ATLANTA, Ga. — official team release —
Zach Leonhardi started sixth and battled through numerous caution flags to charge his way to victory in the INEX Legends Semi-Pro/Young Lions Legends feature at Atlanta Motor Speedway Saturday.
The win was the first ever in the Semi-Pro division for the 13-year-old, who moved up from Young Lions competition in preparation for the 2015 season.
The track combined the two classes for Saturday’s round two of the Winter Flurry Series. Had you watched the No. 24 car during practice, you may not have definitively listed him as the favorite to take the checkered flag in the challenging field.
“We didn’t really have too many clean laps in practice,” Zach explained. “We ran in a pack most of the time, so we weren’t able to really judge what we had in it for speed. We just had to adjust as best we could for the heat race.”
The qualifying heat saw Zach start second. He fell to third on the start, and eventually finished there behind Jensen Jorgensen and his older sister Taylor Jorgensen.
“Our car was really loose in the heat,” Zach noted. “I just couldn’t get back to the throttle like I needed to. We felt confident we could adjust the car for the feature.”
That confidence was rewarded. Starting sixth in the feature, Zach wanted to get to the front as fast as he could. He got under Taylor Jorgensen for fifth on the opening lap, and then quickly worked his way to second by lap three.
It was about that time that “yellow flag fever” began to set in. Zach was forced to be patient and wait for his opportunity.
That opportunity came about five laps later. On a restart, he powered by leader Jensen Jorgensen and into the lead. It was a lead he would never relinquish. Zach and Jensen finished one-two at the checkers.
In victory lane, he joked about the “red nose” they’d applied to the No. 24 in honor of the Christmas season.
“Rudolph the red nosed racecar ran like a reindeer in the feature,” he smiled. “It was still a little bit loose, but not as bad as it was in the heat race. Jensen was fast! I have to thank my family and of course Doug Stevens for all the help with setups. I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We’ll see everyone in January for our next race!”
Zach’s next race will be Saturday, January 17 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, where he’ll also compete January 31 before heading south to Florida to compete in the INEX Legends Winternationals during Speedweeks in Mid-February.
About Zach Leonhardi
Zach Leonhardi is a personable 13-year-old racer from Cartersville, Georgia who is making a name for himself in the INEX Bandoleros and Legends Cars.
He is considered by many to be a potential rising star as he makes his way through the developmental series ranks.His motorsports partners include New Beginning Signs and Graphics, FinishMaster, Pinky Toes Nail Salon, Team Full Throttle, RacerBoost.com LLC, NAPA of Kennesaw and Castrol.
Zach is a part of the Charlotte, N.C. based Team Full Throttle program for public relations and media, marketing and communications training.
For more information on Zach you can visit his website at www.leonhardimotorsports.com or search Leonhardi Motorsports on Facebook.