DOVER, DE (May 31, 2002) - Jason Leffler overcame a pit road miscue to score a ninth-place finish in the MBNA America 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Dover Downs International Speedway Friday. Leffler's No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge...
DOVER, DE (May 31, 2002) - Jason Leffler overcame a pit road miscue to score a ninth-place finish in the MBNA America 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Dover Downs International Speedway Friday.
Leffler's No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge Ram was clearly one of the fastest trucks on the high-banked Dover "Monster Mile" leading the event for 26 laps in the early going. Leffler's shot at his first series win then went by the wayside on Lap 52 when he and the rest of the field pitted during the second caution period of the event.
" I had a great truck all day long I just screwed up," said Leffler. "I pitted out of the box, lost a lap and never got it back The rest of the day just never played in our favor, we never caught the caution flags right and we couldn't get back on the lead lap. I thought I had a chance to get my lap back but it didn't work out. What it boils down to is we had a mistake in the pits and it was the driver's fault."
The NASCAR mandated one-lap penalty dropped the Long Beach, CA driver back to 17th in the running order. Leffler managed to claw his way back through the field only to stay one circuit in arrears to Ultra Motorsports teammate and eventual race winner Ted Musgrave.
" Everybody on the ASE/CARQUEST Dodge team did a great job all weekend long," stated Leffler. "We struggled when we unloaded in practice, well we struggled for us, we hadn't been as fast as we wanted all weekend. We had a good truck in the race, probably a third or fourth place truck. The guys on the crew just kept digging and that's all you can ask for."
In the closing stages, Leffler was again one of the quickest trucks on the speedway closing to ninth. At the finish, he was running with the Top-3 trucks as they crossed under the checkered flag.
The never-say-die effort earned Leffler $14,175 in prize money but more importantly, kept his Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge in the hunt for the 2002 NCTS championship. Leffler is now fifth in the season standings, just 47 points out of first place with 16 events remaining in the season.
Leffler and his "Ultra Bad Boys" will next point their potent Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge Ram south and head for Texas Motor Speedway and the O'Reilly 400 Friday, June 7. The event will take the green flag at 9 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time and will be telecast live on ESPN and broadcast on MRN Radio nationwide.