Friday, July 20, 2007
Victory at Kentucky gives surging Leicht a kick-start
By Rupen Fofaria
Special to ESPN.com
Mired at 19th in the standings, Stephen Leicht's first full season in the Busch Series wasn't off to the start the Robert Yates Racing driver had hoped.
Five races later, he's up to eighth in the rankings on the heels of three top-14 finishes, including a win at Kentucky Speedway.
"We've had two top-10s and a win with it, and it's been good on every mile-and-a-half we've put it on," Leicht said. "And, as a team, we've got a lot of momentum in our favor right now. We're going to go to St. Louis next week, work on our short-track program and get better."
Last weekend was proof of the improvement. Starting with an ornery car and fighting mechanical issues all day, the team rallied and scratched out a 10th-place finish.
"I'm so proud of my team," Leicht said. "They fought back all day long. Had [some] troubles ... with the motor and overheating, and getting behind on the racetrack. To have all those problems and still come out with a top-10 with all these Cup drivers here, I'd say that's a great day."
St. Louis homecoming
The Wallace family returns to St. Louis with three members in the field for this weekend's Busch Series event. Brothers Mike Wallace and Kenny Wallace, and their nephew Stephen Wallace, are all hoping for big days in front of the home crowd.
Mike Wallace is carrying lot of momentum, having climbed from 19th in the standings to 11th over seven races. Stephen Wallace is in his first full season in the series and is ranked 19th. Kenny Wallace, who normally serves as spotter for Stephen, is making his second start of the year, this time as a sub for Richard Childress Racing's No. 2 Chevy normally driven by Clint Bowyer.
Edwards biking to work
Carl Edwards, also from Missouri, is riding his bicycle to the racetrack. Planning for a two-day trip, Edwards will ride from Columbia to Gateway Internationl Raceway.
Shepherd's crew chief fined
NASCAR fined Chad Beahr, crew chief of the No. 89 Dodge driven by Morgan Shepherd, $1,000 for rule violations last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.
The infraction was discovered during opening-day inspection July 13.
Rupen Fofaria has covered NASCAR for ESPN.com since 2002. He can be reached at email@example.com.