Stephen Leicht

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Stephen Leicht
StephenLeichtMilwaukee2009.jpg
Leicht in 2009
Born (1987-01-09) January 9, 1987 (age 27)
Asheville, North Carolina, U.S.
Achievements 2005 American Speed Association Late Model Champion
Awards 2012 Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
17 race(s) run over 3 year(s)
Best finish 41st (2012)
First race 2006 Pennsylvania 500 (Pocono)
Last race 2012 AdvoCare 500 (Phoenix)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0
NASCAR Nationwide Series career
76 race(s) run over 6 year(s)
Best finish 7th (2007)
First race 2005 Sam's Town 250 (Memphis)
Last race 2012 Zippo 200 (Watkins Glen)
First win 2007 Meijer 300 (Kentucky)
Wins Top tens Poles
1 16 0
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career
4 race(s) run over 1 year(s)
Best finish 98th (2012)
First race 2012 VFW 200 (Michigan)
Last race 2012 Lucas Oil 150 (Phoenix)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0
Statistics current as of November 18, 2012.

Stephen Leicht (born January 9, 1987 in Asheville, North Carolina) is an American stock car driver. He has over 150 feature event wins in quarter midgets and go-karts, and was the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year.

Early racing career[edit]

When he was seven years old, he began racing quarter midgets, and began advancing into go-karts. At the age of 11, Leicht was participating in the Go Kart Nationals, when he collided with the flag stand and was sent flying from his racecar. He suffered a burst spleen as a result of the accident, and was kept out of racing for six months.

At the age of 12, he began racing stock cars, and got his GED to focus full-time on racing, and was named Motorsports Magazine's Rising Star of the Year in 2000. At the age of 15, he ran his first full year in the American Racing Association, and was named Rookie of the Year.

NASCAR & ARCA career[edit]

In 2005, he moved to Wisconsin to work with veteran American Speed Association crew chief Howie Lettow.[1] Leicht collected five wins en route to winning the national championship in the American Speed Association Late Model series for WalTom Racing.[1] He won both races that he attempted in the American StockCar League. He finished first or second in thirteen of sixteen events that entered between the two series. He started eighth in his Busch series debut at Memphis Motorsports Park, and finished thirteenth. He ran another race at Phoenix, starting seventeenth and finishing nineteenth.

In 2006, Leicht ran ARCA RE/MAX Series events for Yates Racing and WalTom Racing. He earned his first career ARCA series win in his second career start at Nashville Superspeedway in April. [1]. He also made four Busch series starts in 2006, posting two top-ten qualifying efforts. On July 23, he made his first Nextel Cup start in the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway for Yates Racing, qualifying 36th and finishing 33rd, one lap behind.

In 2007, Leicht ran the full NASCAR Busch Series (now Nationwide Series) schedule. He won his first race at Kentucky Speedway and finished 7th in the final drivers points ranking. At the end of the season, Robert Yates Racing released Leicht from his contract because of sponsorship and finance issues. 2008 saw Leicht land a part-time stint in Richard Childress' #21 Nationwide car, sharing driving duties with Bobby Labonte. Leicht ran 4 races with a best finish of 7th at Phoenix International Raceway. However, after Talladega, a lack of sponsorship sidelined Leicht until Texas in the fall, where he finished 18th.

Leicht's Nationwide car in 2009 at Milwaukee

In 2009, Leicht drive the #29 Holiday Inn/Holiday Inn Express Chevrolet Impala in 13 races. Leicht was originally slated to run 23 events, but his races were nearly halved by the addition of Clint Bowyer as co-driver. He ran nine total races and had six top-ten finishes. He was released from RCR at then end of the year and signed to attempt 29 races for D'Hondt Humphrey Motorsports in the #91 car in 2010, but was released after two races.

Leicht competed in his first NASCAR race since 2009 (and his first Sprint Cup start since 2006) in Tommy Baldwin Racing's #36 Golden Corral Chevrolet, while Blaney piloted the team's second car, the #35 Pepsi Max Chevrolet. The move gave Leicht a guaranteed start while Blaney had to qualify on time. Blaney finished 19th while Leicht finished 24th despite running in the top 10 most of the race.

Leicht drove for Joe Falk at Richmond in April 2012, qualifying 40th and finishing 35th, running at the end but finishing nine laps down. After skipping Talladega, he filed to compete for Rookie of the Year in the Sprint Cup Series,[2] with plans to run the majority of the remainder of the season in the No. 33, except for the June race in Michigan, when Richard Childress Racing driver Austin Dillon drove the No. 33.[3]

Leicht's best finish of 2012 was 26th at Watkins Glen, ending on the lead lap. He attempted 21 races and competed in 15, and won the series Rookie of the Year award for 2012.[4]As of October 2014, Leicht has yet to make another Cup Series start, not making one since the 2012 AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Speedway.

Motorsports career results[edit]

NASCAR[edit]

(key) (Bold - Pole position awarded by time. Italics - Pole position earned by points standings. * – Most laps led.)

Sprint Cup Series[edit]

Nationwide Series[edit]

Camping World Truck Series[edit]

* Season in progress
1 Ineligible for series points

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Jim, Tretow. "Howie Lettow Remembered". Speed 51. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  2. ^ Pearce, Al (May 26, 2012). "Sprint Cup Series adds Stephen Leicht to rookie of the year candidates". AutoWeek. Retrieved 2012-08-28. 
  3. ^ Spencer, Lee (May 6, 2012). "Glover back on scene with No. 33 team". Fox Sports. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  4. ^ Pearce, Al (November 18, 2012). "Keslowski wins the Sprint Cup and more NASCAR notes from Homestead". AutoWeek. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 

External links[edit]

Achievements
Preceded by
Andy Lally
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year
2012
Succeeded by
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.