However, unlike most of his classmates at South Central Middle School, Leonhardi will be busy racing six races at four different tracks in nine days from July 24 to Aug. 1., including at the legendary Bowman Gray Stadium.
The 13-year-old INEX Legend racecar driver from Bartow County is coming off his first victory in a Legends Car at the Thursday Thunder Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway two weeks ago. On July 17, 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 the race. He also finished fifth in the Pro division race that followed.
Leonhardi will compete at AMS again this week in the final Thursday Thunder series race.
He will then travel to Anderson Motor Speedway for the Legends Regional Qualifier before heading to the Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Legends Regional Qualifier at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston Salem, N.C.
Bowman Gray is one of racing’s most legendary venues, and is referred to as “NASCAR’s longest-running weekly race track.” Bowman Gray also serves as the home of the Winston-Salem State University Rams football team. In addition, it was the home of the Wake Forest University football team until 1968.
The first NASCAR-sanctioned event took place in 1949 and the first Grand National, now Sprint Cup Series, event took place in 1958. The track has hosted a total of 29 Grand National races through 1971.
Leonhardi will be competing in the only Legends car race this year. He also will be at Charlotte Motor Speedway on July 27 and 28. CMS hosts several NASCAR races, including the prestigious Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend and the Sprint All-Star Race, as well as the Bank of America 500. The speedway is considered the home track for NASCAR with many race teams located in the Charlotte area.
Leonhardi is the only one in his class to be racing at nationally renowned tracks during the summer, but he also is likely to be the only student at South Central Middle to be a guest on a radio show. Leonhardi was a guest on Spartanburg, South Carolina’s “Droppin’ The Hammer” motorsports show, talking about his season and promoting his upcoming Anderson Speedway appearance on Friday.
Leonhardi will finally take some time off once school begins, although he may participate in the Winter Flurry series at Atlanta Motor Speedway beginning in November.
Next year, he is hoping to be able to compete in the Winter Nationals in Auburndale, Fla., in February, the entire Summer Shootout series in Charlotte, Thursday Thunder at AMS, plus other select races at other tracks.