Story by: Langley Austin ~[email protected]

Lenoir, NC ~ Winning five races in one season would be a good indication that you’ve arrived in Late Model Stock Car racing, but for one Western North Carolina racer that wasn’t enough.

In 2008, “Jesse James” LeFevers took home five victories at Tri-County Motor Speedway while also establishing himself among the players week-in and week-out at Hickory Motor Speedway, but the 21-year old racer is setting his sights much higher in 2009. LeFevers started racing stock cars at the age of 15, then moved into the Late Model Stock Cars in 2007, but it wasn’t until 2008 that he knocked down his first victory and it was on from there.

Five wins in one season is something many veteran drivers would love to be able to put on their resume especially in this highly competitive era, but LeFevers wasn’t satisfied with that and he’s got a little chip on his shoulder.

“We had a good season, but I still didn’t get a victory at Hickory and that’s my first goal heading into this season,” said LeFevers. “Winning at Tri-County was cool, but getting a win at Hickory will be very special and is something I really want to accomplish.”

Heading into 2009, LeFevers will be going for that first win at Hickory Motor Speedway, but he’s got bigger goals as this young racer wants a championship.

“We’re going to start out going for the championship at both Hickory and Tri-County, but we’ll see how the first part of the season plays out to see whether we can keep that up or not. A lot of it will depend on money, everyone’s a little tight and we’re working on a sponsor, but you can never count on that.”

LeFevers knows that despite the fact that Andy Loden will be moving up to the UARA-STARS Series coming off of three-straight championships at Hickory, that the competition is going to be incredible this season.

“I’ve heard Jamie Yelton is coming back to run Hickory every week and he’s going to be tough, but you can’t count out Andy Mercer. Mercer got on a roll last season and nearly knocked off (Andy)Loden, but I’m sure I’m leaving someone else out that’s going to be good. I’m going to be good, I just hope we’re good enough to beat those guys every week.”

LeFevers goals are simple. First he wants to run up front every week, the second is to win as many races as possible and third he wants to win a championship. Finally he would like to attempt the big races at the end of the year like Martinsville and Myrtle Beach, but he’s going to see where the season takes him first.

He’s got the desire, the dedication and the will power, but luck will likely help shape this young drivers season and he’s hoping to get a little of the same luck that carried him to five wins last season to help propel him to a championship this season. LeFevers has certainly aligned himself with the right people as he runs a Pistone LTO Chassis powered by a RP Racing Engine and sometimes a crate engine.

“Tom(Pistone) and his guys updated the suspension this winter and he’s been a great help to us over the last couple of seasons and Matt McCall has also helped me a lot. The success we had last year has a lot to do with those guys and I’m hoping I can give them something to cheer about this season.

I personally think he’s got what it takes and he’s certainly proved he can run with the best of them, now it’s up to he and his team to get the job done. LeFevers will be the break-out driver of the year this season so Andy Mercer and Jamie Yelton might want to get used to the view of his back bumper … maybe.