Zach Leonhardi wins first race in Legends Car
by Jason Greenberg
Jul 10, 2014 | 883 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Zach Leonhardi, a 13-year-old INEX Legend racecar driver from Cartersville, had been steadily improving each week at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

After recording several second-place finishes, Leonhardi finally broke through to earn his first win in a Legend Car at AMS in the Young Lions division in the Thursday Thunder Series on July 2.

“It’s awesome to finally get a win here in a Legend Car,” Leonhardi said. “I can’t thank my parents and my supporters enough for their patience and encouragement.”

Legends Car racing is a style of race car, designed primarily to promote exciting racing and to keep costs down. The bodyshells are 5/8-scale replicas of American automobiles from the 1930s and 1940s, powered by a Yamaha motorcycle engine. The sanctioning body for Legends car racing is called INEX. INEX stands for inexpensive racing.

This is Leonhardi’s first full season in the legends car at the Thursday Thunder Series and his first win comes after a second-place finish the week prior.

“I led the first 16 laps before we had a yellow flag,” Leonhardi said of his first-place finish on July 3. “[Veteran racer Woodrow Mullis] 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.”

The first-place finish has been a long time coming as Leonhardi has produced quality results all season. The week before, Leonhardi produced finishes of second, third and fifth. Three weeks ago, he finished second both days in his Young Lions division and also finished second in the Pro Race.

At the age of 5, Leonhardi began racing go-karts on a dirt track in Chatsworth. In his first year, 2008, he finished second overall in points in the Beginner Purple Class. In 2009 he set the fastest lap track record at Dawgwood Speedway in the Beginner Purple class with a 14.00 second lap and won the class championship. That same season he set the fastest lap track record in Rookie Boxstock with a 13.49 second lap and finished fifth overall in points.

Leonhardi has a combined 179 starts with karts, bandolero and legends cars. He has earned 43 poles, 36 wins, 107 top-three, 139 top-five and 179 top-10 finishes in his career.

Zach will be back in action in his Legends Car today at Atlanta Motor Speedway.