DOVER, DE (May 30, 2003) NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Jason Leffler had been so close so many times before only to see victory grabbed by the jaws of defeat. This time however not even a monster, the Monster Mile at Dover International ...
DOVER, DE (May 30, 2003) NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Jason Leffler had been so close so many times before only to see victory grabbed by the jaws of defeat. This time however not even a monster, the Monster Mile at Dover International Speedway, could deter his march to the checkered flag. Leffler took the lead when Ultra Motorsports teammate Ted Musgrave suffered mechanical misfortune and then headed the field the final 57 laps to post his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win in the MBNA Armed Forces 200.
"So many times we seem to have been in position to get a win, only to have it slip away," Leffler said. "You name it and it has happened to us late in a race. Today we put it all together and it is an awesome feeling. Thanks to Dennis Connor, Tim Kohuth and all the guys on this Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge. They gave me a great truck and great stops all day and we finally got to Victory Lane."
Connor joined the Ultra Motorsports team as Crew Chief just three days prior to the race to allow Kohuth to concentrate on his General Manager duties. The new combination paid off big for Leffler who pocketed $52,485 for his efforts.
"It is absolutely wonderful, it's spectacular," said Connor. "He is an awfully talented young driver working with a talented team. Tim Kohuth helped me tremendously. His contribution this week has been enormous. I guess I have a reputation of keeping young aggressive drivers focused and that was my contribution to Jason's first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win."
Leffler started the event in the 10th position after inclement weather washed out Thursday's qualifying session. He steadily moved his way forward and was ready to pounce when Musgrave's engine seized on lap 142. Leffler was not to be denied over the last third of the race, and he beat Bobby Hamilton to the checkered flag by 3.01 seconds. "We feel like we have just broken through a wall," Kohuth said. "Everybody always says that the first one is the toughest race to win. We have that behind us now and we can concentrate on racing. Jason, Dennis and the whole crew did a great job today and hopefully we served notice that this is a team to be reckoned with." "I won the Hoosier Hundred last May and in my heart that was one of my biggest wins," Leffler said. "I have won a lot of USAC races but to win a NASCAR Touring Series race is really incredible. I can't wait to get to Texas. We are going to use the same truck we used at Charlotte and we know it's fast."
Leffler climbed two spots in the NCTS points standings and now resides in the 7th position, 197 points behind Hamilton. The next race for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series combatants is at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday June 6th. The event will be broadcast live by the Speed Channel and MRN Radio at 9:00 pm ET.