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Stephen Leicht (born January 9, 1987) is an American professional stock car racing 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. He currently competes full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, driving the No. 01 Chevrolet Camaro for JD Motorsports.

Stephen Leicht
StephenLeicht2018Johnsonville180.jpg
Leicht in 2018
Born (1987-01-09) January 9, 1987 (age 32)
Asheville, North Carolina
Achievements2005 American Speed Association Late Model Champion
Awards2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career
18 races run over 4 years
2017 position63rd
Best finish41st (2012)
First race2006 Pennsylvania 500 (Pocono)
Last race2017 Overton's 400 (Pocono)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0
NASCAR Xfinity Series career
128 races run over 9 years
Car no., teamNo. 01 (JD Motorsports)
2018 position43rd
Best finish7th (2007)
First race2005 Sam's Town 250 (Memphis)
Last race2019 Use Your Melon Drive Sober 200 (Dover)
First win2007 Meijer 300 (Kentucky)
Wins Top tens Poles
1 17 0
NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series career
4 races run over 1 year
2012 position98th
Best finish98th (2012)
First race2012 VFW 200 (Michigan)
Last race2012 Lucas Oil 150 (Phoenix)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0
Statistics current as of October 5, 2019.

Early racing careerEdit

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 Magazines 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 and ARCA careerEdit

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 Series 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 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' No. 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 drove the No. 29 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 the end of the year and signed to attempt 29 races for D'Hondt Humphrey Motorsports in the No. 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 No. 36 Chevrolet in 2011, while regular driver Dave Blaney piloted the team's second car, the No. 35 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] After a four-year absence in NASCAR, on January 10, 2017, Leicht received a ride to drive the No. 77 Chevrolet Camaro for Obaika Racing starting at Daytona. However, Leicht moved to Obaika's primary No. 97 car for Daytona, causing the No. 77 to withdraw. Leicht attempted the first 6 races in the 97 as a start and park operation. Leicht only qualified for 4 races, failing to qualify at Daytona and Texas. Leicht was left without a ride when the 97 scaled back its schedule after the 6th race. Leicht raced at Charlotte in the No. 93 for RSS Racing, start and parking the car. In July, Leicht made his return to the Cup Series at Pocono, driving the No. 83 for BK Racing.[5]

On January 22, 2018, it was announced that Leicht is tabbed as a full-time driver for a newly formed team JP Motorsports. Leicht finished 15th after avoiding multiple crashes at Daytona. He was replaced by Jennifer Jo Cobb at Talladega since she brought sponsorship. On May 22, 2018, it was announced that Leicht and JP Motorsports parted ways and was replaced by Brandon Hightower. On July 28, Leicht returned to No. 93 for RSS Racing at Iowa Speedway start and parked it. The following week, Leicht drove the No. 74 for Mike Harmon Racing at Watkins Glen International, where he didn't qualify for the race.

In February 2019, it was announced that Leicht will drive the No. 01 full-time for JD Motorsports.[6]

Personal lifeEdit

After finding himself out of a ride after winning Cup Series Rookie of the year in 2012, Leicht worked for a time at a car dealership in Cornelius, North Carolina for a short period of time.[7] During downswings in his racing career, Leicht suffered from depression and eventually went to counseling to treat it.[7]

Motorsports career resultsEdit

NASCAREdit

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

Monster Energy Cup SeriesEdit

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series results
Year Team No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 MENCC Pts
2006 Robert Yates Racing 90 Ford DAY CAL LVS ATL BRI MAR TEX PHO TAL RCH DAR CLT DOV POC MCH SON DAY CHI NHA POC
33
IND
DNQ
GLN MCH BRI CAL RCH NHA DOV KAN TAL CLT MAR ATL TEX PHO HOM 78th 0
2011 Tommy Baldwin Racing 36 Chevy DAY PHO LVS BRI CAL MAR TEX TAL RCH DAR DOV CLT KAN POC MCH SON DAY KEN NHA IND POC GLN MCH BRI ATL RCH
24
46th 20
35 CHI
DNQ
NHA DOV KAN CLT TAL MAR TEX PHO HOM
2012 Circle Sport 33 Chevy DAY PHO LVS BRI CAL MAR TEX KAN RCH
35
TAL DAR
DNQ
CLT
39
DOV
35
POC
33
MCH SON
41
KEN
41
DAY
42
NHA
32
IND
31
POC
DNQ
GLN
26
MCH
DNQ
BRI
40
ATL
DNQ
RCH
36
CHI NHA
34
DOV TAL CLT KAN MAR
34
TEX
DNQ
PHO
35
HOM
DNQ
41st 117
2017 BK Racing 83 Toyota DAY ATL LVS PHO CAL MAR TEX BRI RCH TAL KAN CLT DOV POC MCH SON DAY KEN NHA IND POC
32
GLN MCH BRI DAR RCH CHI NHA DOV CLT TAL KAN MAR TEX PHO HOM 63rd 01

Xfinity SeriesEdit

NASCAR Xfinity Series results
Year Team No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 NXSC Pts
2005 Robert Yates Racing 90 Ford DAY CAL MXC LVS ATL NSH BRI TEX PHO TAL DAR RCH CLT DOV NSH KEN MLW DAY CHI NHA PPR GTY IRP GLN MCH BRI CAL RCH DOV KAN CLT MEM
13
TEX PHO
15
HOM 86th 242
2006 DAY CAL MXC LVS
18
ATL BRI TEX
20
NSH PHO TAL
31
RCH DAR
25
CLT DOV NSH KEN
10
MLW
13
DAY
26
CHI NHA
33
MAR GTY
38
IRP GLN
36
MCH
33
BRI
35
CAL
33
RCH DOV
23
KAN
12
CLT
14
MEM
19
TEX
19
PHO
27
HOM
27
32nd 1790
2007 DAY
33
CAL
20
MXC
27
LVS
18
ATL
29
BRI
20
NSH
8
TEX
20
PHO
28
TAL
28
RCH
24
DAR
26
CLT
10
DOV
34
NSH
33
KEN
1
MLW
14
NHA
25
DAY
27
CHI
10
GTY
23
IRP
24
CGV
5
GLN
17
MCH
26
BRI
20
CAL
29
RCH
21
DOV
41
KAN
19
CLT
18
MEM
12
TEX
10
PHO
19
HOM
5
7th 3603
2008 Richard Childress Racing 21 Chevy DAY CAL
10
LVS ATL BRI NSH
12
TEX PHO
7
MXC TAL
34
RCH DAR CLT DOV NSH KEN TEX
18
PHO HOM 60th 577
2 MLW
QL
NHA DAY CHI GTY IRP CGV GLN MCH BRI CAL RCH DOV KAN CLT MEM
QL
2009 29 DAY CAL LVS BRI TEX NSH
11
PHO TAL RCH DAR CLT DOV NSH
6
KEN
31
MLW
8
NHA DAY CHI GTY
6
IRP
13
IOW
10
GLN MCH BRI CGV
8
ATL RCH DOV KAN CAL CLT MEM
9
TEX PHO HOM 43rd 1185
2010 D'Hondt Humphrey Motorsports 91 Chevy DAY CAL
DNQ
LVS
DNQ
BRI NSH PHO TEX TAL RCH DAR DOV CLT NSH KEN ROA NHA DAY CHI GTY IRP IOW GLN MCH BRI CGV ATL RCH DOV KAN CAL CLT GTY TEX PHO HOM NA -
2012 The Motorsports Group 47 Chevy DAY PHO LVS BRI CAL TEX RCH TAL DAR IOW CLT DOV MCH ROA KEN DAY
42
NHA
42
CHI
41
IND
43
IOW GLN
42
CGV BRI
DNQ
ATL RCH CHI KEN DOV CLT KAN TEX PHO HOM 128th 01
2017 Obaika Racing 97 Chevy DAY
DNQ
ATL
38
LVS
39
PHO
37
CAL
39
TEX
DNQ
BRI RCH TAL 82nd 22
RSS Racing 93 Chevy CLT
40
DOV POC MCH IOW DAY KEN NHA IND IOW GLN MOH BRI ROA DAR RCH CHI KEN DOV CLT KAN TEX PHO
39 HOM
35
2018 JP Motorsports 55 Toyota DAY
15
ATL
32
LVS
30
PHO
31
CAL
31
TEX
37
BRI
28
RCH
37
TAL DOV
33
CLT POC MCH IOW CHI DAY KEN NHA 43rd 81
RSS Racing 93 Chevy IOW
39
Mike Harmon Racing 74 Dodge GLN
DNQ
MOH
37
ROA
33
DAR IND LVS RCH CLT
Chevy BRI
31
B. J. McLeod Motorsports 99 Chevy DOV
40
KAN
32
TEX
37
PHO
38
HOM
DNQ
2019 JD Motorsports 01 Chevy DAY
38
ATL
25
LVS
27
PHO
31
CAL
22
TEX
22
BRI
32
RCH
18
TAL
24
DOV
26
CLT
15
POC
23
MCH
20
CHI
21
DAY
5
KEN
24
GLN
20
MOH
32
BRI
19
ROA
34
IND
23
LVS
21
CLT
19
DOV
23
KAN
TEX PHO HOM -* -*
4 IOW
25
NHA
23
IOW
16
RCH
29
15 DAR
26
- Qualified for Clint Bowyer

Camping World Truck SeriesEdit

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series results
Year Team No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 NCWTC Pts
2012 Hillman Racing 25 Chevy DAY MAR CAR KAN CLT DOV TEX KEN IOW CHI POC MCH
30
BRI PHO
31
HOM 98th 01
27 ATL
34
IOW KEN LVS TAL MAR TEX
32

* Season still in progress
1 Ineligible for series points
2 Leicht began the 2017 season racing for Cup Series points but switched to Xfinity Series points before the race at Homestead-Miami Speedway

ARCA Re/Max SeriesEdit

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

ARCA Re/Max Series results
Year Team No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 ARSC Pts
2006 Robert Yates Racing 66 Ford DAY
25
85th 345
55 NSH
1*
SLM WIN KEN TOL POC MCH KAN KEN BLN POC GTW NSH MCH ISF MIL TOL DSF CHI SLM TAL IOW

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Jim, Tretow. "Howie Lettow Remembered". Speed 51. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. 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.
  5. ^ "Entry List - Numerical: Pocono Raceway - 44th Annual Overton's 400" (PDF). Jayski's Silly Season Site. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
  6. ^ "Leicht Set For Full Xfinity Slate With JD Motorsports". JD Motorsports. February 5, 2019. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Albino, Dustin (September 11, 2019). "Eyes on Xfinity: Stephen Leicht Overcoming Depression, Looking for Redemption". Frontstretch. Retrieved September 13, 2019.

External linksEdit

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