Charlotte II: Jason Leffler race report

HUNTERSVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA (October 12, 2003) - After fighting a loose-handling racecar and problems on pit road, Jason Leffler and the NetZero HiSpeed Racing team finished 35th in the NASCAR Winston Cup event held at Lowe's (Concord, N.C.)...

HUNTERSVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA (October 12, 2003) - After fighting a loose-handling racecar and problems on pit road, Jason Leffler and the NetZero HiSpeed Racing team finished 35th in the NASCAR Winston Cup event held at Lowe's (Concord, N.C.) Motor Speedway Saturday night. 47 cars competed for 43 starting spots Thursday evening during qualifying for the UAW-GM 500. Leffler posted a speed of 183.175 miles per hour around the 1.5-mile oval during his two-lap qualifying run, which earned him the 24th spot on the starting grid.

Leffler took the green flag for the start of the event and immediately radioed to crew chief Tony Furr that the car was extremely loose. Furr made plans to make air pressure and track bar adjustments on the first pit stop, which came on Lap 61 of the 334-lap race. Unfortunately, amongst the confusion of pit road, Leffler drove past his pit stall and was forced to make another lap around the track and duck back into the pits for service, losing two laps in the process. Leffler continued to struggle with the car during the mid stages of the race and, still fighting a loose handling machine, made contact with the wall on Lap 251. Though the damage was minimal, NASCAR black-flagged the No. 0 Pontiac to repair a piece of front valance that was dragging on the track. The team went to work to fix that problem as well as securing the tailpipes, which had become loose in the encounter. After spending an additional five laps in the pits, Leffler returned to the track to take the checkered flag in 35th place.

"Right from the start of the event the NetZero HiSpeed Pontiac was really loose," commented Leffler. "It was all I could do to hang on to it on fresh tires in the early laps of every run. We missed our pits on the first pit stop, which put us two laps down since we were making a green flag stop. It seemed like it just went from bad to worse after that. We were never able to get the car exactly where we needed it and struggled for the entire race. It wasn't one of our better days, but at least we qualified well and were able to make the car a little bit better every time we made adjustments to it. We'll just have to put this one behind us and concentrate on Martinsville (Va.) next week."

Jason Leffler and the Haas CNC Racing team also competed in the Busch Series race held Saturday morning after rain postponed the event Friday night. After qualifying 13th, Leffler posted an 11th-place finish. The NetZero HiSpeed Racing team will spend two days testing at Atlanta Motor Speedway this week, and then return to racing action at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway for the running of the Subway 500 Sunday.

Qualifying for the event will take place Friday, October 17, with the drop of the green flag scheduled for 12:30 p.m. (ET). The event will be telecast live on NBC and will be broadcast worldwide by MRN Radio.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jason Leffler