NASCAR driver Jason Leffler killed in accident

Had raced in Bakersfield before NASCAR career

(AP) -- NASCAR driver Jason Leffler died after an accident Wednesday night in a heat race at a dirt car event at Bridgeport Speedway.
 
The 37-year-old Leffler, a two-time winner on the Nationwide Series, was pronounced dead shortly after 9 p.m., New Jersey State Police said.
 
Bridgeport Speedway is a 0.625-mile, high-banked dirt oval.
 
Leffler finished last Sunday at Pocono in his first NASCAR Sprint Cup start of the year.
 
From Long Beach, Calif., Leffler made 423 starts in NASCAR's three national series, but won just the two Nationwide races in a career that began in 1999. He also made three IndyCar Series starts, finishing 17th in the 2000 Indianapolis 500.
 
Leffler competed at the former Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield during his time with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, finishing in 7th place in 2003. Before that, he raced in the USAC Western Midget Car Series, but never won a race at Bakersfield Speedway in Oildale.
 
Leffler's last full NASCAR season was 2011, when he ran the entire Nationwide schedule for Turner Motorsports. He finished sixth in the standings that season and hadn't had a steady NASCAR ride since.
 
He had been racing sprint car events most of this year, including Wednesday night's race, which promised a $7,000 prize to the winner.
 
Leffler is survived by son Charlie Dean.
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