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Monday, August 17, 2015

Tracy Leslie #72 Detroit Gasket Oldsmobile

    Some fans that are newer to NASCAR may have never heard of Tracy Leslie, but in the early to mid 90's, he was somewhat of a fan favorite in the BGN series~ Today I'm gonna write a little bit about his time in the #72 Detroit Gasket Oldsmobile, the sponsor he used throughout most of his career in the BGN series~

    Leslie started his first BGN series race in 1991~ He ran the full season being sponsored by Detroit Gasket~ His first career top 10 came 8 races into the season in the Budweiser 250 @ Bristol, where he finished in the 8th position~ In the 15th race of the season, the Granger Select 400 @ Hickory, he picked up his 2nd top 10, with another 8th place finish~ 3 races later, in the True Value 250 @ Oxford, Leslie picked up his first career top 5, finishing in 4th place~ His best finish of the season came in the Kroger 200 @ IRP, where he qualified 28th, and clawed his way up to a 2nd place finish behind race winner Bobby Labonte~ The following race, the Texas Pete 300 @ Rougemont, Leslie scored his final top 10 of the season with a 10th place finish~ He finished out his rookie season with 2 top 5's and 5 top 10's, and finished 15th in the final points standings~

    For the 1992 season, Leslie competed in every event, and had a somewhat solid year~ His best finish was 4th in the Carolina Pride/Budweiser 200 @ Myrtle Beach~ He finished the season with 2 top 5's (Martinsville, Myrtle Beach), and 10 top 10's, and also led 13 laps, 2 @ Atlanta, and 11 @ Martinsville~ He again finished 15th in the final points standings~

                                                    Tracy Leslie hero card from 1995~
Tracy Leslie #72 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN win

    The 1993 season was perhaps Leslie's best~ He picked up his first career pole in the Champion 300 @ Charlotte, but finished 34th due to a sour engine~ In the 16th race of the season, the Kroger 200 @ IRP, he picked up his first and only career win~ Following that win, the team swapped manufactures from Oldsmobile's to Chevrolet's~ In the Autolite 250 @ Richmond, Leslie almost won again, finishing in 2nd place behind race winner Mark Martin~ Tracy finished the season with 1 win, 1 pole, 5 top 5's, and 13 top 10's, while finishing a career best 11th in the final points standings~ Leslie had a decent season again in 1994, making the field for every event, while picking up 2 top 5's, and 8 top 10's, and again finishing 11th in the final points standings~

    The 1995 season would be his final season with Detroit Gasket as his sponsor~ He qualified 2nd in the Red Dog 300 @ Charlotte, and led a total of 48 laps, finishing in the 3rd position behind Jeff Green and race winner Chad Little~ The following race, the GM Goodwrench/Delco 200 @ Dover, Tracy picked up his last career pole, he led 11 laps, but came home in the 24th position, 5 laps down~ His last top 5 with the Detroit Gasket sponsor came in the Kroger 200 @ IRP, where he finished in 4th place~

    Following the All Pro Bumper to Bumper 300 @ Charlotte, he lost sponsorship from Detroit Gasket with just 2 races remaining in the season~ He did manage to finish the season however, driving the #98 PerforMax Racing Chevrolet for Brian Donley @ Rockingham, where he finished 36, and the #86 Coors Light Chevrolet for Phil Barkdoll in the final race of the season @ Homestead, where he finished in last place~ He finished the season with 1 pole, 2 top 5's, and 3 top 10's, and dropped to 16th in the final points standings~

                                              Tracy Leslie #72 Detroit Gasket Oldsmobile~
Tracy Leslie #72 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN
                                                                Click pics to enlarge~
Tracy Leslie #72 Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog BGN

    As a child, this was one of my favorite RC cars, and it still is to this day~ One of the main things I like about it is the styling of the number 72~ The simple bright red paint scheme makes the car stand out from most of the cars on a display stand~ I also like the logos on the hood and deck lid~ There aren't really any flaws on this car, and I give it an A+ on the Racing Champions quality scale~

    Leslie continued racing 3 more seasons after he lost the Detroit Gasket sponsorship, with most of those races ran with Lysol as his sponsor~ He finished his BGN career with 2 poles,1 win, 14 top 5's, and 45 top 10's in 206 races ran, and led a total of 175 laps~ He finished on the lead lap 47 times, and had 6 DNQ's~ He currently races in the ARCA series with his son Billy~

    There isn't much footage of Leslie's career, but I'll post below what I was able to find~ Thanks to all who visit the blog, y'all are great!~ I've had a busy schedule as of late and haven't been posting on a regular basis, but after the Bristol race, I should be able to get back on track with that~ Until next time, I hope y'all have a great week!~ :D

                                                  Tracy Leslie crash @ Rougemont 1994~

                                           Leslie and Mike Wallace tangle~ Hickory 1992~

                                               Interview with Leslie after only BGN win~
                                                    1993 Goodwrench 200~ Big crash~

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