself prepared for his ASL debut next week and also adjusted to life as the ASA Late Model point leader.
Leicht finished second to Bryan Reffner in this past weekend's ASA LM event at Madison International Speedway (WI). But before going to Wisconsin, Leicht had to make a special trip to North Carolina's Caraway Speedway.
"The middle of the week before Madison, I was invited to compete in a GM Racing Craftsman Truck Series test," said Leicht. "The truck drove just like a Late Model. It was really fun to drive. You can slide the truck around and not lose it. I didn't expect it, but you can get in the gas really hard on those things and because they are so heavy, you don't spin the tires. There were some good drivers and Travis Kittleson and myself had the best laps of anybody and I was the youngest one there."
But Leicht didn't have much time to reflect on his test session. Next, it was time to go back to the track. This time it was Madison on his mind and the appearance of a seasoned veteran at that event made things more interesting in the race.
"Bryan is a great racecar driver. We didn't know who to compare to when he got there and he set the bar pretty high."
Leicht came pretty close to topping that bar himself, but engine woes kept him to a second place finish behind Reffner..
"I was disappointed when the race was over," said Leicht. "I was glad to finish second because it was a good points night for the team, but I really wanted to win. In all honesty, I think that we were better than him. I had a few runs underneath him and couldn't complete them and I was getting ready to try the outside. It had worked pretty good out there all night. I think that we would have finished the pass on him had the motor not gone sour with about 15 laps to go. We dropped at least two or three valves on the motor and we were lucky to finish."
Leicht is hoping for a rematch this coming weekend as the ASA Late Models visit Illiana Motor Speedway (IN).
"I'm hoping Reffner comes back. It was a good race with him and I was having a blast before the motor went away. Those last 15 laps, I was having fun. We might have barely touched once when I was underneath him, but that was it. You can race him clean and have a lot of fun. We were side by side a few times."
Leicht will have a new weapon this weekend as well.
"We are debuting a new car that we have at Illiana. It's been sitting in the trailer at the races this year, but we have been testing it and it's been as fast or faster than our other car. It feels really good on a flat track and Illiana is a flat track."
Leicht also needs to adjust to being the point leader in ASA Late Models, but he doesn't expect life to be too different because of that fact.
"We're going there to win," said Leicht. "To be going into the third race of the season and already have a 40-point lead is pretty cool. Everyone is excited and we think that we are going to win a lot more of these races. It's always in the back of your mind not to do anything stupid and have a good points night, but at the same time you are trying to win the race. As far as points vs. wins goes right now, they are probably about equal. It's only the third race of the year coming up. Later in the year, it might be a different story but right now we are racing for wins."
Leicht won't have much time to rest after the race. Next week, his WalTom team will enter the ASL event on June 11th at Wisconsin International Raceway. Reffner competes regularly in that form of racing and won the series opener earlier this season, so that could be an opportunity for another rematch.
"We are running the ASL race next Wednesday," said Leicht. "That car is sitting here just about done. It will be cool to see what the new Goodyear radials are like. I've always liked the tour cars. Reffner will be tough in that race, so we'll go over there and see if we can reverse the finishing order from last week."
First up though will be the ASA Late Model race at Illiana. That is set to go green at 7:00pm on Saturday, June 4th.