18-Year-Old Youngster Just Races Away From Hickory Motor Speedway Championship
The Pettys. The Allisons. The Earnhardts. The Waltrips. The Andrettis. These are all famous families in the sport of auto racing. There isn’t a racing fan around who doesn’t recognize at least one, if not all, of these families and isn’t able name each and every driver that makes each family up.
The name Leicht might not be a household name yet, but there is one up-and-coming driver hoping to do his part to make it a name people won’t soon forget. With his second-cousin Stephen making waves in the NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series, 18-year-old Kevin Leicht is trying to do the same at one of the most famous tracks in the Southeast in one of the toughest classes around. And if his season stats have anything to say about it, then Leicht is well on his way.
Kevin Leicht's #32 has been the top Late Model Stock at Hickory this year.
Leicht is currently the point leader in the Late Model Stock class at Hickory Motor Speedway in North Carolina, leading a talented group of racers and one of the most historic tracks anywhere, one that is aptly named “The Birthplace of the NASCAR Stars.”
“I’m pretty satisfied with how the season has gone thus far,” said Leicht, who so far in 2006 has won four features at Hickory and another at Tri-County Motor Speedway [just up the road in Hudson, NC]. “I’ve really only had two really bad weeks when I got caught up in everyone else’s mess. Other than that, I think we’ve had a very successful year. We’ve got a lot of wins and we’ve been really consistent which has given us a shot to win this championship.”
The Hickory Motor Speedway Track Championship in its premier class is something that Leicht can take a lot of pride in as well should he win it. Outside the front gate at Hickory is a wall that lists the names of all of the track’s previous champions. Those names include Ralph Earnhardt, Ned Jarrett, Harry Gant, Jack Ingram, Bob Pressley, Dennis Setzer and several others that have last names that are or soon will be known by racing fans around the country.
“It would be awesome, almost so much that words couldn’t describe it, to win the championship there. It would be great to be able to put your name on the wall there with all of the greats that have won at the track. It’s already an impressive list and to have your name up there would just be almost unreal. It would be something to be proud of and something great to put on a resume.”
With three races remaining on the schedule, Leicht it quick to point out that the track championship is far from locked up though. He currently sits just six points in front of his closest competitor in the standings and the top-four drivers are separate by just 18 points.
That makes each week’s races that more important; and that more stressful.
“It makes it interesting each week to say the least,” added Leicht. “Now, you not only race to win, but you race and really think when you are driving. You focus on not making any stupid mistakes and not putting yourself in any bad situations. You know that this position is two more points and that position is two more points. It makes it pretty stressful, but it’s a lot of fun too. You are always watching where that other guy is at. I ask (my crew) on the radio all the time where people are at. You try and keep an eye on it and figure that stuff out on the radio.”
Some might think a racer would rather dominate. And while dominating makes things less stressful, the close competition is a reason Leicht continues to race at Hickory.
Leicht hopes to add his name to the Hickory Motor Speedway Track Champions board that sits just outside the main gate at the historic track.
“You go to a place that has the most competition because that makes you a better racer. That is why we race at Hickory and why we are going to go to a lot of the bigger races at the end of the year like Myrtle Beach and Martinsville. It makes you a better racer.
“We just need to make sure we finish in front of all the other guys that are close to us in points. It would be nice to win all of the remaining races, but it will be hard to do that though with all the good competition there. We just need to collect points and beat those guys that are right behind us. If we do that, then things will work out for themselves.”
Kevin will be back in action this weekend at Hickory Motor Speedway, when the Bojangles' Late Model Stocks hit the track once again.
For more information on Kevin Leicht please contact Jeremy Troiano at 704-455-2051 and be sure to visit the all new www.kevinleichtracing.com soon.