Leffler, Team ASE/Carquest Dodge look to navigate Nashville
MOORESVILLE, NC (Aug. 5, 2003) Jason Leffler is returning to the scene of the crime. After starting in the back of the pack in last year's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Nashville Superspeedway, Leffler rocketed through the pack and seemed to be in a position to challenge the leaders for the win when disaster struck in the form of a cut tire on lap 133. The ensuing crash and resulting 28th place finish erased any hopes the Californian had for winning and put a big dent in his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series title hopes.
"The Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge was handling great," said Leffler. "We were going for track position on our last stop, and it would have worked if it hadn't been for that cut tire. After pit stops cycled through, we were fourth and in good position to race with the leaders if we could have gotten a caution. Unfortunately, we were the caution."
Leffler knows from last year's experience that his team can prepare a good truck for Nashville's 1.33 mile tri-oval. He also knows that history is on his side when it comes to racing on concrete surfaces. Leffler captured his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win at Dover International Speedway earlier this year.
"The concrete surfaces at Nashville and at Dover provide a little bit different feel," Leffler said. "It is not as temperature sensitive or heat sensitive as some of the other tracks we run. It is not even as rubber sensitive as most other tracks. You do get build up on the track and you have to move around and find a groove that works for you. I personally really like the concrete surface. I have had some really good runs at Dover, and the Ultra Motorsports team has had great success here at Nashville as well, so I really look forward to racing there again this time. We had a really good truck there last year and I expect we will have another good one on Friday night."
Leffler has some ground to make up in this year's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series standings. He lost 47 points to leader Travis Kvapil due to his late race misfortune at Indianapolis Raceway Park last weekend. Leffler has no doubt, however, that his Ultra Motorsports team is up to the task of bouncing back in fine fashion.
"This is a very resilient team," Leffler said. "These guys will be focused on giving me the best truck possible on Friday night. We know we need to post some good finishes to keep ourselves in the championship fight, and crew chief Dennis Connor and the rest of our guys are up to the challenge."
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Nashville Speedway is slated for Friday August 8th at 9:00 pm ET. The event will be broadcast live by the Speed Channel and MRN Radio.