Martinsville: Jason Leffler preview

Lffler looks to keep up momentum at Martinsville. MOORESVILLE, NC (April 7, 2003) - Jason Leffler's mission as he heads to Martinsville Speedway this weekend is to keep up the momentum he has created over the past two NASCAR Craftsman Truck...

Lffler looks to keep up momentum at Martinsville.

MOORESVILLE, NC (April 7, 2003) - Jason Leffler's mission as he heads to Martinsville Speedway this weekend is to keep up the momentum he has created over the past two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races. The driver of the Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge has overcome flying debris at Darlington and a poor qualifying effort at Mesa Marin to post two straight top-ten finishes and make a strong move from 29th to 10th in the series points standings.

"The key for us right now is to keep things rolling," Leffler said. "We had some unfortunate luck at Daytona that was out of our control but we have bounced back pretty well in the last two races. I am proud of this Ultra Motorsports team. These guys have worked real hard and hopefully it will show again at Martinsville."

If you ask Leffler why he wants so badly to win at Martinsville he will be very candid. The Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge pilot knows a looming confrontation when he sees one.

"To be honest the reason I would like to win at Martinsville is because I have had a tough time getting around there in the past," Leffler said. "I would rather win at a place like Martinsville where things don't come easy. That would be an accomplishment. You have to respect the track. It certainly has its own identity. It is a very unique racetrack, one of the most unique racetracks in NASCAR and that is what makes it great. If we ran on 1-1/2 mile tracks all the time it would get pretty boring. Martinsville is a demanding place and it provides a real test for the driver."

Challenges are plentiful on Martinsville's famed .526-mile oval. Take your pick - heavy braking, lap traffic, cold tires or getting your chassis dialed in to get off the corners and propel yourself down the long drag strip type straight-aways.

"You have to have good brakes at Martinsville but you had better have a good handling truck as well," Leffler states. "If you don't have the chassis right then you will completely use up your brakes. It is an easy place to overdrive the corner. You have to carry as much speed as you can and let the truck roll through the corner and then get on the gas. You have to be smooth both getting on the brake and getting on the throttle. If you just jump on the brakes it upsets the chassis. Martinsville is one of those places where you have to slow down to go fast. You have to keep the truck stable and you have to be able to get off the corner well to keep your speed up on the straight-aways."

What would it mean for the 27 year-old Long Beach, CA native to win a race on one of NASCAR's most hallowed grounds - a place steeped in such rich tradition that the names of legends like Petty, Allison, Pearson and Earnhardt are etched in the fans' memories?

"It would mean that I finally figured that place out," Leffler stated. "To win there with all the history and tradition would be great and I would like to be a small part of that history, but it would also mean that we as a team had solved a puzzle and finally conquered a very challenging track. I certainly think this Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge team is capable of winning at Martinsville. We just have to get the right breaks at the right time."

Saturday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway will take the green flag at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The event will be telecast live on The Speed Channel and will be broadcast worldwide on MRN Radio.

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Jason Leffler