Stephen Leicht's Top Five Finds Him Back In Rookie Race Youngster Has One More Race To Capture Rookie Of The Year Honors CHICAGO, IL (October 18, 2004) -- With the clock ticking and only 35 points separating him from his team's biggest goal of...
Stephen Leicht's Top Five Finds Him Back In Rookie Race
Youngster Has One More Race To Capture Rookie Of The Year Honors
CHICAGO, IL (October 18, 2004) -- With the clock ticking and only 35 points separating him from his team's biggest goal of the season, the ASA National Tour Rookie of the Year award, Stephen Leicht knew what he needed to do in the Aaron's 99 at Lowe's Motor Speedway and it was not necessarily to win the race.
"I told the guys this really needed to be a point night," said Leicht. "We needed the car to leave in one piece."
Leicht and his #4 WalTom Racing Development team accomplished that mission by finishing fifth in the short, sprint-race at the famed speedway on Thursday night. What the race lacked in laps, it was more than made up with by the plenty of action that took place.
"It was kind of crazy out there," said Leicht. "It was a little rough. It was a really short race and I was disappointed it was a shortened race like that (officials cut the race to only 66 laps because of weather concerns). That really hurt us."
The 17-year-old driver showed wisdom and patience beyond his years during the event, which featured several wrecks, including one right at the finish line.
"I was being conservative, maybe even a little too much," said Leicht. "Lap times picked up tonight after last night, so we ended up having the wrong gear in the car. All in all, we came home fifth and gained points on everyone. We are going into Atlanta really strong with the car in one piece. We are looking for that rookie of the year and I think we can get it."
Although official ASA points will not be released until later in the week, Leicht's finish puts him into a virtual dead heat for the Rookie of the Year award with Brett Sontag. Close behind those two are Casey Smith and Wade Day, so with one race left in the season anything is bound to happen.
There were plenty of wrecks at Lowe's Motor Speedway, but it was a calmer race than the two previous speedway events of the season according to Leicht.
"They were a lot better here than they were at Kentucky two weeks ago," said Leicht. "It wasn't as bad as we thought that it was going to be. You could run side-by-side better here. There was more give and take here I think."
The final ASA event of the season is scheduled for October 29th at Atlanta Motor Speedway.