FT WORTH, TX (September 13, 2002) - Jason Leffler hung on for an eighth-place finish after battling an ill-handling Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge throughout the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Silverado 350 at Texas Motor Speedway Friday night. "The ...
FT WORTH, TX (September 13, 2002) - Jason Leffler hung on for an eighth-place finish after battling an ill-handling Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge throughout the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Silverado 350 at Texas Motor Speedway Friday night.
"The ASE/CARQUEST Dodge was okay tonight, but we never really had a truck capable of running up front," commented Leffler. "We were tight for most off the night, but after our first pit stop, the truck got a little better. With the aerodynamic package on the Dodge trucks, we have a terrible aero-push in traffic on the superspeedways. I just hung on and did all I could do. We finished eighth, but it feels like we finished 28th. It's still a Top-10, so we'll just keep working."
In qualifying, Leffler circled the 1.5-mile Texas oval in 30.510 seconds, posting the eighth fastest speed in time trials. The effort marked the first time in 17 NCTS events in which the Long Beach, CA driver qualified outside the Top-7.
"We put all we had into our qualifying lap," said Leffler. "We were running wide open on the bottom. As far as practice went, we spent a lot of time just trying to get our ASE/CARQUEST Dodge where we needed it to be for the race. We've won a lot of poles this season and haven't been able to crack the Winner's Circle. I was hoping maybe that would turn out to be a good omen for us, but everyone is still keeping their spirits up, so we'll just keep doing what we've got to do."
When the green flag dropped, Leffler settled in to the Top-10 for the first third of the 146-lap contest. With no caution flags in sight, the three-time USAC National Midget Champion made the hard left on to pit road for four fresh tires, a chassis adjustments and a full load of fuel.
Back on track, Leffler hung around the Top-10 until the first caution flag of the evening flew on Lap 102. Leffler again headed down pit road, this time for right-side tires and another chassis adjustment. Quick work by the Team ASE "Ultra Bad Boys" netted Leffler six spots on pit road and returned him to the action in third.
As the race wound down, the 26-year-old driver couldn't overcome the handling of his No. 2 mount, eventually finishing eighth, his 11th Top-10 of the season. The effort earned Leffler $11,245 and dropped him to seventh in the NCTS championship standings heading into next week's event at South Boston.
The Hardee's 250 at South Boston Speedway will take the green flag Saturday, September 21 at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The 18th race of the 2002 NCTS tour will be telecast live on espn2 and broadcast live on MRN Radio nationwide.