Darlington: Jason Leffler preview

DARLINGTON, SC (March 8, 2002) - There's no substitute for experience and that's exactly what Jason Leffler and his No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge Ram will be banking on when the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series takes to the track for the Craftsman ...

DARLINGTON, SC (March 8, 2002) - There's no substitute for experience and that's exactly what Jason Leffler and his No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge Ram will be banking on when the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series takes to the track for the Craftsman Anniversary 200 at the famed Darlington Raceway.

"I'm really looking forward to racing at Darlington again," said Leffler. "I've competed at Darlington in NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series cars, so I have quite a bit of experience there. It's a totally unique racetrack. The tires wear out quickly, so you slide around a lot. I like Darlington because it's a driver's racetrack. It's going to be a lot of fun racing the truck there. I'm hoping my previous experience will help us be there at the finish."

While Leffler has had plenty of track time at the 1.366-mile Darlington oval, he hasn't enjoyed the degree of success he would like at the "Track Too Tough To Tame." To date, the Long Beach, CA native has a 28th-place finish to show as his single best effort at the legendary South Carolina track.

"It seems like something always happens," said Leffler. "I've run well at Darlington only to wreck or have something else happen. In the Winston Cup races last year, I had an ignition fail in the spring and I wrecked in the fall. I was running good both times, but my luck didn't hold out."

Last year, Scott Riggs drove the Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge to a third-place finish behind Winston Cup regulars Bobby Hamilton and Ken Schrader in the inaugural Truck Series clash at Darlington. With veteran crew chief Tim Kohuth again calling the shots from pit road, Leffler knows he'll have one of the trucks to beat.

"It's very important to know that I'll have a good truck going into that race," said Leffler. "We had a great truck in the season-opening race at Daytona this year, so I don't expect anything different. I'm just going to try and be there at the end this time."

Leffler has used the month off between the first and second races of the 2002 NCTS tour to get back behind the wheel of some of his favorite types of open-wheel racecars - Midgets and USAC Silver Crown cars.

Immediately following Daytona, Leffler competed in the North American Auto Racing Series (NAMARS) Florida Winternationals. The three-time USAC National Midget Champion made a quick return to Victory Lane winning the 30-lap Midget main event opening night at Orlando Speedworld. Recently, Leffler tested his USAC Silver Crown car in preparation for the Copper World Classic at Phoenix International Raceway March 16-17.

"I like having a month off because I can go race other series and do the things I want to do," said Leffler, who will fly to Phoenix immediately after the NCTS event at Darlington. "I like to race all the time. It doesn't matter what type of car I'm in, I just want to be racing. Right now, I'm fortunate enough to be able to do that. I was able to win on opening night of the NAMARS Winternationals and I'm really looking forward to racing the Silver Crown Car at Phoenix. But, first and foremost, I'm focusing on getting a win at Darlington in my Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge."

The Craftsman Anniversary 200 at Darlington Raceway will take the green flag Friday, March 15th at 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The race will be broadcast live on MRN Radio and telecast on a tape-delayed basis Saturday, March 16 at 6 p.m. Eastern on espn2.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Jason Leffler , Ken Schrader , Scott Riggs