BUSCH: Daytona: Jason Leffler race notes

Strong Finish for Jason Leffler & the ...

Strong Finish for Jason Leffler & the #32 Lucas Oil Chevy at Daytona

Jason Leffler came into the 2006 season with confidence, never doubting that the #32 Lucas Oil Chevy could run up front at Daytona. After a few close calls, Leffler proved that he could do just that, finishing the season opener at Daytona in 6th place.

"I have said from the beginning, this team will compete in the top 10 every weekend and I think we proved that coming into Daytona," said Leffler. "We have great chemistry and the guys know what to do to get me out in front."

Leffler qualified the #32 Lucas Oil Chevy in the 24th position on Friday. "Track position is not that important at Daytona. I knew we had a strong car, the goal was to stay out of trouble and make some friendships out there," explained Leffler.

Even with a loose handling condition from the start of the race, Leffler managed to put the Lucas Oil Chevy in the top 10 by lap 17. As the race progressed, Leffler began to experience tight handling conditions causing the team to pit under caution on lap 32 for 4 tires and an air pressure adjustment. Back out on the track, Leffler was involved in a three car incident in turn 2. The #32 Braun Racing Chevy managed to squeeze through and after a brief red flag, was able to restart the race in the 10th position.

Throughout the remainder of the race, Leffler fought tight conditions causing the team to make continuous pit stops under caution. Leffler brought the Lucas Oil Chevy down on pit road on laps 77, 89, 95, 96, and 97 in hopes to free the car up. "When we were involved in the accident on lap 38, the tow was knocked out. After some major adjustments, we were able to get a handle on the car. At one point we ended up as low as the 25th position," explained crew chief Todd Lohse.

By lap 115, Leffler drove the #32 car back up into the top 10.

As the race came to a close, a big accident occurred on lap 119 right in front of Leffler and the Lucas Oil machine. After some quick maneuvering, Jason managed to clear the accident and crossed the start/finish line under caution in the 6th position.

"To start out the season, with a top 10 finish at Daytona is great. This is just the start of good things to come for this team," Leffler stated.

Jason Leffler will return home this weekend as he and the #32 Braun Racing Chevy will head out to California to race in the Stater Brothers 300. Live coverage begins this Saturday, February 25th at 3:00 PM (PST) on F/X and radio stations affiliated with MRN radio.

-br

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Series NASCAR-NS