"The Gunslinger" Jesse Leiby Scores Bullseye For Second Win In OCFS Sportsman Action

Date: 8/13/2015 1:56:26 AM


West Milford, NJ -- "The Gunslinger" Jesse Leiby Scores Bullseye For Second Win In OCFS Sportsman Action
By: Steve Pados, GA Motorsports Media
Competing in two divisions has kept Jesse Leiby very busy during the 2015 racing season at the Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, New York. With each passing event the budding driving star gains more knowledge about who he is competing against while adding the building blocks to his own racing resume and statistics. Jesse hit an initial milestone on July 18th when he captured his first career victory at the speedway. Not resting on his laurels of that great night, he took to the speedway last Saturday night and came away with his second win of the season in the Sportsman division. Jesse also finished eighth in the 358 Modified feature in another solid night for the seventeen year old driving star.
"The Gunslinger" began the Sportsman portion of the evening by finishing third in his heat event. Jesse lined up in sixth for the feature but got off to a bumpy start and fell back two positions at the start. Re-grouping quickly, he found a seam on the raceway to make up for lost ground and gained back the positions within a couple of laps and then grabbed up a few more as the racing commenced. Jesse raced to the front of the field and as the laps wore down had some late restarts. Jesse held off Joey Bruning on the first restart and in the final two restarts had to deal with Brian Krummel, an icon in the division. Jesse was up to the task at hand and scored his second win of the season over Krummel, Bruning, Dom Roselli Jr and Chris Stevens. Jesse finished eighth in the 358 Modified feature after scoring a fourth place finish in his heat event.
Jesse has enjoyed a great year at OCFS and is currently ranked in fifth place in the current Sportsman tallies with 1208 points. Jesse is currently ranked behind Randy Sweetman with 1326, Matt Hitchcock with 1323, Dan Cronk with 1269 and Chris Stevens with 1227. Jess is ranked seventh in the 358 Modified points as a rookie in the hotly contested division with 801 tallies. Veteran campaigner Gary Edwards Jr is leading the way with 952 points and additional OCFS veterans follow with Tommy Meier, Tim Hindley, LJ Lombardo, Bob McGannon and John Ferrier sandwiched in between.
Jesse Leiby is a third generation driver following in the footsteps of his grandfather Herb, who plied his trade at the now defunct Nazareth Speedway and his Dad John, who carved out his own success with a win at Orange County and adding five wins to his own racing resume while competing at a now shuttered speedway, the Lake Mocatek facility which closed in 2004. With twelve years of racing in his career and racing at such venues as Accord, Syracuse, Rolling Wheels and Canada, once Mocatek shut down, John Leiby purchased a Slingshot racer for his son Jesse to drive at the Hamlin Speedway and Jesse made the quick transition through the Hamlin, Borgers and Oakland Valley Speedways with second place points finishes coming at the latter two facilities.
Jesse Leiby continued his climb up through the racing rankings as the family made the switch to Accord Speedway in New York State and Jesse captured back to back championships at the Accord Speedway in 2009 and 2010 in the Junior Slingshots and dominating the racing action on the bigger quarter mile racing facility. Jesse made the transition into the All Star Slingshots for the 2011 and 2012 racing seasons and with much the same results as Leiby rocketed to back to back championships in the All Star Slingshots at Accord, making him a four time titlist at the Catskill facility.
The purchase of a Crate Sportsman racer for Jesse to transition into with his next step up the racing ladder came in late 2012. The cylinder numbers changed significantly from two to eight with his new ride and Jesse took his time in familiarizing himself with the equipment and with his Dad mentoring him each step of the way. Jesse took the bull by the horns for 2013 scoring the three wins necessary to move out of the rookie class distinction at OCFS and perform in the regular Crate Sportsman Division at the speedway.
The John and Dawn Leiby Family owned racer goes to battle with is a 2007 Teo Chassis race car with a crate engine bolted between the rails. An extensive group of friends and sponsors have helped along the budget minded team throughout the season with Country Painter, Mullen Roofing, D&L Mobile Maintenance, Wholesale Auto Supply, Eastlake Party Rental, JBJ Electric, Eber's Automotive, Lakeland Auto Parts, Barnum Financial Group, 3Road Deli, CSIS Mobile Electronics, Highlander Deli, Accurate Collision and GA Motorsports Media all assisting the racing team. Jesse's brother Jimmy, a fine racer in his own right known as "The Bounty Hunter", is the crew chief for the team with able assistance coming from John and Dawn Leiby, Jon Caputo, Dave Eastlake, Sean and Jon Adair, Harry Thomas, Doug and Patty Smith, James and Erin Valesio, Daryl Eastlake, Stan Baldwin, Billy Sherba and Jesse's older brother Corporal John Leiby Jr, who is stationed with the US Marine Corp in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina after serving in Afghanistan.
Another added dimension came to the team for the 2014 racing season when longtime sponsor Dave Eastlake purchased a 2006 Teo Pro car with a Precision Shops 358 motor providing the needed horsepower. Jesse raced the car four times in 2014 and came away with an 11th, 10th, 6th and 5th place finishes and secured one heat race win as he became accustomed to the larger power associated with the new division. The 2015 racing season has Jesse improving with each outing as he goes against some of the top names in 358 Modified racing.
The racing world continues to produce great young talent that will see the sport thrive for many years to come. Jesse Leiby is one of the stars I have been able to call races for and more than likely have called the biggest percentage of his fifty plus wins in the Slingshot wars. He is a student of the racing game and is highly identified with the "can't miss" label tagged to him with each of his transitional stages up the ladders of the racing world. While each step of the journey becomes a new challenge, "The Gunslinger" Jesse Leiby has shown he has the talent and more than enough ammunition in his gun belt to complete his mission.

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