Strong run by Leffler/Netzero Hispeed Racing Team spoiled by transmission woes HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (August 18, 2003) - Jason Leffler and the NetZero HiSpeed Racing team were on course for their best finish of the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup season...
Strong run by Leffler/Netzero Hispeed Racing Team spoiled by transmission woes
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (August 18, 2003) - Jason Leffler and the NetZero HiSpeed Racing team were on course for their best finish of the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup season last weekend at the Michigan International Speedway before mid-race mechanical problems arose.
Leffler posted the third Top-15 qualifying run in the past four weeks for the Haas CNC Racing team Friday afternoon. His speed of 188.828 miles per hour around the 2.0-mile Speedway was quick enough to land him the 6th spot on the starting grid.
The green flag flew for the start of the event Sunday and Leffler immediately began making his way to the front of the field. In just four laps, Leffler, in his third race for the NetZero HiSpeed Racing team, took over third place.
A yellow flag on Lap 16 enabled the team to bring the No. O Pontiac Grand Prix into the pits for service. Crew chief Tony Furr called for minor adjustments to the car, which Leffler had indicated was loose at the start of the race. Despite falling to 10th place following the pit stop, Leffler was quickly able to race his way back into the top five. Still in the early stages of their time together, Leffler and the team had some minor miscues during pit stops throughout the day, but Leffler, a full-time competitor in the Craftsman Truck Series, guided the NetZero HiSpeed Pontiac back toward the front each time he headed out on the track. In the midst of one of the best performances of the season, hard luck hit. While leaving the pits following a routine pit stop on Lap 110 of the 200-lap event, Leffler encountered transmission problems. After pushing the car behind pit wall, the team went to work to change the transmission and rear end gear before sending him back on track 33 laps later. Still pleased with how well the car performed throughout the event, Leffler took the checkered flag in 35th.
"The NetZero HiSpeed Pontiac was really good," said Leffler. "I hate it that we had that problem with the transmission because we were going to have a pretty good finish. It's just a shame. This team has good equipment and the guys had good pit stops all day. We really had the total package until that problem. Now we've got a couple of races together under our belts and hopefully we can take some momentum from this run to Bristol. Even though the finish doesn't show it, we had a really good car and I'm proud of this team."
The NetZero HiSpeed Racing team will pair up with Leffler again next weekend as the NASCAR Winston Cup Series returns to short-track racing at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. Qualifying for the Sharpie 500 will take place Friday, August 22, with the drop of the green flag scheduled for Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. ET. The event will be telecast live on TNT and will be broadcast worldwide by PRN Radio. Leffler will also compete in the Truck Series race scheduled for Wednesday evening.