Veteran NASCAR driver Jason Leffler was killed in a race accident Wednesday night, during a sprint car event at the Bridgeport Speedway in New Jersey. Having raced at many levels of NASCAR as well as IndyCar, Yahoo! Sports says that the 37-year-old racer spent this year racing on dirt tracks in a sprint car.

The report says that his car flipped over during the "Night of Wings" event, and he was airlifted to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. According to ESPN, this marks at least the fourth fatal crash at a dirt track this year, including two people killed at a sprint car event at Marysville Raceway Park in Northern California.

Leffler had most recently run in the Sprint Cup race last weekend at Pocono, but spent most of his 12-year NASCAR career in the Nationwide Series where he visited victory lane twice. He also won a race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and finished 17th at the 2000 Indianapolis 500. A single father, Leffler is survived by his 5-year-old son.


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  • 15 Comments
      Scott Kemp
      • 1 Year Ago
      Really sad to hear. I hope his son has other family members who will raise him and care for him.
      dukeisduke
      • 1 Year Ago
      How very sad. Rest in peace, Jason.
      KingTito
      • 1 Year Ago
      I feel the worst for these type of guys and their families. He was a 3 time USAC champion and had a promising career in CART and then NASCAR that never really matched his early success. It\'s clear he kept trying for over 10 years but probably switched gears to focus on making a living for his family. I find it very honorable that his last start in NASCAR was a start and park effort. He was out there making a living for his family and trying to do what he loved to do. I find that more noble than if he won, was minting money, had sponsors lining up, and was flying around on a private plane. What a good man and a role model for the rest of us. Godspeed.
      yellowneck24
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sad day in the NASCAR community.
      Larry Roloston
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sad news. My heart goes out to him and his family.
      markdaurelio
      • 1 Year Ago
      How sad, they really need to make sprint cars safer.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @markdaurelio
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        • 1 Year Ago
        @markdaurelio
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          • 1 Year Ago
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      RGT881
      • 1 Year Ago
      Oh no! Unbelievable. I hate this. What can I say, he chose to run the sprint car event and lost his life. Those cars are last remaining dinosaurs of an unsafe era. Every other sport has moved on in terms of safety. Nevertheless tragic because he always worked so hard trying to reach the top and now he's gone. Every single time I read about this I'm literally thrown back to 1999 when Kenny Irwin Jr died and everyone since then.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @RGT881
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      dukeisduke
      • 1 Year Ago
      On another note, why four deaths in sprint cars this year? Are there some safety improvements they can make?
        Erik Reid
        • 1 Year Ago
        @dukeisduke
        Duke, Technically, there have been two deaths in sprint cars this season, and three over the last 12 months. The other deaths mentioned in the story where a result of a pit accident. I've nearly been hit by sprint cars in the past. The pits can be a dangerous place. However, one fatality is one too many. I love sprint car and midget racing, but they are two of the cruelest forms of motorsports. The racing is fast and furious, but it also results in hard crashes. Safety has improved considerably over the years, but auto racing will never be entirely safe. Bridgeport is a big, fast 5/8 oval. I'm not one to speculate, but according to the accounts I've read something broke on the car during a heat race. Since it was early in the night the racing groove would have been relatively low on the track. The car impacted the guardrail nearly head-on after traveling a crossed the track at high speed. Softer walls may have been beneficial during this incident, but there's no guarantee they would have saved Jason's life. Also, their cost make it prohibitive for most short-tracks. I'm at a loss. I say a prayer whenever we strap our driver in...even to get heat in the motor. To me, when a driver dies it's like losing a family member. It hurts.
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