Leffler Bounces Back from a Crazy Night of Bristol Racing to Finish 20th Jason Leffler and the WINFUEL Chevy were fastest in final practice with a time of 15.372 and would have qualified on the outside pole if he had...
Leffler Bounces Back from a Crazy Night of Bristol Racing to Finish 20th
Jason Leffler and the WINFUEL Chevy were fastest in final practice with a time of 15.372 and would have qualified on the outside pole if he had maintained the same practice speed. Instead he qualified 23rd with a time of 15.591 with only four tenths separating the field for the Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
At the drop of the green Leffler fought a tight in and loose out handling condition. After several laps had passed the #32 WINFUEL Chevy tapped the back of the #84 car of Randy LaJoie causing both cars to spin and send out a caution flag. Leffler pitted on lap 38 for repairs to the left quarter panel and took on left side tires. The WINFUEL Chevy returned to pit road on lap 40 for right side tires and restarted the race on the lead lap in the 34th position.
When the lead lap cars came down pit road on lap 62, the WINFUEL Chevy stayed out to gain valuable track position. Around lap 75, the rain began to fall and the Food City 250 was red-flagged for just under two hours.
On the restart, Leffler started in the sixth position and was able to maintain a top 10 position until a pit stop on lap 96. "The car was just too tight and I was afraid that if we didn't come in we would wreck", stated Leffler. "The guys gave me four fresh tires and took a rubber out of the left rear to help free me up a bit. The adjustments worked out great and I was able to climb back through the field to the 10th position."
Bad luck struck Leffler and the #32 WINFUEL Chevy on lap 177 when Leffler got into the wall as he tried to avoid an accident in front of him. As a result of the accident, major damage occurred to the rear end of the car causing Leffler to make numerous pit stops for repair. Leffler relegated to the 29th position still on the lead lap. Out of contention for the win but up to speed with the leaders, Leffler continued to fight for each spot. By lap 226 he was up to 21st position. During the closing laps, Leffler passed several more cars but was shuffled to the back on the final lap resulting in a 20th place finish for the WINFUEL team.
"The WINFUEL Chevy was a handful today," admitted Leffler. "This team never gave up and all things considered I am just glad we were able to finish the race."
Leffler and Braun Racing will look to be back on top when the NASCAR Busch Series visits California Speedway this weekend. The Ameriquest 300 will be broadcast live Saturday, September 3rd at 8:00 PM eastern time on NBC and MRN radio.