CHESAPEAKE (WAVY) — It was a moment Nick Leitz had been dreaming of since his parents first introduced him to the NASCAR when he was only 10 years old. Though, the moment didn’t quite arrive how he might have envisioned.

The weekend before last, Leitz, 25, found himself racing against some of the best drivers in the world in one of NASCAR’s premiere circuits when he made his debut in the Camping World Truck Series.

“Growing up my whole life, watching it on TV and being able to do it is just a huge accomplishment,” said Leitz, a graduate of Hickory High School.

Leitz finished 26th at Nashville Superspeedway. It was the first time he’d ever set foot inside a race truck.

“Never sat in a truck before,” said Leitz, who only managed to get in eight laps of practice time before qualifying. “(To) go out and qualify, make the show and then learn as I go through the race as a big learning experience.”

Leitz first made a name for himself as a go-kart champion at Langley Speedway. He won the regular season championship in only his second season of racing.

He’s since become a dominant late-model driver at Dominion Raceway, and other tracks in North Carolina and South Carolina. “Amazing to go from where (he) started to making it to the big time, and him being out there on the big track with those drivers that he’d looked up to,” said Ken Leitz, Nick’s father.

Nick Leitz is hoping his next chance on one of those “big” tracks comes in August, when the Truck series makes a stop in Richmond. He’s still looking for a sponsor, but with any luck and a little help, Leitz is hoping his career takes him far beyond a few stops in the truck series.

“If we can do trucks, and then maybe win in that, then go Xfinity series, win in that, maybe go to Cup series and win a championship one day is probably the main goal,” said Leitz.