Jason Leffler, Bob East Highlight "Silver Bullet" Opener in Orlando

LEFFLER HEADLINES WDWS COORS LIGHT "SILVER BULLET" OPENER EAST BEGINS NEW CAREER AS A USAC CAR OWNER Defending USAC Silver Crown National Champion Jason Leffler of Long Beach, Calif. was the first entry for the 1999 Coors Light ...

LEFFLER HEADLINES WDWS COORS LIGHT "SILVER BULLET" OPENER EAST BEGINS NEW CAREER AS A USAC CAR OWNER

Defending USAC Silver Crown National Champion Jason Leffler of Long Beach, Calif. was the first entry for the 1999 Coors Light Silver Bullet series opener this weekend at Walt Disney World Speedway near Orlando, Fla. In addition to Coors Light's debut as the Silver Bullet Series sponsor, Bob East, whose experience as a driver, mechanic and team manager is well documented, will debut as Leffler's car owner in the first of 15 scheduled series events in 1999. East has purchased the #9 Team ASE Pink Chevy from Goetz Racing and he and Leffler hope for better luck this time around at WDWS. Last year Jason led 35 of the 50 laps around the 1-mile paved oval, then ran out of fuel as he was taking the white flag. He was placed 12th in the official finish behind winner Brian Tyler, then came from behind to nip Tyler by just 16 points for the championship in the series' final race at Madison, Ill. in October. East is no stranger to victory lane, having served as chief mechanic for USAC National Midget Champions Tony Stewart, Stevie Reeves, Kenny Irwin, Jr. and now Leffler. As a driver, he was a top-notch Sprint car pilot on the west coast and scored USAC Sprint car wins at Ascot Park in Gardena, Calif. in both 1976 and 1978. In 1979 he was a teammate to USAC Sprint car runner-up Bubby Jones. East's mechanical expertise will have a significant presence at WDWS, since his 10-year-old business, East Enterprises, has constructed at least 15 new Silver Crown machines for the 1999 season. Leffler also captured the 1998 USAC National Midget Championship, his second in a row, and has served recently as the test driver for the Treadway Racing IRL team, whose primary driver, Arie Luyendyk, has announced he will retire after the 1999 Indianapolis 500. Jason recorded his initial Silver Crown victory last July in the "DuPont 100" at Indianapolis Raceway Park, leading all 100 laps to beat Dave Steele and Russ Gamester to the checkered flag. "I didn't anticipate winning the title last year," admits Leffler. "I planned on running some races but after nearly winning at WDWS we felt we had a good shot at it." In seven 1998 pavement starts, Jason's only finish out of the "top-10" came in the WDWS opener and he plans to make amends this year. His competition is expected to include the aforementioned Tyler, Steele and Gamester, all series winners in 1998, as well as 1998 race winners Jack Hewitt, Donnie Beechler, J.J. Yeley, Tony Elliott, Jimmy Sills and John Heydenreich, plus NASCAR Winston Cup "Rookie of the Year" Kenny Irwin, Jr. The Coors Light Silver Bullet series opener is being held in conjunction with the Indy Racing League's TransWorld Diversified Services "Indy 200." USAC practice and qualifications are scheduled Friday and a 15-lap "qualifying race" on Saturday will be followed by the 50-mile feature event at 2:30 p.m.

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Series USAC
Drivers Tony Stewart , Jason Leffler , Arie Luyendyk , Donnie Beechler , J.J. Yeley , Dave Steele , Jack Hewitt , Brian Tyler , Tony Elliott , John Heydenreich , Russ Gamester , Stevie Reeves