Jason Leffler dies in sprint car crash

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A crash in a sprint car race claimed the life of long-time NASCAR competitor Jason Leffler tonight in New Jersey.

Jason Leffler, who finished last at this past weekends race in Pocono, his lone NASCAR start of the season, crashed heavily at the Bridgeport Speedway in Swedesboro, Gloucester County, New Jersey tonight.

He was transported to Cooper Trauma Center where he was pronounced dead shortly after 9 p.m. local time.

Jason Leffler
Jason Leffler

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

Leffler got his start in the upper ranks of NASCAR in 2001, running much of that season for Chip Ganassi in the 01 car. He then participated on and off in the series, running both Nationwide and the Trucks Series. Leffler was able to win twice in Nationwide in 2004 at Nashville driving for Gene Haas and 2007 at Lucas Oil Raceway Park in Indianapolis driving for Todd Braun. His success was not limited to Nationwide as he took home a checkered flag in 2003 driving the Jim Smith ASE Dodge at Dover. Leffler also made 3 starts in the IndyCar Series, finishing 17th in the 2000 Indy 500.

"NASCAR extends its thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies to the family of Jason Leffler who passed away earlier this evening,'' NASCAR said in a statement.

"For more than a decade, Jason was a fierce competitor in our sport and he will be missed.''

Jason Leffler, Turner Motorsports Chevrolet
Jason Leffler, Turner Motorsports Chevrolet

Photo by: Ashley Dickerson, ASP Inc.

After leaving the NASCAR ranks full time in 2011, Leffler began driving 410 sprint cars. The event he died at was offering a $7,000 prize for the winner at the 0.625 mile banked oval.

Leffler is survived by his five-year-old son Charlie Dean.

"Really sad for Jason Leffler and his family,'' NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski said on Twitter.

"Thinking about his little boy.''

Kasey Kahne added to the Twitter conversation...as he was at Pocono with Leffler.

"Jason & I flew together this past weekend to Pocono. We talked sprint cars, cup cars and Charlie Dean. He loved racing & he loved his son!"

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway released a statement late tonight.

"We are very saddened at the passing of Jason Leffler. He was one of the most versatile race drivers in America, showing his talent by competing in the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during his career. He also displayed the skills that would help him reach the top levels of the sport by winning four USAC national series titles while winning on tracks throughout the Midwest. Jason was a terrific guy who always had time for everyone. Our deepest sympathies are extended to his entire family, team and fans."

Along with IMS, INDYCAR released the following statement.

"INDYCAR extends its deepest sympathies and condolences to the family of Jason Leffler for their tragic loss. Jason was a USAC champion who made three INDYCAR starts, including the 2000 Indianapolis 500. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time."

Jason Leffler
Jason Leffler

Photo by: Getty Images

World of Outlaws also released a statement.

"The World of Outlaws extends its deepest sympathy and condolences to the family and friends of Jason Leffler, a great racer and man whose life ended too soon tonight. We were always excited to see Jason enter the pits to race with the Outlaws, and he will no doubt be missed by everybody from his fellow competitors to officials to his many fans."

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About this article
Series NASCAR-CUP , INDYCAR , NASCAR-NS , SPRINT , WOO
Article type Breaking news
Tags crash, dead, jason, leffler, sadness, speedway, sprintcar