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Rediff.com  » Sports » Leffler dies after accident in dirt car event

Leffler dies after accident in dirt car event

June 13, 2013 16:43 IST

NASCAR driver Jason Leffler died after an accident on late Wednesday night at a dirt car event at Bridgeport Speedway, according to Associated Press.

The 37-year-old Leffler, a two-time winner on the Nationwide Series, was pronounced dead shortly after 9 p.m. local time, New Jersey State Police said.

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

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

After losing his NASCAR ride, Leffler had been racing dirt car events most of this year, including the 410 Sprint Car race Wednesday that promised a $7,000 prize to the winner at the 0.625-mile (1-kilometer), high-banked dirt oval.

On Sunday, Leffler finished last at Pocono in his lone NASCAR Sprint Cup start of the year.

From Long Beach, California, Leffler made 423 starts in NASCAR's three national series, but won just the two Nationwide races and one Truck Series event in a career that began in 1999.

He also made three IndyCar Series starts, finishing 17th in the 2000 Indianapolis 500.

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.

Photograph: Geoff Burke/Getty Images