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Zach Leonhardi Second and Fifth at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Cartersville, Ga.- Zach Leonhardi continues to show improvement and growth in INEX Legend Car action at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Last week he scored a second and a fifth in Young Lions division action while also running his fastest laps ever on the tight, challenging oval.

Last Wednesday, the articulate and personable young racer started third but quickly found himself doing something he wasn't really used to with the Legend Car.

He was in the lead by lap 2!

Zach would stay out front until lap 12 when his No. 24 began to get "tight", making it difficult to turn. Woodrow Mullis got by Zach and claimed victory but Zach hung tight to beat out Christian Eckes for second place.

"It definitely felt good to lead," Zach said. "The car was really good for the first 10 laps or so and then it started to get tight and Woodrow was able to take advantage of that. He's fun to race with and he's hard to beat here. Every time we gain a tenth of a second, he does too. I finished third in the Pro race also, so that was a pretty nice night for our team!"

Saturday saw Zach determined to push harder for a victory. He started right off in practice running some 15.7 second lap times, his fastest ever at the track.

Then he won his qualifying heat, leading every lap! Christian Eckes won the other heat event, defeating Mullis for the victory.

Could this be Zach's night?

We'll let him pick up the story from here.

"I grabbed the lead, and was leading on lap six when Eckes took second from R.S. Senter. He has a fast car and I knew he was going to race me hard. He was knocking on my back door for about three laps and finally got me sideways and we both ended up in the wall. Fortunately, I was able to drive away and I ended up finishing third in Young Lions and fifth overall. I thought we had a chance at our first win, but I'm glad we were at least able to finish decently. I have to thank my family, and I need to thank Matt Drake also. Matt helped a bunch with setup and that car was a rocket!"

Zach will return to action at Atlanta this week as the Thursday Thunder Series continues. You can bet he will be charging harder than ever as he can just taste that first victory in a Legend Car.

He is also excited about the possibility of competing in upcoming races at Anderson (S.C.) Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina in July.

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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Strong 2nd Has Zach Thinking About First Atlanta Win

Cartersville, Ga.- When the INEX Legend Cars take to the track at Atlanta Motor Speedway this week, Zach Leonhardi will be focused on finding the last little bit of speed that he has lacked to this point to get his first Atlanta win in his sharp No. 24.

Last week he raced two days due to a previous rainout. He finished second both days in his Young Lions division and also finished second in Thursday's Pro Race.

"I really have to thank Cody Haskins for all of his help this past week with the setup and with the line I was running around the track," Zach said. "We had some mechanical issues on Wednesday that hurt us a bit but we still got the second place. Thursday we qualified about a tenth and a half faster and were much more competitive. The car was still a little bit tight and we're working on that. I need to find about another tenth to two tenths to match Woodrow (Mullis, who is three years older than Zach) and I know we're close to that. I believe a win for us this year is definitely possible and that's what I'm focused on right now."

Zach is back in action at Atlanta this week as the Thursday Thunder Series continues. He is also excited about the possibility of competing in upcoming races at Anderson (S.C.) Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina in July.

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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Leonhardi chasing Thursday Thunder Rookie of the Year

HAMPTON — Zach Leonhardi came into this season of Thursday Thunder with a goal of establishing gradual progress.

While most drivers in the Atlanta Motor Speedway grassroots racing series speak without hesitation of their expectation to win championships, Leonhardi's goals are a little more abased — not low, just sensible.

"We're looking at trying to get a win or two, but overall I’m looking to get Rookie of the Year in Thursday Thunder," Leonhardi said. "I think we'll be able to get very competitive by the end of the season."

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Leonhardi Looking Ahead To Thursday Thunder

Cartersville, Ga.- Zach Leonhardi is looking forward to getting back to the Atlanta Motor Speedway this Thursday for the next Round of Thursday Thunder INEX Legends action.

Last Thursday he was running third when a bolt in the right rear of his car broke and he was forced to the pits for the evening.

"The car was going from tight to loose almost the whole race," Zach said afterward. "I was surprised and confused by that. I started second and fell to third. I got in line but then the car just got to be a handful. When the bolt broke, I knew exactly what happened and was able to chase the car off into the grass to avoid a spin or crash. I'm just thankful it wasn't worse. We'd have been ready for the Pro race but it started raining."

The evening's Pro Race was indeed called due to rain. Zach will be back in action this week, looking for his first win at Atlanta. 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 Runs New Car To Second in Thursday Thunder Opener at Atlanta

Cartersville, Ga.- Zach Leonhardi has been waiting for a few weeks now to strap into the team's newly acquired INEX Legends car at Atlanta Motor Speedway. His wait paid off with a strong second place finish in the "Thursday Thunder" opening race and the confidence that this car can be a winner on the 1/4-mile oval track.

"We got faster all throughout the day," the 12-year-old rising star said. "This new car is definitely much more stable than our other one. It will take some time for us to get it set up perfectly for me but we made a lot of progress in just this first day."

After finishing third in his heat race and being awarded second following a post-race penalty imposed on a competitor, Zach started the feature race on the pole.

He led the first few laps before being passed by arch nemesis Woodrow Mullis. Zach was running the fastest he had all day but was just a tick off the more experienced Mullis's lap times.

"I was having trouble getting my car to turn in the center of the corners toward the end of the race," Zach explained. "That made my slower getting through the corners and it basically cost me any shot I might have had at racing Woodrow to the finish, but he was really fast and I'm not sure we could have passed him anyway. Second was great for our first time in this car."

That doesn't make the racing any easier for the drivers. In fact, the competition in that class at Concord is as stout as it gets. The goal for Saturday was simply to improve each time out and roll the car in the trailer in one piece.

He had one more race left on the day, the King of the Hill event. After making some changes to the car to help it turn better in the center where he needed it to, Zach lined up fifth in this special 7 car event.

"We actually picked up a tenth on the stopwatch in that race so the changes helped," Zach recalled. "But then we got loose going into turn one with about five to go. We had no yellow flags to bunch the field up so we did the best we could and got fourth. All in all it was a fun day and I want to thank my team and everyone who supports our racing. I can't wait for the next one!"

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 Young Lions at Anderson; Brings Carolina Success Back To Atlanta This Weekend

Cartersville, Ga.- Zach Leonhardi scored his first INEX Legends Young Lions division win last Friday night at South Carolina's Anderson Motor Speedway and followed that up with a pair of successful runs at Concord (NC) Speedway on Saturday that have given him a ton of confidence coming back home to race this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Zach started 12th on Friday night at Anderson and was fast from the drop of the green. Several caution flags and a red flag for a fire on a competitor's car made it difficult for the 12-year-old to make consistent progress, but he was sitting in the right position to take advantage of a late race melee' that allowed him to gain four spots and finish fifth overall, and first in his class.

"It was a crazy race," Zach said. "I got to sixth with five to go and then got hung up on the outside and fell back a bit. Then that wreck on the last lap happened and I was able to hustle through it and that put me where I thought we should have been by how fast the car was, in the top five. It gave us our first class win also. I'm thankful to get that win and I want to share it with my family and everyone who has helped me get to this point with my racing. I can't thank them all enough."

The next day it was up early to make a gear change in the No. 24 to go compete at the challenging 1/4-mile at Concord Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. Unlike most tracks Zach runs, where the Young Lions, Semi-Pro, Pro and Masters are often combined into the same race, Concord runs the Young Lions separately.

That doesn't make the racing any easier for the drivers. In fact, the competition in that class at Concord is as stout as it gets. The goal for Saturday was simply to improve each time out and roll the car in the trailer in one piece.

Mission accomplished.

Zach was working with crew chief Matt Drake and driving coach Tom Baker at Concord. There were two separate race programs that day. One in the afternoon and one in the evening.

To show the progress Zach made throughout the day, he qualified with a lap of 14.3 seconds in the morning session, and after a solid run in the feature which saw him pick up considerable speed and finish the race, he qualified at a 14.0 second lap for the evening race, right with the leaders.

He ran between sixth and seventh much of both races and learned and improved with every lap he drove.

"It was exciting to watch him take the advice Matt and I were giving him and apply it throughout the day and make so much progress every time out in the car," Baker said. "Zach is a very intelligent young racer and he's also very good with the fans. He's very well-spoken for his age. With more seat time and knowledge of the car's setups he'll have a lot of success."

For his part, Zach says he really enjoyed his time in the Carolinas and looks forward to returning. "It was a blast. I have to thank Matt and Tom for being there to help us through the weekend. We're definitely looking forward to doing more races up there this spring and summer. I'm excited to go back to Atlanta this week with more knowledge and confidence and see how we do. We'll have a new car this weekend and we'll run as number 21 because we won't have time to wrap it in our colors until after Easter. The other car will keep the Carolina setup in it so we won't have to be changing things over when we travel up there."

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Zach Leonhardi To Be A Guest On Local Georgia Morning Radio Show Thursday

Cartersville, Ga.- Zach Leonhardi is looking forward to being a little bit late for school Thursday morning. That's because he's going to be a guest on the Joe Tilley Radio Show on WBHF-AM 1450 in his hometown of Cartersville, Georgia between 8 and 9am.

Joe's entertaining personality has been a fixture on-air in the Cartersville area for many years.

Zach will be appearing in various segments throughout the hour.

"I'm looking forward to talking with Joe about my racing and what I hope my future will look like," Zach smiled."It's pretty neat to be asked to do a radio show in your hometown. I've done racing-related shows but never anything like the Joe Tilley Show. I'm thankful for the opportunity!"

Fans from outside the station's listening area can listen live online by going here.

The 12-year-old's next scheduled race is Saturday, April 19 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

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 Second at AMS; Making Chick-Fil-A Appearance This Monday

Atlanta, Ga.- Zach Leonhardi has been chasing the more experienced Woodrow Mullins on a regular basis these past several weeks at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The INEX Legends Young Lions rookie ran within a few hundredths of a second of Mullins' lap times en-route to a second place finish on the 1/4-mile oval and left no doubt that he soon will be "racing" not "chasing" Mullins for wins. After the race, Zach was happy with how his evening went.

"The car was just a little loose in the beginning of the feature," the 12-year-old speedster said. "But boy it really came in as the race went on. The car started really rotating well in the center of the corners and I could get off the brakes where I wanted to later in the race."

Taylor Jorgensen is a young lady showing plenty of speed in the Semi-Pro division at Atlanta. The track runs all Legends divisions together and Zach found himself on Taylor's bumper down the stretch until a caution came out.

"I kept getting loose trying to go under (Taylor)," Zach affirmed. "I knew I needed to keep pressure on her and hoped she would make a mistake. I finally got by her coming to the white flag and thankfully there was a lapped car just where I needed it on the last lap so I was able to make sure she couldn't try to re-pass me. Taylor's a good racer and I was happy to finally get by for second. We're awfully close to Woodrow now. I just need to make myself just a little bit better and I think we'll be racing him for wins soon!"

Next on Zach's schedule is a special appearance at the Chick-Fil-A in Cartersville, Georgia this Monday Night, March 24th from 5-8pm as part of their "Mother-Son Night".

Stop out, visit with Zach, see and sit in his race car and get an autographed hero card or a photo taken while you "Eat More Chikin"!

Visit Chick-Fil-A of Cartersville's Facebook page or go to their website at http://www.cfarestaurant.com/cherokeeplace/home.

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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Meet Zach on March 24th

Come "race" to Chick-fil-a in Cartersville, Ga for Mother-Son Night on Monday, March 24th from 5-8p! Mothers and their sons can spend some quality time together, enjoy a yummy dinner, make a race car AND…….. meet Zach and see his race car! Make sure you bring your cameras so you can get pictures taken with Zach and sit inside his race car! In order to participate in the race car craft, you will need to make reservations in advance, but anyone can come out to eat dinner and see Zach! Go visit the Chick-fil-a of Cartersville's Facebook Page or go to their website at http://www.cfarestaurant.com/cherokeeplace/home for more info!

Hope to see you there!

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Zach Leonhardi Draws Closer To Victory As Spring Racing Season Beckons

Atlanta, Ga.- Zach Leonhardi is getting closer and closer to his first INEX Legends Car victory as the 2014 Spring racing season approaches.

Last weekend he qualified third at the Atlanta Motor Speedway and ran as high as second before getting moved out to the second groove and eventually finishing fourth in the combined Legends car feature.

Zach finished second in his class and continues to show improvement every race against older and more experienced competition as he gains more confidence in himself and his sharp looking No. 24.

The 12-year-old, known for his maturity and intellect on and off the track, says he feels like he learns something every time he straps into the car.

"Every time I go out on the track I try to focus on something specific that I think I need to improve on," the outgoing racer said. "I'm learning from everyone who helps me on the car and from my driver coach as well. There's so many little things that go into driving a race car that people don't even realize. I feel like we're not that far off of our first win. I'm really excited to get into the spring season and to maybe go race some other tracks soon."

Talking of last week's race, Zach noted how fast the overall day went. "We really didn't have much time between parts of the day because the track ran the show off so quickly. That's good in a way but bad when you're trying to learn and take your time and make the right changes. I wasn't getting back to the gas as fast as I should have during qualifying so that set us back to third fastest. The car was pretty good in the race but it didn't want to turn in the center in the feature so when I would get back to the throttle to come out of the turn the car would snap loose. That was costing us some speed but we'll keep working on it for next Friday's show."

Zach will be back on track at AMS next Friday, March 14th for a Friday night show.