Leicht Looks For Redemption at Kentucky Speedway Teammate Pyle Keeps Busy Racing and Winning as Well CHICAGO, IL (August 23, 2004) -- Kentucky Speedway was nearly a magical place for Stephen Leicht earlier this spring. The 17-year-old driver ...
Leicht Looks For Redemption at Kentucky Speedway
Teammate Pyle Keeps Busy Racing and Winning as Well
CHICAGO, IL (August 23, 2004) -- Kentucky Speedway was nearly a magical place for Stephen Leicht earlier this spring. The 17-year-old driver of the #4 WalTom Racing Development Chevrolet was able to come to the 1.5-mile track for the first time in the ASA National Tour and nearly pull off a shocking victory in ASA's first trip to the track. He was battling for the lead late in the race when his car abruptly spun and hit the wall, leaving him with an eventual 35th-place finish.
When the track hosts the ASA National Tour again this weekend, Leicht will be ready for another shot at his first series win.
"The first time here, we had one of the quickest cars," said Leicht. "I wasn't used to playing with the air in the draft and I got caught by surprise. We had a good chance at winning and I made an error. We have another good chance of winning this weekend and I'm really looking forward to it."
It didn't take long for Leicht to develop a liking for the mile and a half speedway.
"This track is great," said Leicht. "It's wide and you can run anywhere. It is really cool at night. When the lights are all on and you get going fast around here, it is a great place to be."
The goal for Leicht's team all season has been to win the ASA National Tour Rookie of the Year. He made up ground in the last scheduled event at the Elko Speedway (MN) and looked to be able to move into the driver's seat for the award, but got involved in an altercation with five laps to go that dropped him from second to 15th and cost his team valuable points.
"We would be leading the rookie points right now if it wasn't for Reed (Sorenson) getting into us at Elko," said Leicht. "Still, we are only 19 back and we've been running really strong. We haven't been able to show it, but it's time for a little bit of luck to go our way. It's bound the change at some point and I hope it's at Kentucky."
In the last race at Kentucky, Leicht's teammate Robbie Pyle struggled on the way to an 18th place finish, one lap off the pace. Pyle has won at all kinds of tracks on the ASA National Tour and has been a valuable resource to Leicht during his rookie year. Kentucky might be a rare opportunity to pay him back.
"Robbie struggled at Kentucky last time," said Leicht. "That doesn't happen very often, but it was one of those tracks where nobody had ever been to before. Last time, his car wasn't good all day long and we figured something out on ours. We tried to help him out and the same thing didn't work well on his car. Maybe this time, we can help him get on track. He's a great guy and he really helps me out at most of the place where we go. I'd really like to help him and return the favor if I can."
The WalTom team is ready to go for Kentucky, but Mother Nature might have other plans. The remains of Hurricane Ivan are expected to hit the area on Saturday and could postpone the race. Series officials have said that it will be run on the next clear day if that is the case.
"We're ready to race on Saturday, but we'll also be ready to go on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday if we need to," said Leicht. "It sounds like ASA is committed to get this race in and we're ready to run it."
Pyle recently competed at his home track of Columbus Motor Speedway (OH) during a Sunoco Super Series event. Pyle started the race fifth and finished second.
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.