Thursday, June 13, 2013


Jason Leffler, a versatile driver who won championships in open-wheel divisions and attempted at least one full season in each of NASCAR's three national series, died Wednesday night after a crash in a 410 sprint car race at Bridgeport Speedway in New Jersey.
Leffler, 37, was pronounced dead shortly after 9 p.m., the New Jersey State Police said. Sgt. Adam Grossman told USA TODAY Sports that Leffler had to be extricated from the car after striking a wall around 8:30 p.m. He was transported to Crozer-Chester Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
He was running in second place in the first heat race of the program at the 0.625-mile, high-banked dirt oval when his car flipped several times on the front straightaway, according to eyewitness Chris Taitt, 40, of West Deptford, N.J. Taitt said Leffler's car hit the wall twice and "then it was flopping all over."
After state police arrived on the scene, the track announced the rest of the races had been canceled.
Leffler made 73 starts in the Sprint Cup Series, finishing last in his final event after completing eight laps Sunday at Pocono Raceway. He won twice in the Nationwide Series and once in the Camping World Truck Series.
The Long Beach, Calif., native, who was affectionately known as "lefTurn" and had the nickname stenciled above his driver's side window, leaves behind a 5-year-old son, Charlie.

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