NASCAR mourns death of Jason Leffler

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NASCAR is in mourning after driver Jason Leffler died in an accident at a dirt car event at Bridgeport Speedway.

Leffler was pronounced dead shortly after 9pm on Wednesday evening following a crash in his 410 sprint car race in New Jersey.

The 37-year-old died after his car struck a wall. He was transported to the Crozer-Chester Medical Center, where his passing was confirmed by doctors.

"NASCAR extends its thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies to the family of Jason Leffler who passed away earlier this evening," read a statement. 

"For more than a decade, Jason was a fierce competitor in our sport and he will be missed."

Bridgeport Speedway immediately suspended racing for the rest of the night after Leffler's accident at the 0.625-mile, high-banked dirt oval.

Leffler, who drove under the nickname 'LefTurn' was a versatile driver, making 423 starts in NASCAR's three national series, winning two Nationwide races.

He also made three IndyCar series starts and finished 17th in the Indianapolis 500 in 2000.

USA Today quote New Jersey State Police Sgt. Adam Grossman as saying that Leffler 'had to be extricated from the car after striking a wall around 8:30 p.m'.

Eye-witnesses say Leffler was running in 2nd place when his car flipped several times on the straight before hitting the wall twice.

A statement from Indianapolis Motor Speedway described Leffler as "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."

Leffler, who left Nascar in 2011, is survived by his 5-year-old son.


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