LATE-RACE WRECK SPOILS SOLID RUN FOR LEFFLER, TEAM ASE/CARQUEST DODGE AT PHOENIX AVONDALE, AZ (November 8, 2002) - What appeared to be a solid Top-10 run for Jason Leffler and his No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge Ram turned into a 16th-place finish...
LATE-RACE WRECK SPOILS SOLID RUN FOR LEFFLER, TEAM ASE/CARQUEST DODGE AT PHOENIX
AVONDALE, AZ (November 8, 2002) - What appeared to be a solid Top-10 run for Jason Leffler and his No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge Ram turned into a 16th-place finish after a late-race incident Friday in the Chevy Silverado 150 at Phoenix International Raceway.
"I guess I misjudged the No. 4 truck (Ryan Hemphill) coming off Turn 4 and got turned around," explained Leffler. "The Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge wasn't as fast as we had hoped today, but we were in line for a decent finish. I hate it for all the guys on the team. They worked real hard to put a good truck underneath me and, unfortunately, we weren't able to capitalize on it."
In qualifying, Leffler toured the one-mile Phoenix oval in 28.228 seconds (127.533 mph), good enough for the seventh-fastest time of the 42 trucks attempting to make the field.
"The balance was little off on our No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge and we would have liked to have been a little faster," said Leffler. "It helps to have some experience around a track like Phoenix. It seems like no matter what kind of car or truck you drive around here, the line is pretty much the same. Having some laps around this place in some other series can really help you a lot. Track position is critical at a place like this. It's a racing type of track, but it's still hard to get through the pack if you're behind."
Leffler was as fast as the leader in the early stages of the race picking up three spots by Lap 50. Following the second caution period of the afternoon, Leffler headed for pit road to the attention of the Tim Kohuth and the "Ultra Bad Boys" for fresh tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment.
Back on track in the 10th position, Leffler quickly picked up three spots before the handling on his Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge began to fade. Still solidly in the Top-10, Leffler was caught up in the Turn 4 incident with five laps remaining dropping him 16th in the final running order.
The effort netted Leffler $9,840 in prize money and kept him fifth in the NCTS championship chase, only six points behind fourth-place David Starr heading into the final event of the season.
The Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway will take the green flag Friday, November 15 at 3:15 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The 22nd and final race of the 2002 NCTS tour will be telecast by espn2 and broadcast live on MRN Radio nationwide.