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ZACH BRINGS HOME SOME HARDWARE FROM THE SPRING NATIONAL SERIES

When the teams arrived at Crossville Speedway for the final race of Spring Nationals, there were only 6 points separating the drivers in P2-P4 of the point standings. Zach was sitting in P4 and was hoping for a good points night. The lineup for the feature had already been set into place from two weeks earlier when rain arrived before the drivers were able to complete one lap of the feature. Several drivers did not return and a few new drivers showed up and would start in the rear of the field.

Zach started the feature in P7. He fell back to P9 on lap 2 but worked his way up to P6 by lap 6. Around lap 17 he moved into P5 and held onto the position until he was challenged on lap 32. The two drivers raced side-by-side exchanging the positions for the remaining 8 laps of the race. However, it was Zach who eventually won the battle and crossed the checkered flag in P5.

Zach brought home P3 in the final point standings and takes us through the race, "I was struggling a bit with drive-off coming out the corners. There were a number of cautions and I just wasn't very good on the restarts. Really enjoyed racing on this track though -- it's alot of fun. Thanks to all of our marketing partners for their support -- EDI, Napa of Kennesaw, Clint Smith Racing, GW Performance, Hoosier by Brian, Tray Sees Photography and Motorsports Engine."

Leonhardi Motorsports, LLC

ZACH BRINGS HOME FIRST LATE MODEL WIN!

This past weekend was very exciting for Zach and our team. Last Friday, Zach got his drivers license so he is now legally able to drive off the track. His 17th birthday was coming up on June 12th. Zach received the best early birthday present he could imagine when he finally got his first win in a late model Saturday night at Senoia Raceway.

Prior to hot laps Zach went out to have a good look at the track surface. There had been a rain shower not long before the pit gates opened and we weren't sure how it would affect the track surface. Based on what he saw, he felt the track would end up slicking up by feature time.

During qualifying Zach was at the top of the leader board in qualifying until Dalton Cook ran a faster lap that bumped Zach down to second quickest.

Zach continued to watch the track surface throughout the night as other divisions raced. The moisture was gradually leaving the track and just as Zach had predicted, the track surface was slicking up. He made a few more adjustments to the car and waited to be called to the grid for his 30-lap feature.

Zach started outside pole in the feature and the second the green flag dropped he charged around the topside and took the lead coming out of turn 2. He immediately started pulling away from the field as he drove down the backstretch. By lap 11 Zach caught the rear of the field and started lapping cars. He continued to sail around the high side of the track building his lead to a half a track over Clint Smith who was in P2. Zach had lapped up to P7 and was running down P5 and P6 who were racing each other for position. Before Zach was able to lap them one of the drivers spun out bringing out the caution on lap 16. On the restart, Zach launched like a rocket into turn one and started flying around the top side inches from the outside wall. He once again caught lap traffic and found himself behind two drivers racing side by side. Zach attempted to thread the needle in between the two cars coming out of turn 2 but the hole closed quickly and he had to back off from the pass. The following lap as they went into turn one, Zach dove between the two cars and made an exciting clean pass. As the laps were counting down we were holding our breath waiting for the white flag. When the checkered flag dropped, Zach was four and a half seconds ahead of Clint Smith who finished P2.

Zach takes us the the race, "The car was on a rail and the track surface was just how I like it. It was the first time I've been able to race consistently on the high side without making any contact with the wall. It feels so good to get that monkey off my back and get that first win. I've been close before several times but just never could get it done. I have to thank my parents for all of their support which allows me to chase my dream and Logan Williamson for his help in the pits. Also have to thank EDI, Napa of Kennesaw, GW Performance, Clint Smith Racing, Hoosier by Brian, Jay Dickens Racing Engines, Rocket Chassis, Tray Sees Photography, Motorsports Engine and All Star Graphix for their support. I would also like to give a shoutout to all of the fans who support short track racing by coming out to the racetracks."

MOTHER NATURE WINS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

The team's plans were to run Crossville, Boyd's, Dixie and Rome May 24th-27th but Mother Nature did not cooperate. Zach qualified P9 in his debut at Crossville Speedway. On lap 1 of the feature there was a multi car pileup near the rear of the field coming out of turn 4. During the caution an isolated rain shower hit the track and the race had to be postponed until Thursday, June 14th. The show will resume where it was left off. The following day the decision was made to cancel Boyd's due to the chances of inclement weather.

We were able to get the race at Dixie in on Saturday. However, Zach did not qualify well and started deep in the field in P19. He was able to race his way up to P14 on a surface that was pretty much one groove. On Sunday, Rome was cancelled due to heavy rains and the pit area being saturated. The series has decided not to makeup Boyd's or Rome, therefore, Crossville will be the final race of the series. The current point standings for the top 5 drivers are below:

Eric Wells -- 1,308

Aaron Ridley -- 1,256

Casey Roberts -- 1,254

Zach Leonhardi -- 1,250

Ryan King -- 1,008

Leonhardi Motorsports, LLC

ZACH BRINGS HOME TWO TOP 10'S FROM KENTUCKY!

The team went to Kentucky to compete for the first time at Ponderosa Speedway and Florence Speedway on April 20th & 21st. Both of these races were part of the Schaeffer's Oil Spring Nationals Series. The race recaps and videos (In Car and Spectator View) are below:

Ponderosa Speedway - 3/8 Mile Clay Oval Dirt Rrack Located in Junction City, KY.

Twenty-one drivers came to Ponderosa to compete. The drivers were divided into two groups for qualifying. Zach qualified 4th in his group and started outside pole in his heat race. In the early laps the leader built a nice lead over Zach who was securely running in P2. In the closing laps of the heat Zach made a hard charge and finished only .4 seconds behind the winner. Zach started the 40-lap feature in P7. By lap 7, he was up to P6. There were cautions on laps 15 and 18. Zach lost a few positions on each restart but was able to race his way back and finish the race in P8.

Florence Speedway - 1/2 Mile Clay Oval Located in Union, KY.

The following day, the team traveled to Florence Speedway. There were total of 28 drivers competing in the "Spring 50" event. Zach qualified P6 in his group and started P4 in his heat race. He ran a good race but wasn't able to improve his position and finished in P4. Zach started the 50-lap feature in P12. He raced the first 20 laps or so of the race with the same pack of cars swapping positions 13-17. Then Zach moved to the high line of the track and that's when he started moving towards the front. On lap 32 he was in P11 and was working to getting inside the top 10. On the final lap of the race he and the driver in P10 were racing hard and contact was made but Zach had secured P10 when they crossed the finish line. That tenth place position turned out to be very important for Zach and moved him into P2 in the point standings of the tour!

Current Top 5 Point Standings:

1. Eric Wells, 1,132

2. Zach Leonhardi 1,078

3. Aaron Ridley, 1,076

4. Casey Roberts, 1,066

5. Ryan King, 1,008

Zach takes us through the weekend, "I have never raced on a track like Ponderosa or Florence before this weekend. It felt really good to be able to adapt pretty quickly and bring home two top 10's. Both had multiple grooves and were so much fun -- I hope to be able to come back to both tracks later this year. Thanks to EDI, Napa of Kennesaw, Clint Smith Racing, GW Performance, Hoosier by Brian, Tray Sees Photography and Motorsports Engine for all of their support. Can't wait to get back to Senoia Raceway on May 5th!"

Leonhardi Motorsports, LLC

ZACH OVERCOMES CHALLENGES AT TENNESSEE TRACKS

This past weekend the team went to compete at two new tracks with the Spring Nationals Series. Zach entered the series third in the point standings following the double header weekend at Senoia two weeks previously.

Friday night the team was at Tazewell Speedway, a 1/3 mile dirt oval with super high banking that provides intense fast-paced racing action. There were 30 drivers competing for one of the 22 spots available in the $5,000 to win event. Zach got on the track for hot laps and wasn't able to complete one lap. There was an issue with the right front of the car making it difficult to turn and the car slide into the outside wall in turns 1 & 2. Luckily there wasn't any major damage but Zach pulled off the track and headed back to the pits to make adjustments prior to qualifying. With no prior laps on this very challenging track, Zach went out to qualify. He was about 3 tenths off the fastest driver in his group and would have to compete in a heat race to try and secure a spot in the feature. Zach started P8 out of 10 drivers in his heat race. The top 6 finishers would transfer into the feature. There were several cautions during the 10-lap heat race. With each lap, Zach became more competitive and was able to stay out of trouble and finish P3. He had made it into his first feature at Tazewell!

Zach started the 40-lap feature in P14. There were a few cautions early on and Zach barely missed avoiding becoming part of the incidents which occurred right in front of him. During the longest green flag run Zach was sailing on the high side of the high banks until "the big one" erupted in turns 1 & 2 collecting about seven drivers in front of Zach. He turned the wheel hard right towards the outside wall to try to avoid making contact with the cars left sitting on the track facing in different directions. He had almost made it through but contact was made from another car pushing Zach into the wall, but Zach kept on moving so he wouldn't be considered part of the caution and have to restart in the rear. He restarted in P9, however, the car's handling had been affected by the contact and he lost several positions. Several laps later while under another caution Zach's left front tire popped and went flat. He was able to come into the pits and change tires while under caution. He restarted in the rear of the field and finished P16 on the lead lap.

On the following day the team arrived at Volunteer Speedway early in the day to maintenance and wash the car. Volunteer is a high banked (32 degrees worth), 4/10 dirt track. The facility is huge and was absolutely packed with fans. 26 drivers were on hand for the $10,052 to win 52-lap Scott Sexton Memorial event. Zach was hoping for a smoother flowing night than the night before but that just didn't happen. Zach went out for hot laps and as he took the green on the first lap the car experienced a parts failure in turns 1 & 2. Zach came to a stop and had to be towed in to the pit area. Upon inspection by the pit crew, the JBar and driveshaft were going to have to be replaced in order for Zach to compete and the team did not have a spare of either part. Zach reached out to other drivers in the series and finally was able to find the parts he needed. However, they could not complete the repairs prior to qualifying. Zach would have to make his first laps on this new racetrack in a heat race starting at the tail-end of the field.

Zach started P7 in his heat race. He purposely laid back several car lengths behind field on the start so he could get some good laps on the track. By the end of the race Zach had caught the rear of the field and appeared to have a competitive racecar but he didn't secure a transfer spot and would have to race in a last chance consi (top 4 would transfer). He started P9 out of 10 drivers in the 10-lap consi. He appeared to be much more comfortable in the car than earlier in the heat race and was picking up the track well. With about 5 laps to go he was racing hard for P5 and went 3-wide with two other drivers down the frontstretch. One of the other drivers made contact with Zach causing Zach to spin around and roll backwards approaching the inside pit wall very quickly. Luckily he was able to come to a stop before making contact with the wall but he had to restart in the rear. With only a few laps left to go in the consi, he started making passes but ran out of laps finishing P6.

The good news is Zach had a provisional available since he came into Volunteer P2 in the series points. He would start the feature in 21st out of 22 drivers. The race went caution free for about 40 laps which allowed for the leaders to catch the rear of the field. Zach went a lap down but continued to fight for positions as well. In the final 10 laps of the race there two cautions. Zach ended up bringing home P17 at his first feature start at the track.

Zach takes us through the weekend, "Both Tazewell and Volunteer are really fun, fast tracks. At Tazewell the left tire was rubbing on the brace which had broken from contact in the big one that occurred in turn 1. I heard it pop while under caution and decided to come into the infield to pit. The front right shock was also damaged. The car was handling pretty good up until that point. Feels pretty good to have survived a track with such a reputation for being one of the fastest in the country. Really hated that we couldn't get any hot laps in at either track but we had two solid runs at both tracks given what we were up against. Volunteer is much more forgiving than Tazewell. Both tracks are unlike anything we have ever run at before so it was good experience for the team. Have to thank EDI, Napa of Kennesaw, Clint Smith Racing, GW Performance, Hoosier by Brian, Tray Sees Photography and Motorsports Engine for all of their support. Also have to thank Ryan Burkhart for his help in the pits. I also have to give a huge shoutout to Ryan King and Casey Roberts Racing/Blount Motorsports for all of their help this weekend. Ryan was a big help at Tazewell and CRR/Blount provided us with the parts we needed to be able to race at Volunteer."

Leonhardi Motorsports, LLC

ZACH BRINGS HOME TWO TOP 5'S AT SPRING NATIONALS AT SENOIA!

Early last week, the team wasn't sure Zach would be able to compete with the Spring Nationals Series at Senoia Raceway this past weekend. Major damage was incurred to our Super Dirt Late Model on the Saturday prior at East Alabama Motor Speedway. The team had gone to EAMS to compete with the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model Series. Our night ended abruptly on the first lap of Zach's heat race when another driver spun in front of Zach and there was no time for Zach to react. Zach t-boned the driver and our Rocket XR1 sustained heavy frontend damage. Both Zach and the other driver were fine thankfully. However, we were pretty sure the front clip of the car was bent which is a costly repair. Plus the car would have to be taken to Rocket Chassis in West Virginia to have the clip replaced.

Zach and his dad went down to Clint Smith's shop one day last week and after a very detailed inspection, Clint felt confident he could repair the damage. Clint made the repair and now we would have to wait until Zach went back on the track on the first night of the Spring Nats on Friday to see how the car would handle.

Twenty-eight of some of the most competitive regional and national drivers were at Senoia Raceway Friday for night #1 of the Spring Nationals Series. Zach was 15th in hot laps (a short practice session) and thought the car's handling felt good. Following hot laps, Zach decided on a few adjustments that would hopefully make the car faster in qualifying.

The drivers were divided into two groups for qualifying -- Group A and Group B. The top two fastest drivers from each group would be locked into the A Main. The remaining drivers would have to run in heat races and only a select number of drivers would transfer into the A Main from the heats. The remaining drivers would be eliminated from the competition.

Zach was one of the last drivers to go out to qualify in Group B. His first lap wasn't bad -- 4th quickest. However, on his 2nd lap he jumped to the top of the leader board and would be starting the A Main on the outside of the front row!

The first 20 laps of the feature contained a few cautions, but Zach was able to get good restarts and stayed securely in P2. The second half of the race, Zach was battling hard for positions with Bloomquist, Clanton, Clint Smith and Michael Page. At one point, Zach went 4-wide coming out of turn 2 with Bloomquist, Clanton and Smith. By lap 29, Zach had settled into P5 and that is where he finished.

Zach takes us through the race, "For the first half of the race I was able to stay around the top of the track. During the second half of the race my tires got overheated and I wasn't able to maintain the same lap times so a few other drivers were able to catch me and make passes. The track was in perfect condition for 3 and 4 wide racing. I'm sure the fans enjoyed watching it. I cannot thank Clint Smith enough for working so hard to make the repairs and providing me with such a competitive racecar. My dad also spent alot of time at Clint's shop working on our Limited car but due to an electrical issue, the car cut off in hot laps and we weren't able to race in that division. We will go to Clint's shop early in the morning tomorrow to try to get that issue fixed. Looking forward to Day 2".

There were a few more drivers for Day 2 of the Spring Nats. 33 drivers would be competing for one of the 22 spots in the $10,000 to win feature. Once again Zach was in Group B. He was 4th quickest in hot laps and appeared to be picking up where he left off from the previous night. Dale McDowell was sitting on the pole with a 16.393 for Group B when Zach went out to qualify. Zach's best lap was a 16.398 -- he missed the top spot by 5 one-thousandths!

Tonight though no one was locked into the A Main. All drivers would have to compete in heat races to secure a spot. Zach started on the pole of the 4th and final 10-lap heat race. He went on to lead every lap and won his heat by 2.278 seconds over Ivedent Lloyd. He was now locked into the A Main while the remaining drivers who did not lock in through the heat races would have to run B Mains.

Zach was also able to compete in the Limited division. He qualified 8th out of 19 drivers and finished in P6. Immediately following the 20-lap Limited feature, Zach had to swap cars and strap into his super for the 60-lap A Main for the Super division.

Zach started P4 in A Main. Clint Smith and Dale McDowell led the field to the green flag. The track was pretty racy for the first half of the race and Zach had settled into P5. Those top 5 drivers began catching lap traffic and had to quickly manuever around them. On lap 18 Zach lost a position as they were racing through lap traffic. He then settled into P6 as the bottom of the track rubbered up making the racing surface faster along that racing groove. The top two had a secure lead over P3-P6 who were nose to tail, intensely following each other lap after lap along the bottom grove of the track. No one attempted to make a pass because if they fell out of the bottom grove they would most likely lose grip and lose positions. Each driver was focused on the driver in front of them in hopes they would make a mistake which would open up the opportunity to make a pass. On lap 41, the driver in front of Zach got loose and fell out of the grove momentarily -- just long enough for Zach to be able to make a pass and secure P5 behind Clint Smith. Zach finished the race in P5 -- another top five finish!

Zach explains, "I was really happy we were able to come back tonight in the Super and be competitive right from the start. Was really hoping the track would have stayed with multiple grooves throughout the entire feature but overall the track did a great job with track prep this weekend. Glad we fixed the issue with the Limited car and was able to race. Have to give a shoutout to Logan Williamson, Max Tison and my dad for all of their work in the pits and to Marty Lunsford to helping us get the super car into the infield since we were racing Limited and Super back to back. Also have to thank all of our supporters: EDI, Napa of Kennesaw, Clint Smith Racing, GW Performance, Hoosier by Brian, Tray Sees Photography and Motorsports Engine.

Leonhardi Motorsports, LLC

ZACH BRINGS HOME TOP 5 AT SENOIA

The team went to Senoia Raceway this past Saturday. We were competing in both the Limited and Super divisions. Zach had a little bad luck in the Limited Division. Qualified P8 -- raced up to P6. With 2 laps to go, there was a red flag. Had an electrical issue and couldn't get the engine to refire and had to be pushed into the infield and watch the remaining two laps from there.

Our luck was better in the Super Division which had a tough field of drivers for a local show. The lap times were very close in qualifying -- ended up qualifying P7. The track was very racy and Zach had some really intense side-by-side battles with Clint Smith and 2017 Southern All Stars Champion, Austin Horton. Zach ended up bringing home P5 and had a blast racing those guys. Thanks to all of our marketing partners -- EDI, Napa of Kennesaw, GW Performance, Clint Smith Racing, Hoosier by Brian and Tray Sees Photography. Also have to give a shoutout to Michael Leonhardi, Logan Williamson and Max Tilson for their hard work in the pits which was a HUGE help with us being able to run two divisions.

ZACH OFF TO AN EXCITING START IN 2018

So far 2018 has been good to Zach. On February 3rd the team went to Boyd's Speedway for the 10th Annual Cabin Fever paying $3500 to win. 41 drivers showed up to compete for one of the 24 spots available in the Super Late Model Division. Zach qualified 7th in his group. Only the top 5 would be locked into the feature from qualifying so Zach would have to secure a top 3 finish in his heat race to make it in. He started on the pole of his heat and impressively drove away from the field -- winning his heat race with a 5.138 second lead over the driver finishing in the 2nd position!

Zach started P13 in the 40-lap feature. There were several cautions but Zach managed to stay out of trouble and move through the field up to P8. A little past the half way point, another driver who was side by side with Zach, made contact into Zach's door pushing him up the track and out of the racing grove. Zach lost several positions as a result and finished the race in P13.

This past weekend the team went to North Georgia Speedway to compete with the Ultimate Super Late Model Series in the $4,000 season opener at the track. Zach was excited about returning to this track for the second time. His Rocket XR1 Chassis, "Roxi", was sporting an awesome new look for 2018 thanks to AllStar Graphix. The competition was stacked -- a total of 31 very competitive drivers would be attempting to claim a spot in the 24-car field. In hot laps, Zach was 22nd quickest -- not that impressive. Zach informed his crew chief what changes he wanted done to the car prior to qualifying and we crossed our fingers and hoped for a good qualifying run. The adjustments paid off as Zach qualified 5th in his group (9th overall) which locked him into the feature. He was able to relax a bit before the feature and observed the two B Mains, taking in as much information as he could about the track conditions. Read more

Zach Charges Through the Field at "The Hangover"!

            The team went to 411 Motor Speedway yesterday to compete in The Hangover ($4,000 to win) with the Schaeffer's Iron Man Late Models. 29 drivers were competing to make it into the 22-car field for the feature. We brought our blue/gray Rocket ("Rocky") with our 525 motor. Unfortunately track conditions were not in our favor. The track was wide open -- really fast. We really could have used our big motor for this one. We didn't qualify that well and had to run a heat race and finish in the top 4 to transfer into the feature. On the initial start of the heat, a car on the row in front of Zach spun resulting in cars scattering and Zach ending up facing the wrong way on the track with some damage to the right front/hood. He was able to continue and gave it his best effort but finished P5. We thought our day was over but were informed we could take a provisional which we did. Michael Leonhardi and Zach went to work on the repairs prior to the 40- Read more

(Planned) Season Closer for Leonhardi Motorsports!

            Our 2017 racing season has officially ended! Zach had a good night at Senoia this past Saturday. It was the makeup event for the rained-out Senoia Showdown Limited Division. He was able to lock himself into the 24-car feature (33 drivers were attempting to make it in). He rolled off P12 at the start of the 30-lap feature race. The track surface provided a lot of 3-Wide, side-by-side action. Zach got up to P6 on lap 12, but made a mistake and fell back to P8 and that's where he finished the race. Have to give a BIG THANKS to our marketing partners and to those who support us -- EDI, Napa of Kennesaw, KirbyMex, GW Performance, Clint Smith Racing, FK Rod Ends, Hoosier by Brian, FinishMaster, Tray Sees Photography and Motorsports Engine. Also a HUGE SHOUTOUT to Logan Williamson, Max Tilson and Ashton Winger for helping in the pits.