Atlanta, Ga.- Every time INEX Legends Young Lions rookie Zach Leonhardi hits the track at Atlanta Motor Speedway for Winter Flurry Series racing action he gains speed and confidence.
Track officials combine the Young Lions class, which Zach competes in, with the older and more experienced racers in Semi Pro for the day’s two racing programs.
The 12-year-old qualified third with a time of 16.2 seconds to start the first feature event. He passed his way to second early and maintained position until eventual Young Lions class winner Woodrow Mullis slipped under him. Zach fell to fourth before he could get his sharp No. 24 back down in the groove and that’s where he finished.
He was second in class, as only Mullis beat him to the line for the Young Lions division.
“We didn’t really have any cautions in that race to give us a chance to do something on a restart,” Zach said afterward. “It was a good race. I feel confident we can do something better in the second race.”
Picking up his qualifying lap to a 16.0, Zach would start race two from the pole position (his first ever in a Legends Car). He led the first six laps until Woodrow Mullis once again found his way by along with R.S. Senter, who runs in the Semi-Pro division.
“Once those two got by me,” Zach explained, “I started watching them. They got to beating on each other pretty good. We were getting good restarts and we were able to stay with them. Right at the end I thought they were going to wreck and I tried to go low but I bobbled and wasn’t able to make a move. Third is an awesome finish and we were second again in Young Lions. We have finished second in class to Woodrow in every race so far and he has a lot more experience than me. I’m really excited with our progress so far and looking forward to seeing what we can do in Florida next week at Winternationals.”