WalTom Racing Heading To The Heart Of Stock Car Country Pyle, Leicht Had Productive Tests At LMS Last Week CHICAGO, IL (October 11, 2004) - As WalTom Racing teammates Robbie Pyle and Stephen Leicht get ready for Thursday's first-ever ASA...
WalTom Racing Heading To The Heart Of Stock Car Country
Pyle, Leicht Had Productive Tests At LMS Last Week
CHICAGO, IL (October 11, 2004) - As WalTom Racing teammates Robbie Pyle and Stephen Leicht get ready for Thursday's first-ever ASA National Tour event at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina, they are buckling in for what might be a bumpy ride.
"This is a tough track," said 17-year-old rookie Stephen Leicht. "They told me it was going to be rough and it's a little rougher than I thought it was going to be. The biggest problem here is probably over there in the middle of (turns) three and four. There is a big patch there that really upsets the car. It pushes the car up the track."
Pyle has raced on tracks across the country and compares getting around LMS in an ASA car to making laps at one of the fastest short tracks in the Midwest.
"This place reminds me of a bumpy Winchester (Speedway, IN) over there in three and four," said Pyle. "We are just trying to get the car to work there. We've got some speed we need to pick up somehow. We've got some time to work on picking up the rest of the speed."
The Aaron's 99 will take place on Thursday night at the 1.5-mile Lowe's Motor Speedway following the completion of NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series qualifying. The ASA cars will practice and qualify on Wednesday night.
The bumps on the track could translate into an eventful race and it appears that a little bit of caution might go a long way towards a good finish.
"You really have to be careful off of turn four," said Leicht. "That is where all the wrecks are going to be I think. There will be some big time dodging going on there. It should be interesting."
Since both WalTom teams were able to test at LMS last week, they are not heading into the event blindfolded.
"We learned a lot from our test," said Leicht. "When we started the day, we went out nice and easy just to see how the car reacted to the track. The car didn't like the track very much. These guys worked hard on the car during the day. I can't even talk enough of what these guys did today to this car. They just kept working on it and working on it, trying this and trying that. Finally, but the end of the day, we got it working pretty good to where we can run wide open for almost ¾ of the race track. If we get this other corner fixed, I think we'll be really good."
Pyle also had a productive test. He came a long way from when the team unloaded their car until when they were finished for the day.
"We made big strides during the test," said Pyle. "We started out bad. I mean we were really bad. But the last half of the day we were flat-footing it the whole time. We are not quite as quick as some of those guys, but the car feels good."
Earlier this year, Pyle also got to take some laps of the facility when he took part in Andy Hillenburg's Fast Track High Performance Driving School. The experience gave him a head start in getting around the 1.5-mile oval.
"It didn't hurt," Pyle said of the experience. "It shortened the learning curve at where you need to be on the race track and what you can get away with while going around this place."
With two races left to go in the ASA season, a full field of fast race cars is expected at LMS and winning there will be tough. The victory will be very worthwhile though as many of the spectators of the event will be car owners, drivers and followers of the top two divisions of NASCAR racing.
"There are going to be some good cars here," said Leicht. "This is a big race for us, not only in the points battle, but just a big race in general. This will be our first race in front of the (NASCAR Nextel) Cup guys and everyone wants to but on a good showing and hopefully turn some heads. We just want to win, both for the points and because this is Charlotte."
WalTom Racing, with Robbie Pyle and rookie Stephen Leicht, are competing full-time with the American Speed Association in 2004. For more information on the team, please visit www.waltomracing.com.