WalTom Racing Heading To The ASA Late Model Series in 2005 Leicht Running Full-Time, Pyle Part-Time as of Now CHICAGO, IL (January 12, 2005) - It's going to be a new year and a new racing series for WalTom Racing in 2005, but beneath the...
WalTom Racing Heading To The ASA Late Model Series in 2005
Leicht Running Full-Time, Pyle Part-Time as of Now
CHICAGO, IL (January 12, 2005) - It's going to be a new year and a new racing series for WalTom Racing in 2005, but beneath the surface, not much is really going to be different for the team which was one of the top operations on the old ASA National Tour.
WalTom Racing will enter the ASA Late Model ranks this coming racing season. Stephen Leicht, who just turned 18 years old, will drive the entire schedule of events, while veteran and former ASA National Tour race winner Robbie Pyle will join him as a teammate for at least a partial schedule. This move comes after financial troubles have closed down the ASA National Tour for the time being.
"Because the National Tour isn't there anymore, we needed to find something else to do," said Leicht. "It's a shame because that was a really good series, but this is a great series too. You have to have your stuff together just to compete with these guys. I've raced with most of the competitors before and most of them are really good guys."
Leicht's anxious to get back behind the seat of an ASA Late Model after he win the the very first event he entered. That victory came at Calhoun Country Speedway (MI) and proved to be a highlight of his 2004 season.
"I only won a single race last year," said Leicht. "That took some getting used to because I'm used to eight or nine wins every year. Last year, we had to be a little bit careful running for the Rookie of the Year award. This year, I thing that I want to do most is to just win races. I want for us to be a team to beat every weekend. The seat time will be good for me and to go after the championship would be nice, but we want to win."
Pyle also got to drive in an ASA Late Model last year, using the same car that Leicht piloted to victory. However, Pyle entered it in a CRA Super Series (formerly the Sunoco Super Series) event at Columbus Motor Speedway (OH). Pyle started and finished in the second position.
"I did everything that I could to win that race other than wreck the leader," said Pyle. "That was a fun car to drive."
Stepping back to put a little less time into racing isn't necessarily a bad thing for Pyle.
"The timing on this is perfect," said Pyle. "I'm going to take this year to help grow my sign business, Robbie Pyle Design, and it will work out good to drive as well. Our goal is to go to the track and promote the business and just to have fun this season."
The cars will be maintained by legendary ASA crew chief Howie Lettow in his Milwaukee, WI race shop. Both drivers are very excited about that fact.
"Howie will maintain the car and there are a lot worse guys to have preparing your equipment," said Pyle of the legendary ASA Crew Chief. "I won't have to do anything with the cars all week long."
Lettow has proven to be a valuable mentor for Leicht and will continue in that role.
"I have never been around someone who is so smart," said Leicht. "I can tell him what is wrong with the car and he knows instantly how to make it better. He knows exactly what to do with it and when to do it. It doesn't matter if he was working on a Cup or Busch car, he'd be that good there as well."
Leicht is also very excited about running the type of cars on the ASA Late Model tour.
"I love these cars; they are just so fun to drive," said Leicht. "They handle so good, it's hard to keep the tires under them. They are so fun that sometimes, you don't know how hard you are really driving them and you have to tell yourself to slow down and wait another 50 laps before pushing it."
The ASA Late Model season kicks off on May 7th at Baer Field Speedway (IN).