Leffler, Team ASE/CarQuest Dodge look to rebound at Memphis. MEMPHIS, TN (June 14, 2002) - Following a disappointing run on the high-banks of Texas Motor Speedway, Jason Leffler and his Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge are looking to rebound when the ...
Leffler, Team ASE/CarQuest Dodge look to rebound at Memphis.
MEMPHIS, TN (June 14, 2002) - Following a disappointing run on the high-banks of Texas Motor Speedway, Jason Leffler and his Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge are looking to rebound when the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series returns to Memphis Motorsports Park for the fifth running of the O'Reilly Auto Parts 200.
"Memphis a definitely the kind of place where the driver comes more into play and takes on a greater role," said Leffler of the .75-mile track. "It's got very tight corners, so we'll be looking for a lot of forward bite exiting the turns especially over the long run. The front straightaway is kinked a little so you can arc the truck out to get through one and two, but Turns 3 and 4 are really tight. There's also a bump in the track right before the entrance to Turn 3, so that gives Memphis a little character as well. I've got quite a bit of experience at Memphis and I always enjoy racing there."
That experience just might be what propels Leffler to his first NCTS career victory. Leffler has five previous starts at Memphis including three in the USAC Silver Crown ranks that resulted in a pair of Top-5s including a third-place finish in 1999. The Long Beach, CA driver also has two Busch Series starts for Joe Gibbs Racing and hopes to capitalize on the knowledge he gained racing a stock car at Memphis.
"Over the long run, I'll have to take it a little easier and ease it up off the corner a little more than I will with fresh tires," explained Leffler who comes into the annual Memphis clash fifth in the 2002 NCTS championship chase. "I'm sure with the way the carburetor is and with fresh tires, I'll be able to get after it. As the run goes on, I'll have to be a little more careful. We've got a great spring and shock package for the short tracks, so that's also going to be a very critical component of our being successful at Memphis."
Last year at MMP, Scott Riggs started third and drove the ASE/CARQUEST Dodge to a second-place finish. Meanwhile, Leffler is coming off a bittersweet run at Texas where he won the pole but crashed out of the race in the late going.
"We had a bad night at Texas," commented Leffler. "The ASE/CARQUEST Dodge was absolutely on a rail, but we got caught up with some lapped traffic and that was pretty much the end of our night. There's no doubt we've had a fast truck everywhere we've been so far, so now we just need some good luck. We're going to try and bounce back this weekend at Memphis and see if we can't get that first win of the season for ASE, CARQUEST and all the guys on this team.
The O'Reilly Auto Parts 200 at Memphis Motorsports Park will take the green flag Saturday, June 22 at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The seventh race of the 2002 NCTS tour will be telecast live on ESPN and broadcast on MRN radio nationwide.
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 non-profit 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.