NASCAR driver Jason Leffler, a two-time winner in racing’s Nationwide Series, died Wednesday night following a crash in a dirt track race in Bridgeport, New Jersey.
Leffler was 37.
The crash occurred Wednesday at Bridgeport Speedway, a .625-mile, high-banked dirt oval, where the rest of the night’s race card was immediately suspended.
Leffler won three straight USAC Midget championships from 1997-1999 before joining the NASCAR ranks. He ran in 423 races in NASCAR’s three national series, winning twice in Nationwide events and once in the Truck Series. Leffler finished sixth in the Nationwide standings in 2011. He also made three IndyCar Series starts, and finished 17th in the Indianapolis 500 in 2000.
Although Leffler had lost his NASCAR ride after the 2011 season, and was competing this year mainly in “start-and-park” opportunities such as the one in Bridgeport on Wednesday, he raced in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event as recently as last Sunday, finishing last at the Party in the Poconos 400 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, here in Pennsylvania.