Mesa Marin: Jason Leffler preview

Leffler hopes for happy homecoming at Mesa Marin. MOORESVILLE, NC (March 17, 2003) - Jason Leffler returns to his Southern California roots this weekend when the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series makes a stop at Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, CA.

Leffler hopes for happy homecoming at Mesa Marin.

MOORESVILLE, NC (March 17, 2003) - Jason Leffler returns to his Southern California roots this weekend when the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series makes a stop at Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, CA. Leffler, a native of Long Beach, CA is hoping to build momentum coming off a sixth-place finish at Darlington Raceway last weekend.

"This whole Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge team is pumped up," Leffler said. "We got a good finish at Darlington and now we are headed to Bakersfield. I am really looking forward to it."

Even though Leffler has not competed at the Bakersfield track in NCTS competition, he does still have fond memories of the facility. As an 18 year-old, Leffler served as a crew member for longtime friend P.J. Jones when Jones competed in the first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series exhibition race at Mesa Marin in 1994.

"I remember being in Victory Lane and thinking how much fun the whole truck series deal was," Leffler said. "I was thinking how happy I was for P.J. and how his name was going into the record books for winning that first trucks series race. I feel really fortunate to have been a part of that day especially when you consider how successful the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has become. As a kid that was a really neat experience."

What would it mean for the California native to return to Victory Lane at Mesa Marin, a track that holds such special racing memories?

"It would mean a whole lot to win so close to home," Leffler said. "There will be so many family and friends in attendance. To win in front of them would be great."

Leffler certainly hopes his homecoming results in a continued upward trend in the NCTS points standings. His Darlington finish moved the Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge team into the 14th place position. In order to continue that upward swing, the 27 year-old competitor will have to survive the close quarters racing that only a short track can provide.

"I will need to keep the fenders on the Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge," Leffler states. "The key is to take care of your equipment. You also need to make the truck maneuverable. In most of the races here the good trucks have run right on the bottom of the racetrack. However, I have seen trucks that were good up top win the race. You have to be able to get the truck to run either groove, and you have to be able to move the truck around to the fastest lane."

The Lucas Oil 250 at Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, CA is slated for Sunday March 23. The event will be broadcast live by the Speed Channel and MRN Radio at 5 pm EST.

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Jason Leffler