namars: Leffler wins NAMARS Orlando opener

ORLANDO, FL (February 21, 2002) - Team ASE pilot Jason Leffler returned to his Midget racing roots winning the North American Auto Racing Series (NAMARS) Florida Winternationals 30-lap main event at Orlando Speedworld, Tuesday. Leffler beat Tracy...

ORLANDO, FL (February 21, 2002) - Team ASE pilot Jason Leffler returned to his Midget racing roots winning the North American Auto Racing Series (NAMARS) Florida Winternationals 30-lap main event at Orlando Speedworld, Tuesday. Leffler beat Tracy Hines and Dave Steele to the checkered flag in debuting Keith Kunz's new pavement Midget Car chassis at the 3/8-mile paved Orlando oval.

"The car was really hooked up," said Leffler. "Keith Kunz and Pete Willoughby built me a brand new pavement chassis for the Winternationals and it couldn't have performed much better. We had an awesome Mopar engine in the car and after our heat race I knew we would have something for those guys in the feature."

Leffler qualified fifth (13.401 seconds) out of 32 cars and finished second in his eight-lap heat race. After starting seventh in the 30-lap feature event, Leffler quickly made a charge for the front, rocketing into the runner-up spot by the 15th circuit.

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series regular left little doubt why he captured three-straight USAC National Midget Championships, blasting past Hines and into the lead on a restart. Leffler then held on to the top spot for the remainder of the event beating the field to the checkered flag by a full straightaway.

"I can't say enough about this entire effort," stated Leffler. "This was a brand new car when we got here and I don't think any of us really knew how well it was going to work. Gary Stanton built us a great Mopar motor and it really showed. I was able to build up a straightaway lead by the time the race was over. We're all having a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to the rest of the week."

On Wednesday, Leffler was caught up in an early incident, but still worked his way from the rear of the field to finish sixth.

"We had something for those guys last night too, but we got caught up with some other cars and bent an axle," said Leffler. "We're going to race down here in Florida until Saturday night and then it's back to work in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. We're going to Darlington next month and I can't wait."

Leffler and his No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge Ram will take on the "Track Too Tough To Tame" in the Craftsman Anniversary 200 at Darlington Raceway Friday, March 15th at 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The race will be telecast live on ESPN and broadcast on MRN Radio nationwide.

-tase-

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About this article
Series Midget , NASCAR Truck
Drivers Jason Leffler , Tracy Hines , Dave Steele