MOORESVILLE, NC (July 14, 2003) With one NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win under his belt, Jason Leffler would like nothing more than to add another to his list of accomplishments. If there is a place that Leffler could pick to add to his win...
MOORESVILLE, NC (July 14, 2003) With one NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win under his belt, Jason Leffler would like nothing more than to add another to his list of accomplishments. If there is a place that Leffler could pick to add to his win total, then Gateway International Raceway, near St. Louis, just might be it. Last year, the Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge driver started fifth and moved through the frontrunners but ended up with one of those infamous second place finishes. This weekend's Ram Tough 200 at Gateway affords Leffler a chance to improve on last year's effort.
"I really, really enjoy Gateway," Leffler said. "The reason I enjoy it so much is because it is different, definitely unique. Gateway has two distinctly different ends of the racetrack. I think that provides me with an advantage. I enjoy the fact that this place is an odd shaped track with its own set of challenges and characteristics. Some of the other drivers probably don't look at it that way. It is a flat track with one set of high-banked corners down in turns one and two. Also you get to shift at Gateway and I like that a lot. Anything that varies from the norm on a racetrack, I like. We came close last year - hopefully we can move up one spot this year."
Leffler's history at Gateway isn't limited to just the one NCTS event. He has competed in the USAC Silver Crown race here on several occasions and has one NASCAR Busch Series start. He finished 15th in the 2000 CARQUEST Auto Parts 250 at Gateway.
"This racetrack is a lot of fun not only in the trucks, but in the open wheel events too," Leffler stated. "In the Silver Crown cars, I finished fourth in one race, was running second in another and then fell out, and I finished second once. I have led a bunch of laps and it is just a great place to race. Gateway is one of my favorite tracks and it is definitely a driver's racetrack. I know I'll be moving around a lot on the track all weekend searching for a quicker line. That's my kind of racing."
Leffler and his Ultra Motorsports teammates are looking for their fifth straight top-ten finish and their third top-five finish in their last four starts. It is exactly this type of consistency that propels a team toward the top of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series standings.
"By my count we are still in the points race," Leffler said. "We are currently in the eighth spot but things can change quickly in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. We are only 167 points out of first place and that by no means is an insurmountable deficit. This team has a lot of character, and crew chief Dennis Connor has a ton of experience in championship battles so we are not about to concede anything at this point."
The Ram Tough 200 at Gateway International Raceway is scheduled for Saturday July 19 at 9:00 ET. The event will be broadcast live by the Speed Channel and MRN Radio.