Phoenix: Jason Leffler Copper Classic report

Leffler Soldiers To 11th-Place Finish In Copper World Classic AVONDALE, AZ (March 17, 2002) - After battling an ill-handling No. 11 Mopar/ASE/Ultra Wheels George Snider special, Jason Leffler brought home an 11th-place finish in the 25th annual...

Leffler Soldiers To 11th-Place Finish In Copper World Classic

AVONDALE, AZ (March 17, 2002) - After battling an ill-handling No. 11 Mopar/ASE/Ultra Wheels George Snider special, Jason Leffler brought home an 11th-place finish in the 25th annual USAC Silver Crown Copper World Classic at Phoenix International Raceway.

"I had my hands full, that's for sure," commented Leffler. "We had a great car, but I picked up a pretty bad vibration about halfway through the race and we ended up finishing 11th. Considering the way the car was handling, I'm not too disappointed, but I would have definitely liked to have been up front fighting for the win."

Leffler qualified sixth in the 30-car field, turning a lap of 26.075 seconds on the one-mile PIR oval. Although the qualifying run was short of his 2000 track record, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series regular had no doubt he left something on the table.

"I feel like I left about half a second on the racetrack," commented Leffler following his qualifying run. "I drove the car really deep into Turn three and slid up in the gray part of the corner and I had all I could do to keep it going straight. If it wasn't for that, I'm pretty sure we would have been a threat for the pole."

Leffler kept his factory-backed Mopar powered Beast Chassis in contention during the majority of the 100-lap event, running in the Top-7 until the red flag was displayed on Lap 72 following a two-car wreck on the front straightaway. Following the red flag, the entire field headed for pit road. Leffler opted to change a right-rear tire under the red flag condition and in accordance with USAC rules, the 1998 Silver Crown champion was forced to restart at the tail of the field.

"I don't think we had any choice under the circumstances," said Leffler. "The car was vibrating so bad that I was losing all of my straightaway speed. We decided to change the right-rear and take our chances coming from the back. I was never able to make up the ground we needed to fight for the win, but I still think we made the right decision."

Back under green, Leffler quickly made a charge, picking up 6 spots by the time the checkered flag flew. The 11th-place effort earned Leffler $2,734 and positioned him 11th in the USAC Silver Crown championship standings after one event.

Next up for Jason Leffler will be a return to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series were he will wheel his No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge Ram at Martinsville (VA) Speedway. The Advance Auto Parts 250 will get underway Saturday, April 13 at 2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The event will be telecast live on ESPN and broadcast on MRN Radio nationwide.

ABOUT ASE:
ASE (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence) also has a long involvement in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. As the primary sponsor on the No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST entry, the non-profit organization has been able to highlight its efforts to provide the highest quality professional technician certification and assessment services at all levels of vehicle maintenance and repair. In addition to ASE's racing involvement, the organization is active in numerous civic, charitable, educational and humanitarian activities.

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Series USAC
Drivers Jason Leffler