Round one at Texas goes south for Leffler, Team Ase/Carquest Dodge. FT WORTH, TX (June 7, 2002) - An early dominating run turned sour for Jason Leffler and his Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge as a mid-race crash spoiled his chances of victory in the ...
Round one at Texas goes south for Leffler, Team Ase/Carquest Dodge.
FT WORTH, TX (June 7, 2002) - An early dominating run turned sour for Jason Leffler and his Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge as a mid-race crash spoiled his chances of victory in the O'Reilly 400 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.
"I'm not sure what happened," said Leffler of the Lap-106 incident that relegated him to a 27th-place finish. "Another truck lost it in front of me in Turn 1, came back up the racetrack and the truck just came around on me when I was trying avoid him. It's a shame because we were the fastest truck on the track at the time. I hate it for the guys because they worked their butts off all weekend."
The weekend started off on a much better note as Leffler blistered the 1.5-mile Ft. Worth oval in 29.914 seconds (180.517 mph) en route to his third Bud Pole in seven races this season. The top qualifying effort marked the third straight race at TMS in which the Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge rolled off from the top starting spot
"The truck was great," commented Leffler. "The guys did a great job. We were fast ever since we unloaded and we able to pick up about four-tenths of a second from practice to qualifying. My crew chief, Timmy Kohuth, and the 'Ultra Bad Boys' pulled out all the stops for those two laps."
At the drop of the green flag, Leffler dropped back to third place before snaring the lead on Lap 10. The Long Beach, CA native held on to the top spot until heading for pit road under green flag conditions on Lap 56 for four fresh tires and fuel.
Leffler sliced his way back toward the front working breaking into the Top-5 by Lap 61. Eventually, the three-time USAC National Midget Champion worked his way up to second before another pit stop and was running sixth when the Lap 106 melee ensued.
"I just don't think a lot of the lapped trucks were being very courteous tonight," commented Leffler. "That's okay, there's really nothing you can do, so I'm not going to dwell on it. We'll just look ahead to Memphis in two weeks and try and go get them there. I've got some experience there in the Midget and Busch car, so we'll keep our heads up and try and get our first win in two weeks."
Leffler earned $10,715 and maintained fifth-place in the 2002 NCTS standings, just 125 markers out of first place.
The O'Reilly Auto Parts 200 at Memphis Motorsports Park will take the green flag Saturday, June 22 at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The seventh race of the 2002 NCTS tour will be telecast live on ESPN and broadcast on MRN radio nationwide.