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Zach Leonhardi Charges To Victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Atlanta, GA - 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 2 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 2nd by lap 3.

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 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 17th at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, where he'll also compete January 31st before heading south to Florida to compete in the INEX Legends Winternationals Series during Speedweeks in Mid-February.

You can follow Zach's racing by "liking" his Leonhardi Motorsports Facebook page and checking out his website regularly at www.LeonhardiMotorsports.com.

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Zach Leonhardi Receives Awards; Prepares For Next Race

Cartersville, GA - Zach Leonhardi received two awards at the Atlanta Motor Speedway's 2014 season banquet, picking up the Rookie of the Year honor for the Thursday Thunder Series and an award for finishing second in the series point standings for the Young Lions division.

The 13-year-old finished the season with 6 combined wins, celebrating at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Gresham Motorsports Park and South Carolina's Anderson Motor Speedway.

Zach is happy with the way this season played out, and excited about making further progress in 2015.

"The transition from Bandoleros to Legends is not as easy as some might think," Zach explained. "You really have to get used to a whole different driving style and learn what it takes to make a Legends car fast. I feel like I learned from everyone we worked with this year, and I think our performances later in the year showed that. I can't thank my parents, all of those who have helped me as Crew Chiefs and driving coaches and my sponsors enough for allowing this to happen for me. Now that we have our program more stabilized, I feel like 2015 could be a very big year for us."

Zach's next race will be Saturday, December 13th at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, as round two of the "Winter Heat" series gets underway.

He'll return to the track on January 17th and January 31st before heading south to Florida to compete in the INEX Legends Winternationals Series during Speedweeks.

You can follow Zach's racing by "liking" his Leonhardi Motorsports Facebook page and checking out his website at www.LeonhardiMotorsports.com.

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Zach Leonhardi Fourth at Concord Speedway

Concord, N.C.- Zach Leonhardi traveled from his Cartersville, Georgia home to Concord, North Carolina last weekend for three days of racing with his INEX Legends Car against some of the top racers in his Young Lions division in the country.

After being taken out in a wreck on Friday, he was racing in the top six on Saturday before fading at the end, and ended the weekend in fine fashion with a fourth place, his highest finish at the track in a Legends Car.

Starting fifth on Sunday, Zach had his Fab Specialties-prepared No. 24 where he wanted it to be, and he was competitive right from the start. Nobody was catching eventual winner Matt Thomas, but from second on back the action was exciting throughout the feature.

Zach capitalized after a restart when Seth Werner got nudged up into the outside lane and couldn't get back down. Zach was able to get by him and end his day in fourth place, a strong run for the 13-year-old Legends rookie.

"We were really happy with how today went," Zach said of Sunday's run. "The car worked much better today. I can't thank Matt enough for all he's done for us and for how much he's teaching me about setup. It was fun to be a little faster each day. The field was so close, speedwise. Almost all of us were within a tenth of a second in qualifying through the weekend. That makes passing harder, but it makes it more fun. I like racing here. I wish we could do more of it."

Zach's next Legends start is being discussed. "I'd love to come back to Concord for the November Spooktacular race, but I don't know if I'm a good enough salesman to sell that idea to my Dad," he joked. "We've gotten so much better and I've learned so much in the last couple of months that I would love to just keep racing. We'll see what happens. I'm thankful to my family and my sponsors and everyone who helps me to be able to race. I can't imagine doing anything that would be more fun!"

You can follow Zach's racing by "liking" his Leonhardi Motorsports Facebook page and checking out his website at www.LeonhardiMotorsports.com.

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Three Straight For Zach Leonhardi at Gresham

Cartersville, Ga.- Winning at Gresham Motorsports Park is beginning to be a habit for Zach Leonhardi. The 13-year-old racer won his third straight INEX Legends Car feature at the Jefferson, Georgia track on Saturday night.

Zach jumped out front from his front row starting spot when the green flag came out and maintained a couple of car lengths over Anderson (SC) Speedway Legends Pro Rex Brown through the first ten laps.

Once the pair caught slower traffic and began lapping cars, Zach's Fab Specialties prepared No. 24 started to handle better and better and the youngster opened up a bigger advantage.

A late race caution flag set up a two-lap dash to the finish and could have hampered Zach's chances to win, but the determined youngster stayed calm and took the checkered flag.

After the race, Zach said his car's setup was the key to victory.

"We had it set up for the handling to come in later in the race," Zach said. "I was confident that once we got out front that as long as I didn't make a mistake or get messed up in slower traffic, we should be alright. I just love this track. They are really putting in a lot of effort to bring the Legends and Bandoleros here and they treat us really well. It's a fun track to race!"

Zach's next race weekend will be October 3rd through 5th as he and his team head to Concord, North Carolina for the three-day race weekend at Concord Speedway.

You can follow Zach's racing by "liking" his Leonhardi Motorsports Facebook page and checking out his website at www.LeonhardiMotorsports.com.

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Zach Leonhardi Wins Second Straight at Gresham Motorsports Park

Cartersville, Ga.- Zach Leonhardi sure does like Gresham Motorsports Park. On Saturday night, the 13-year-old racer scored his second straight victory at the Jefferson, Georgia facility.

Zach started from the pole in the 25-lap feature and had a car to beat right from the outset. He took the lead at the drop of the green and led the first 12 circuits before a caution slowed the pace.

Despite a transmission problem, Zach was able to overcome difficult restarts and lead flag-to-flag for the win.

After the race, Zach explained the problem he was having on the restarts. "I found that my car would go into neutral before third gear when I tried to shift up, so it caused me to be slow on the restarts. I was fortunate to be able to overcome that and get the win. I can't thank my whole team and our partners enough, especially Fab Specialties for all their help. This is awesome!" You can follow Zach's racing by "liking" his Leonhardi Motorsports Facebook page and checking out his website at www.LeonhardiMotorsports.com.

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Zach Leonhardi Wins at Gresham!

Cartersville, Ga.- Sometimes things just have a way of working themselves out. Zach Leonhardi's plan as of Friday morning was to travel from Georgia to North Carolina to compete in one of the most unique races in Legend Cars, the yearly race at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston Salem.

Run on a track that is built around the outside of a football field (in the usual place where a "running" track would be), this race is set apart because of the large crowd that gathers and the fact that it's a one-shot deal each year.

Zach was really excited to be able to be a part of this year's race. Then it rained out.

In the midst of disappointment came an idea. Zach and the Leonhardi Motorsports team decided to drop by Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Georgia on Saturday night since it would be on their way home, and compete there.

It turned out to be a good decision. Zach parked his sharp looking No. 24 square in the middle of victory lane for his fourth Young Lions division win of the season!

"I still wish I could have raced at Bowman Gray, though," Zach smiled afterward. "But it was fun to go out and get a win at Gresham. It's a cool track to run. I started second and ran the first part of the race behind R.S. Senter. We had a caution. That's when the race stared to come to us."

Restarting second behind Late Model veteran Senter, who still runs Legends Cars as well, Zach noticed that Senter's car was falling off a bit while his car was getting better as the race went on.

"I finally got underneath him coming out of turn four," Zach continued. "He came down to block me and we hooked bumpers. He spun out. They sent him to the back and I was now leading. Jeff Holden passed me on the restart and I followed him until I was able to get under him off turn four coming to the white flag (one lap to go). He cleared me going into turn one but over drove the corner and shot up the track. That let me get back under him off turn two, I cleared him going into turn three and won the race!"

Some things were just meant to be.

"I can't thank my family enough for the sacrifices they make so I can race," Zach said. "My Dad works hard and long hours. My mom is so supportive. I also want to thank Matt Drake because we called him several times tonight for setup help and he was there for us. I really enjoy working with him. I'm not sure when our next race is, but this was a really nice way to end our week or so of running back and forth to the Carolinas!"

Zach had two wins and a fifth in that span, winning at Anderson on Friday, finishing fifth on Saturday and then this past week's win at Gresham. He also gained valuable experience against some of his division's top competitors at the Jack In The Box Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway. You can follow Zach's racing by "liking" his Leonhardi Motorsports Facebook page and checking out his website at www.LeonhardiMotorsports.com.

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One Win, Two Seconds and a Fourth Highlight Zach Leonhardi's Race-Week So Far!

Cartersville, Ga.- Zach Leonhardi has had a hectic last seven days, racing in three different states with one race left to go this Friday. But he's had a win, two seconds and a fourth in Young Lions division to list among his accomplishments.

The 13-year-old's busy week got underway last Thursday at Atlanta Motor Speedway as he finished up the Thursday Thunder Series. Zach and his Doug Stevens-led team fought through the on and off rain and being caught up in an early feature wreck to finish second in the Young Lions race.

In the Pro division's feature that night, Zach's car began leaking oil and it was spilling onto his right rear tire, causing the No. 24 to be very loose. Zach was easy on the steering wheel and brake pedal and brought the car home to a fourth place finish.

The team loaded up and headed for Anderson, South Carolina on Friday to race at Anderson Motor Speedway for a prelude to Saturday's INEX Legend Car National Qualifier.

For this leg of the "tour", Zach's operation would be directed by Matt Drake, who had prepared the team's second car for competition on the challenging track which combines all Legend Car divisions into one program, which meant that Zach would be competing against racers who have had years more experience than he.

On Friday, Zach started 11th in the feature event, which went from green to checkered with no yellow flags. After being shuffled back to 13th early, he began to make his move, working his way through the field one car at a time to a strong 7th place finish overall and a WIN in the Young Lions division - his second at the track this season!

"Tonight was tough because all we had was practice and a main," Zach said afterward. "We had no qualifying heats or time trials. Some of the best from the Charlotte area are here and the locals that run here every week are really good so to get 7th and win Young Lions is pretty awesome! Thanks to Matt and our team for everything they did tonight to give me a fast race car."

Saturday's National Qualifier would prove just as challenging. Combining the Young Lions and Semi-Pro divisions in a fight for a guaranteed starting spot in the division's season-ending championship race.

Zach started seventh. He was passing for sixth when, in his words, "A car in front of me slammed his brakes and we hooked bumpers, bringing out a yellow." He restarted in the back of the field.

Then he began to charge.

He quickly but carefully begin passing cars, working his way into the top five and challenging for fourth place at the checkers. He finished fifth overall and second in the Young Lions division, his second podium finish of the weekend at Anderson.

Following a Sunday off, Zach climbed back in the race car on Monday, for race 9 of the 10 race Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Shootout is considered to be the biggest series in Legend Car racing, taking place just a few miles from where every single one of these cars are built at the U.S. Legend Cars manufacturing plant in Harrisburg, North Carolina.

With no prior experience on the track, Zach got faster each time out as he learned the track and worked with Matt Drake on setup. He started 10th in the feature event, but lady luck shortened his debut to just a few laps.

Several cars around him crashed and Zach had no place to go. Damage to the rear end of his car sent him to the pits early and left the team with much work to do on Tuesday to get ready for the final race of the series at Charlotte.

After his disappointing 23rd place result on Monday, Zach was faster on Tuesday and determined to change his fortune. Starting 17th in the feature, he avoided several incidents and fought hard to a 13th place finish, highly respectable for a driver's second time out at the Shootout, which is televised in condensed form on Fox Sports 1 via tape delay on Thursday nights each week during the summer.

The team loaded up and headed back South for Georgia just long enough to say hi to the neighbors and check on the house. They are headed back to North Carolina for the annual Bowman Gray Stadium Legends Race Night on Friday in Winston-Salem.

One last race before a break in the schedule for the "Zach Attack", who'd rather race than eat supper.

"After this, it's back to school and focusing on rebuilding the motors and getting the cars ready for a few shows late in the year and the racing at Auburndale Speedway in Florida in the Spring," Zach noted. "But first, I am excited to see what Bowman Gray is all about. It's a college football field with a race track around the outside. How cool is that?" You can follow all of Zach's progress by going to his Leonhardi Motorsports Facebook page and checking out his website at www.LeonhardiMotorsports.com.

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Zach Leonhardi Preparing For Week-Long, Three-State Racing Adventure

Cartersville, Ga.- Zach Leonhardi was supposed to have a huge week of racing lined up last weekend. Then rain interfered with his plans. Now, beginning with the final round of Thursday Thunder at Atlanta Motor Speedway tonight, Zach will compete in major shows in three different states within the next 8 days.

Friday night he travels to Anderson Motor Speedway in Anderson, South Carolina for an INEX National Championship Qualifier. Then the team gears up for the North Carolina swing.

Tentatively, they plan to race in the final round of Charlotte Motor Speedway's Summer Shootout next Tuesday, and in the annual Legend Car race at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on Friday of next week before returning to Georgia over the weekend.

"It's pretty exciting to be running so many races in one stretch," Zach smiled. "We will run again with Doug Stevens at Atlanta, then be working with Matt Drake for the shows in the Carolinas. Matt has our other car and is preparing it for Anderson and then, hopefully, Charlotte. Bowman Gray is the main focus in North Carolina next week because it's a unique show that draws a huge crowd. But we're hoping to run at least one of the two days in Charlotte also, most likely on Tuesday."

Last Thursday, in his first race under Stevens' guidance, Zach ran his fastest times of the year at Atlanta, led 10 laps and finished second to Woodrow Mullis in the Young Lions division. Then, he finished third in the Pro race.

"I really have to thank Doug Stevens," Zach said of last week's events. "That was the first time I've hit the rev limiter at AMS all year. Woodrow and I were running almost the same speed. He just got past me and then we half-tracked the field. The third in the Pro race was behind Bill Plemmons III and Will Martin and the field was very close. It was a fun night! I'm excited to work with Doug again this week and see if we can improve even more."

You can follow all of Zach's progress by going to his Leonhardi Motorsports Facebook page and checking out his website at www.LeonhardiMotorsports.com.

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Big Racing Weekend Ahead For Zach Leonhardi

Cartersville, Ga.- Zach Leonhardi has a big weekend of racing ahead of him. Thursday he will once again race in Atlanta Motor Speedway's Thursday Thunder Series. Friday night he travels to Anderson Motor Speedway in Anderson, South Carolina for an INEX National Championship Qualifier.

It has been a big month for the 13-year-old rising star.

Two weeks ago he won his first ever Legend Car race at Atlanta. Last Thursday he overcame some early mechanical issues to finish fourth overall and second in the Young Lions division, which was combined with the more experienced Semi Pro class for that evening's race. He also finished fifth in the Pro division race that followed.

Then on Saturday, he was a guest on Spartanburg, South Carolina's "Droppin' The Hammer" motorsports show, talking about his season and promoting his upcoming Anderson Speedway appearance this Friday.

The articulate, fan-friendly youngster is equally "at ease" whether he's in an interview or in the car going fast.

"I had a blast on Droppin' The Hammer," Zach said. "I want to thank Tom Baker for arranging that interview and the hosts of the show for having me on. It's fun to be able to promote what your doing and your sponsors, etc. I always enjoy talking to people about our racing and I hope it got some people excited about coming to Anderson on Friday for the qualifier!"

You can follow all of Zach's progress by going to his Leonhardi Motorsports Facebook page and checking out his website at www.LeonhardiMotorsports.com.

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Zach Leonhardi WINS Thursday Thunder at Atlanta Motor Speedway!

Cartersville, Ga. - Zach Leonhardi will never again drive onto the Atlanta Motor Speedway believing he can win a Thursday Thunder INEX Legend Car race.

From now on, he'll drive onto the track knowing he has done it.

Last Thursday, Zach finally broke through and got his first ever win in a Legend Car at AMS in the Young Lions division, holding off veteran racer Woodrow Mullis to do it.

The race was one of four he ran on that night. He finished second in his other Young Lions feature, and had a second and fourth in the two Pro division races for the evening.

Of his first win, Zach provided some details. . "I led the first sixteen laps before we had a yellow flag," the 13-year-old racer began. "Woodrow got to my bumper and we had another yellow right away. I was doing everything I could to keep him back there and racing for second. On the last lap, he tried getting me off turn two but I got into turn three well enough to hold him off. I got sideways out of turn four but gathered it up and got the win! Woodrow is a friend and he's fun to race with because we race each other clean. I can't thank my parents and my supporters enough for their patience and encouragement. Thanks to Cody Haskins Motorsports for the setup and to new supporter FinishMaster. It's awesome to finally get a win here in a Legend Car!"

Zach will be back in action this Thursday at AMS. Then, on Saturday, he'll have a radio interview at 10:15am e.s.t on a show based in Spartanburg, South Carolina called Droppin' The Hammer.

Zach will talk about his season-to-date and his upcoming race at Anderson (SC) Speedway in the INEX Legends National Qualifier.

Fans wishing to hear the show can listen by tuning to the show's website at www.TheSourceForSpartanburg.com and clicking the "listen live" button on the top right of the page.

You can follow all of Zach's progress by going to his Leonhardi Motorsports Facebook page and checking out his website at www.LeonhardiMotorsports.com.