BUSCH: Daytona II: Jason Leffler race notes



DAYTONA BEACH, FL (July 2, 2005) -- This Fourth of July weekend former NASCAR Busch Series winner, Jason Leffler, returned to Busch Series competition at Daytona under the lights. Leffler came into the weekend hoping to bring fireworks back to his season and the #32 WINFUEL/Braun Racing team.

In the closing laps of the Winn-Dixie 250, Leffler put himself solidly in position to battle for the win and by the time the checkered flag finally flew late Friday night, the #32 WINFUEL Chevy crossed the start-finish line in 9th position.

"It really felt good to run up front all night and to be there at the end to compete for the win," Leffler said. "I really want to thank Todd Braun, crew chief Todd Lohse, and the entire WINFUEL team for giving me such a competitive race car all weekend."

Throughout the weekend, dark rain clouds hovered around the Daytona International Speedway, dropping the occasional shower on the speedway. Persistent rainy conditions resulted in all on-track activity being cancelled on Thursday, forcing Busch Series teams to practice, qualify, and race all on Saturday.

Saturday morning practice came early, but by the end of the session Jason Leffler managed to get comfortable enough in the #32 WINFUEL Chevy to place it 15th on the speed charts. Leffler, driver of the #11 FedEx Chevrolet Monte Carlo for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, paced Daytona International Speedway in 49.842 seconds during the afternoon qualifying session, putting the #32 WINFUEL Chevy 18th on the starting grid.

From the time that Leffler took the green flag to start the Winn-Dixie 250, making his 10th NASCAR start at Daytona International Speedway, it was easy to see that the WINFUEL team would be a major factor in the race. After starting 18th, Leffler diced his way through traffic picking up 7 positions on the first lap of the race. The #32 WINFUEL Chevy broke into the top-10 by lap 5 and worked into the top-5 by lap 23. Throughout the race, Leffler continued to battle in the top-10, running as high as 2nd position.

"After the season that I've had with my #11 FedEx team in the Nextel Cup Series, it's awesome to run up front the entire race with a chance to win at the end," the 25 year-old driver said. "I actually really like racing at these restrictor plate tracks because you never know what's going to happen at the end. During that red flag, I really felt confidant that the WINFUEL guys had given me a car good enough to compete for the win. Unfortunately, we were just too far back on the restart and the line wasn't moving, but this 9th place finish feels like a win for me."

"After how well we worked together tonight, I am really excited about having the opportunity to race the WINFUEL Chevy again this season," Leffler explained. "This team is definitely capable of winning each weekend and hopefully I can help them put the #32 WINFUEL Chevy in to Victory Lane."

The Braun Racing/WINFUEL team will head north to the windy city this weekend hoping to build on their solid 9th place finish at Daytona. Live coverage of the USG Durock 300 at Chicagoland Speedway begins this Saturday, July 9 at 2:00 p.m. ET on NBC.


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Drivers Jason Leffler
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing