HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (August 25, 2003) - The front end of the NetZero HiSpeed Pontiac was an early casualty of an accident-filled night of short-track racing at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. Despite early problems in the Sharpie 500, Jason...
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (August 25, 2003) - The front end of the NetZero HiSpeed Pontiac was an early casualty of an accident-filled night of short-track racing at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. Despite early problems in the Sharpie 500, Jason Leffler took the checkered flag in 26th place Saturday night.
Leffler posted a speed of 125.699 miles per hour around the .533-mile high-banked track during his qualifying run on Friday, which lined him up in the 30th spot on the starting grid for Saturday night's event. The caution flags flew almost as soon as the green flag was displayed for the start of the race. A near-record 20 yellow flags would be displayed over the course of the evening, and in typical Bristol fashion, few cars would be spared of contact during the event. The NetZero HiSpeed Pontiac Grand Prix was, unfortunately, no exception. Roush Racing teammates Greg Biffle and Jeff Burton got together on Lap 63 and Leffler had nowhere to go but into the back end of another car. Leffler was able to drive his mangled machine into the garage area where the team went to work to replace the ruptured radiator and remove sheet metal from the front of the car. It took the team only 37 laps to repair the damage and Leffler returned to the track on Lap 101 of the 500-lap event in 39th place. The speedy repair work turned out to be more important than it may have first appeared. Caution flags continued to fly and car after car went behind the wall for damage control. Able to stay out of further trouble, Leffler and the team salvaged a 26th-place finish after what looked early on to be a long, disappointing night.
"The car was pretty good there in the beginning, but the group I was racing with just stopped all of the sudden," commented Leffler. "We were just riding around for a while sorting out what we could do to help the car, but this was a typical Bristol racing and we got caught up in something that happened in front of us. The guys did a good job getting me back out and from there we just did our best to stay out of the way and log some laps. Lucky for us there was a lot of stuff going on out there, and a lot of hard racing, so we salvaged a decent finish by just riding around after the wreck."
The NetZero HiSpeed Racing team will next travel to Darlington (S.C.) Raceway for the running of the classic Mountain Dew Southern 500 next weekend. Qualifying for the event will take place Friday, August 29, with the drop of the green flag scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. (ET). The event will be telecast live on NBC and will be broadcast worldwide by MRN Radio.