INDIANAPOLIS, IN- (August 2, 2003) -Jason Leffler was in the midst of a hard fought battle for second place with fellow NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Travis Kvapil when all of a sudden he got that sinking feeling. The sinking feeling wasn't...
INDIANAPOLIS, IN- (August 2, 2003) -Jason Leffler was in the midst of a hard fought battle for second place with fellow NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Travis Kvapil when all of a sudden he got that sinking feeling. The sinking feeling wasn't in his stomach, but in his fuel tank. Leffler's Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge ran out of fuel with three laps to go in the Power Stroke Diesel 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, relegating Leffler to a 15th place finish and a disappointing end to a promising day.
"We just ran out of fuel there at the end," Leffler said. " We thought we could make it but we just came up a little shy. The Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge was pretty good and we were trying for another top five finish but we didn't make it. As they say, that's racing."
Leffler started the race in the 2nd position after a qualifying run of 22.931 seconds (107.697 mph) placed him on the outside of the front row. He was able to forge his way to the front of the pack when leader Terry Cook became entangled with Andy Petree on lap 21. The Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge was stout over the next 40 laps with Leffler building a lead of more than a straightaway over the course of the long green flag run. When caution came out on lap 58, Leffler brought his Ultra Motorsports entry to the attention of his crew. The ensuing two tire and fuel stop put him out in the fourth position, first among trucks that elected to pit. After the restart on lap 64, Leffler continued his strong run staying among the top three positions through several cautions and an extended green flag run. Leffler inherited the second position when Rick Crawford ran out of fuel with a handful of laps to go and was attempting to hold off Kvapil when the same misfortune befell his Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge on lap 197.
"Our truck was awesome in the first part of the race," Leffler stated after the event. "We were able to get the lead and get out in clean air and build a good lead. When we came for our first stop we put right side tires on. After that the truck developed a little push and I think that may have contributed to the fuel situation at the end. Anytime the truck pushes some in the corner you use more fuel. I can't say enough about this team, they gave me a really good truck."
Leffler remains optimistic about his team's performance and their chances in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points race. He remains in the eighth position in the NCTS standings, 195 points back of leader Kvapil.
"We had some bad luck today but you can't get down about it," Leffer said. "We were 272 points back eight or nine races ago so we have made up some ground. It just wasn't meant to be tonight. These guys will bounce back. We have overcome adversity before."
The next stop for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series bandwagon is at the Nashville Superspeedway in Lebanon, TN. The race will be held on Friday August 8th at 9:00 ET and will be broadcast live nationally by the Speed Channel and MRN Radio.