Braun Racing's Season Comes to a Close under the Lights in Homestead
Braun Racing unloaded the Infinity Mobile/VoxBox Chevrolet in Homestead with high hopes of ending the season with a victory. The Homestead-Miami Speedway, for the second consecutive season, offered three grooves of racing and an added bonus of finishing under the lights this year. "The car was fast right off the trailer; I look forward to finishing this season on a high note for Braun Racing," stated Leffler.
During practice, Braun Racing focused on race runs knowing that being around at the end of the event would be the way to victory lane. Crew Chief Todd Lohse said, "Jason was comfortable in the car and it was maintaining during long runs so the team only made minor adjustments preparing for the race." Jason's qualifying run placed him 26th on the starting grid, leaving him with a lot of ground to make up once the green flag dropped.
The Ford 300 quickly proved to be a racers race, with passes being made the moment the green flag fell. Jason quickly moved through the field and was in the top 15 when the first obstacle of the night presented itself. Jason had to bring the #32 Infinity Mobile/VoxBox Chevy down pit road on lap 33 for an unscheduled pit stop due to the left front tire going down. Unfortunately for Braun Racing the evening of misfortunes was only beginning, NASCAR then penalized Jason for speeding down pit road after the stop. This dropped Leffler to the 42nd position three laps down.
The entire team continued to work hard in hopes of maintaining their position of 13th in owner's points. "The tire going down was unfortunate for us but we continued making adjustments on the car, gaining information for next year," explained Leffler.
By lap 70, the car was still too loose in traffic and tight by himself. The crew continued to make track bar adjustments but nothing was making the car handle any better. Running in the 32nd position, the caution flag flew on lap 85 collecting three cars including Leffler in the #32 Infinity Mobile/VoxBox Chevy. The damage was costly but did not end the night or the season. Lohse stated, "The toe got knocked in but the car ran okay considering the extent of the damage.
"Restarting in the 37th position, Jason stayed out of trouble for the rest of the evening and brought the Infinity Mobile/VoxBox car home in the 27th position.
The season didn't come to end as Braun Racing would have wished for but as Todd Braun stated, "We had a roller coaster season, but I believe that we showed we are a top 10 if not a top 5 team every weekend. We are looking forward to the 2006 season with Jason behind the wheel." Jason said, "Braun Racing has begun preparing for 2006 and we are planning on testing in the off season. Homestead didn't end the way we had all hoped but I look forward to driving for Todd Braun and Braun Racing and contending for the championship in 2006."