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Jason Leffler 1975-2013
Jason Leffler gave Toyota it's first win in the then NASCAR Busch Series. He won the Kroger 200 at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis in 2007.
Leffler was a two-time winner of the Nationwide Series. He had been racing for over a decade, with experience in so-called midget race cars as well as the Indianapolis 500, where he placed 17th in 2000.
Leffler, a Long Beach, Calif. native, competed in all three of NASCAR's national touring series from 1999-present. He made 73 starts in Sprint Cup, 294 in Nationwide and 56 in the Camping World Truck Series. Leffler, who began racing at age 12, won four USAC championships and was inducted into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2003.
Last Sunday, Leffler made his only NASCAR appearance of the season in the 400- mile Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway. He finished last, driving the No. 19 Toyota for Humphrey Smith Racing.
"NASCAR extends its thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies to the family of Jason Leffler who passed away earlier this evening," the organization said in a Twitter posting. "For more than a decade, Jason was a fierce competitor in our sport and he will be missed."
"We are very saddened at the passing of Jason Leffler," Indianapolis Motor Speedway CEO J. Douglas Boles said in a statement. "He was one of the most versatile race drivers in America, showing his talent by competing in the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during his career.
"He also displayed the skills that would help him reach the top levels of the sport by winning four USAC national series titles while winning on tracks throughout the Midwest. Jason was a terrific guy who always had time for everyone. Our deepest sympathies are extended to his entire family, team and fans."
Without a ride in NASCAR, Leffler decided earlier this year to return to his grass roots of open-wheel racing.
Leffler was single. He is survived by 5-year-old son, Charlie Dean.
"Really sad for Jason Leffler and his family. Thinking about his little boy," Brad Keselowski, the defending Sprint Cup champion, tweeted
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