Leigh sends this in:
I knew this man.
I parked next to him, in the pits, for several years back in my racing days.
He was a fast, smooth, and clean driver - one of the few I truly respected.
If you like, go read these articles:
Leon's trademark was that his right hand was always resting on the cockpit sheet-metal of his Modified. When he first started, one of the old timers said he was too jerky with the wheel and that he should drive with just one hand.
I can still see his two tone blue Modified blasting into turn one at Devil's Bowl. The unique sound of a lone Ford engine in a sea of Chevrolets.
The best story that I can remember about Leon, came from a guy I knew back in the 90's. George was heading down to the track at Malta, when he sees a two tone blue school bus hauling ass in the fast lane. Being Ford engine light-blue and dark-blue, he knew it was Gonyo's hauler. It was almost time for the heat races, and Leon was running late. As it was running him down, he could hear a strange noise that kept getting louder and louder. As the bus went roaring by him, he could tell what it was - Gonyo had the Modified running inside the bus as it was heading to the track. George said the alcohol fumes from the race car's exhaust was burning his eyes so bad he had to roll up his windows. If I remember correctly, the team had hurt the engine the week before and finally got the remainder of the parts just as they had to leave. On the trip from Chazy to Malta, they finished putting the engine back together. By the time they passed George in Saratoga, they were breaking the cam in and warming up the engine. They just barely made it for qualifying.
God speed, Leon.