Leffler, Team ASE/CarQuest Dodge poised for success at Gateway. MADISON, IL (April 26, 2002) - In an era dominated by high-banked superspeedways, a little variety always adds a degree of excitement. For Jason Leffler, driver of the No. 2 Team ...
Leffler, Team ASE/CarQuest Dodge poised for success at Gateway.
MADISON, IL (April 26, 2002) - In an era dominated by high-banked superspeedways, a little variety always adds a degree of excitement. For Jason Leffler, driver of the No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge Ram, Gateway International Raceway is a welcome stop on the 2002 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series tour.
"Gateway is really unique," said Leffler. "We race on a lot of high-banked superspeedways where all you have to do is hold the throttle wide open and turn the wheel every once in a while. Gateway is definitely a driver's racetrack. I know I'll be moving around a lot on the track all weekend searching for a faster lane. That's my kind of racing."
One of Leffler's proudest career moments came at Gateway in 1998 at the USAC Silver Crown season finale. While the Long Beach, CA driver didn't win the race, he managed a fourth-place finish and with it, clinched the Silver Crown championship by just 16 markers.
"We won the Silver Crown championship for ASE at St. Louis in 1998," commented Leffler. "We were behind by about 10 points going into the final race of the year and Brian Tyler, who was leading at the time, had some trouble. We finished fourth and that was enough to clinch the title. That's a big reason why I always enjoy going to St. Louis."
Along with his Silver Crown experience, Leffler has logged laps in other divisions at Gateway including a 15th-place finish in the 2000 CARQUEST 250 NASCAR Busch Series Race.
"Anytime you have a lot of laps on a particular racetrack, especially one that's as unique as Gateway, you're able to take some of that information back and use it to your advantage," said Leffler." I'll race the track a lot different than I did in the Silver Crown Car just because of the big weight difference between the open wheel car and the truck. Also, with my experience in a Busch car, I should have a pretty good feel for what it's going to take to go fast in a heavier vehicle."
Last year, Ultra Motorsports drivers Ted Musgrave and Scott Riggs came away with a one-two finish in the Gateway NCTS event. This time around, Leffler will be wheeling the same ASE/CARQUEST Dodge that finished second a year ago. He'll also be riding the momentum of a career-best sixth-place finish in the most recent Truck Series stop at Martinsville Speedway.
"We had a pretty good day at Martinsville," said Leffler, currently 11th in the NCTS championship chase . "I qualified second, led some laps and ran up front all afternoon. My truck got real tight in the middle of the race, so we came up a little short on getting back to the leaders. It was a good points day for us. Hopefully we'll be able to carry that momentum on through to St. Louis and get a win for ASE, CARQUEST and Ultra Motorsports."
The Ram Tough 200 at Gateway International Raceway will take the green flag Sunday, May 5 at 4 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The fourth race of the 2002 NCTS tour will be telecast live on ESPN and broadcast on MRN Radio nationwide.
ASE (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence) also has a long involvement in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. As the primary sponsor on the No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST entry, the non-profit organization has been able to highlight its efforts to provide the highest quality professional technician certification and assessment services at all levels of vehicle maintenance and repair. In addition to ASE's racing involvement, the organization is active in numerous civic, charitable, educational and humanitarian activities.