Leffler, Team ASE/CARQUEST second at California Speedway. FONTANA, CA (November 2, 2002) - Jason Leffler steered his No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge to a solid second-place finish in the American Racing Wheels 200 at California Speedway Saturday.
Leffler, Team ASE/CARQUEST second at California Speedway.
FONTANA, CA (November 2, 2002) - Jason Leffler steered his No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge to a solid second-place finish in the American Racing Wheels 200 at California Speedway Saturday. The runner-up effort completed a 1-2 finish for Leffler and his Ultra Motorsports teammate, Ted Musgrave, who won the 100-lap NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series test on the two-mile Fontana oval.
"What a great day for Ultra Motorsports and our team owner, Jimmy Smith," said Leffler. "To come to his hometown - this is my hometown too, I'm from Long Beach - and finish 1-2 is a great day. I'm sure Jimmy is gloating a little bit right now."
Leffler opened the weekend by turning in the eighth-fastest time in qualifying touring the Fontana oval in 41.212 seconds (174.706 miles per hour).
"Our Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge handled great in qualifying," said Leffler. "That lap felt like the best lap we had turned all weekend, but it just wasn't as fast as we had hoped. We worked hard in Happy Hour and got the truck where it drove really nice. We were in great shape when the green flag dropped."
Leffler wasted little time powering his Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge into the lead past pole sitter David Starr on Lap 13. The 27-year-old Leffler paced the next eight circuits before settling into a Top-5 spot and heading for pit road on Lap 20.
"The truck was really good right off the start and went right up to the front and led some laps," said Leffler. "When we made our first pit stop and got our second set of tires, the balance of the truck was off a little bit and we lost some time there. It took us to the very end of the race to where we got back up front."
A second pit stop cycled Leffler back to ninth with 35 circuits remaining. From there on out, Leffler was on a mission marching his way past the competition to finish second behind his teammate, Musgrave.
"We're trying to win," Leffler stated. "You can't try too hard because that's when you make mistakes. I did that earlier in the year and it probably took us out of having a shot to win a couple of races. I was trying to get up to Ted at the finish and if I would have caught him, you can be sure I would have tried to pass him.
"If we can run in the Top-5 every week, I'm happy and the team is happy," Leffler concluded. "The last three races we've been off a little bit, so to come here and run well, lead some laps and finish in the Top-5 lifts everyone's spirits."
Leffler collected $36,175 for the top finish, his sixth runner-up effort of the 2002 NCTS season. He also earned 175 championship points to move within 189 markers of first place with two events remaining.
Next up for Leffler and his Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge will be the Chevrolet Silverado 150 at Phoenix International Raceway Friday, November 8 at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The 21st race of the 2002 NCTS tour will be telecast live on espn2 and broadcast live on MRN Radio nationwide.