Mesa Marin yields hard fought 7th place finish for Leffler, Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge. BAKERSFIELD, CA (March 23, 2003) - California native Jason Leffler charged through the field from his 30th starting position to secure a hard fought...
Mesa Marin yields hard fought 7th place finish for Leffler, Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge.
BAKERSFIELD, CA (March 23, 2003) - California native Jason Leffler charged through the field from his 30th starting position to secure a hard fought seventh-place finish in the Lucas Oil 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, CA on Sunday. A poor qualifying effort on Saturday, uncharacteristic for the second year NCTS competitor, forced the Team ASE/ CARQUEST Dodge driver to work his way through race traffic for the first half of the 250- lap event. Leffler drove his way into the top-ten by lap 107 and remained there for most of the event.
"We took our time working through traffic, it really wasn't too bad," Leffler said. "When you work your way up to the top 15 or top 10 trucks it gets a lot tougher to maneuver through the field. We hung in there all day and finished 7th so it worked out pretty good for us"
Leffler took the lead in the Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge from Matt Crafton late in the race and was leading when rain peppered the track and forced a caution on lap 201. Had the sun not reappeared, allowing the action on the track to continue, the 27 year-old driver might have been looking at his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win.
"It would have been nice if it had continued to rain when we were leading," Leffler said." It would have been good even if it had rained when we third but it didn't work out that way. We will just have to earn it on the racetrack."
Leffler earned $10,325 for his efforts and was also awarded the Waste Management Picking Up Places post race award for gaining the most positions on the racetrack. The Ultra Motorsports team also picked up four spots in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series standings, moving up to the 10th spot.
"It was a good day for us," Leffler stated. "We probably finished higher than the truck was capable of because our tires had more laps on them there at the end than almost everybody else. We will take the finish and the points and go on to Martinsville."
The next race for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday April 12. The event will be broadcast live by MRN Radio and the Speed Channel at 1pm.