AVONDALE, AZ (November 5, 2002) - A pair of open-wheel wins, a pole position and a host of solid runs at Phoenix International Raceway have Jason Leffler and his No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge Ram looking forward to Friday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck...
AVONDALE, AZ (November 5, 2002) - A pair of open-wheel wins, a pole position and a host of solid runs at Phoenix International Raceway have Jason Leffler and his No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge Ram looking forward to Friday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at the famed one-mile desert oval.
"Phoenix is absolutely one of my favorite tracks," said Leffler, who has 10 career starts in various divisions at PIR. "I've won a United States Auto Club (USAC) Midget race at Phoenix and the 2000 Copper World Classic USAC Silver Crown win was one of the biggest accomplishments of my career. I've also won a pole and finished second at Phoenix in Joe Gibbs' NASCAR Busch Series car, so Phoenix has been a great track for me over the years.
"There have been a couple of races this season that I've really been looking forward to - Indianapolis Raceway Park and Phoenix," Leffler continued. "We finished second at IRP and I've been very successful at Phoenix in the past. This would be a perfect race for us to break through and get our first win of the season."
Leffler has certainly been close to visiting Victory Lane this season scoring a division-high six second-place finishes. That includes a runner-up finish to his Ultra Motorsports teammate, Ted Musgrave, at in the most recent NCTS event at California Speedway last weekend. To win at Phoenix, Leffler knows his Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge will have to have the right handling package.
"Phoenix is difficult to get around because it's so oddly shaped," explained Leffler. "It has long, wide-open straightaways and tight turns, but the racetrack still allows for side-by-side racing almost anywhere. To be honest, the Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge has been dominant on the flat miles all year. We should have won at New Hampshire, but a lapped truck took us out late in the race. We also had a great run a Milwaukee and came up a little short there. We have a great intermediate track program and anytime I get to race a truck prepared by Tim Kohuth and the 'Ultra Bad Boys,' I get pretty fired up."
Leffler enters the second-to-last event of 2002 NCTS season fifth in the championship standings, a scant 12 points behind fourth-place David Starr and 82 behind Musgrave for third.
"It's been a roller coaster season for us," commented Leffler. "We've had some really good days and some really bad days, but all in all it's been a great year. We've won a bunch of poles and led a bunch of laps. All we need to cap off the season is a win. If we could cap it all off with a win, there's no way we couldn't call this season a success. I know my way around Phoenix pretty well, so hopefully this will be our week."
The Chevrolet Silverado 150 at Phoenix International Raceway will take the green flag Friday, November 8 at 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The 21st race of the 2002 NCTS tour will be telecast live on espn2 and broadcast live 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.