Brandon Lemke is set to embark upon his most ambitious racing season to date.

One year after earning his first victories in a Limited Late Model, Lemke will return to Leicht Motorsports Driver Development for his first season in a Late Model Stock Car. Lemke is scheduled to compete full-time at South Carolina’s Anderson Motor Speedway as he pursues the track championship and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series South Carolina Rookie of the Year crown.

“I’m so happy to be back with Leicht Motorsports Driver Development,” said 18-year-old Lemke. “We had a lot of success together last year and now we’re stepping up to Late Model Stocks and we’re running the full season at Anderson together.

“Obviously I’d love to win the track title, but our goal this year is to win the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series rookie title in South Carolina. If we do that then that means we get to go to the NASCAR Awards in Charlotte at the end of the year. I can’t tell you how amazing that would be, but we’ve got to go out and earn it first.”

Lemke, a seasoned kart racer, broke out in a big way during the 2018 season while driving for team owner Eugene Leicht. He scored his first Limited Late Model victory – his first in a stock car – last July at North Carolina’s Hickory Motor Speedway. That victory was followed by a triumph in one of Hickory’s biggest events – the 50-lap Limited Late Model portion of the Bobby Isaac Memorial.

“Those two wins last year were a huge deal not just for me, but for my team owner Eugene Leicht,” Lemke said. “Now we’re stepping up together and I want to make him and all of my supporters proud.

“I wouldn’t be able to do this without partners like Quickswim, Sparrow Ranch on the Island and McCallister Precision Marketing. They’ve all made this possible and hopefully I can bring home a few trophies for them this season.”

Lemke recently tested a Late Model Stock Car and Leicht, who owns the race team alongside his wife Rebecca, was impressed how quickly he got up to speed.

“This kid is the real deal,” Leicht said. “He is a fast learner and soaks up information like a sponge. It’s kind of amazing really. I wouldn’t be surprised if we pick up several wins this year at Anderson and I think a track title isn’t out of the question.”

Anderson Motor Speedway will open its weekly racing season on March 22.

Cover photo by Jaden Austin