Leffler, Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge look towards Fontana. FONTANA, CA (October 25, 2002) - It's not everyday you get to race in your own backyard. For Jason Leffler, driver of the No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge and native of nearby Long Beach, CA,...
Leffler, Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge look towards Fontana.
FONTANA, CA (October 25, 2002) - It's not everyday you get to race in your own backyard. For Jason Leffler, driver of the No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge and native of nearby Long Beach, CA, the American Racing Wheels 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at California Speedway affords him that very opportunity.
"Even though I live in North Carolina now, it's always fun to be able to go home and race in front of my family and all my friends," commented Leffler. "My team owner Jim Smith also owns Ultra Wheels and that's just a stone's throw away from the racetrack in Buena Park. California Speedway is a great place. It's big and fast and there are two solid racing grooves, so that makes the racing a lot more fun. With so much support for our friends and family, we really want to do well. We've got a great Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge ready for California, so everyone involved is pretty stoked for this race."
With only three races remaining on the 2002 NCTS calendar, Leffler knows the time to win is now. To date this season, Leffler has nine Top-5 and 13 Top-10 finishes, including a series leading five runner-up efforts. After just missing out on a win several times this season, Leffler, a three-time USAC National Midget champion, is eager to steer his No. 2 Ultra Motorsports Dodge into Victory Lane.
"We've had a complete season with the exception of a win," said Leffler.
"Our truck has been awesome week in and week out, but we seem to be coming up a little short at the end of the day. California is a good track for me. I've got one Winston Cup and one Busch Series start there, so I'm definitely comfortable on the speedway. We haven't had a great deal of good luck on our side this season, so we're definitely looking for all that to change. My mom and my brother will both be at the race, so maybe they'll bring some good luck with them."
While the Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge has yet to see the Winner's Circle this season, Ultra Motorsports owns a winning tradition at the suburban Los Angeles track. In 1997, former driver Mike Bliss wheeled the ASE mount to a win at the inaugural No Fear Challenge. Last year, Leffler's teammate Ted Musgrave made it two wins for Ultra Motorsports at California Speedway when the veteran driver grabbed the checkered flag in Auto Club 200.
Leffler enters the California event fifth in the NCTS championship standings, 221 points behind leader Mike Bliss. While capturing the NCTS crown jewel may be a stretch with just three races remaining, the 27-year-old driver is only 52 points behind fourth-place David Starr and 72 markers behind Musgrave's third-place total.
"All we can do right now is race for wins," explained Leffler. "I guess there's still a mathematical possibility that we can win the championship, but it's pretty unlikely. We've had a monkey on our back just about all season when it comes to winning races, but the pressure is pretty much off, so we can relax a little bit now and have some fun. If we can win a race or two before the year is over, we have the potential to move up a spot or two in the points. I can't think of a better place to do it then in front of my friends and family and everyone from Ultra Wheels in California."
The American Racing Wheels 200 at California Speedway will take the green flag Saturday, November 2 at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The 20th race of the 2002 NCTS tour will be broadcast live on MRN Radio nationwide and telecast on a tape-delayed basis, Sunday, November 3 at 5 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.
ASE (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence) also has a long involvement in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. As the primary sponsor on the No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST entry, the nonprofit organization has been able to highlight its efforts to provide the highest quality professional technician certification and assessment services at all levels of vehicle maintenance and repair. In addition to ASE's racing involvement, the organization is active in numerous civic, charitable, educational and humanitarian activities.