Leffler Scores Sixth Pole Of 2002 At Kentucky
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Jason Leffler guided his No. 2 Team ASE Dodge to the inside front row of the 36-car field for the July 13 "Kroger 225" at Kentucky Speedway by turning a fastest qualifying lap at 168.303 mph (32.086 seconds).
Leffler's effort nearly broke the Kentucky Speedway qualifying record of 168.460 mph (32.055 sec.) set by Bryan Reffner in 1999 before the inaugural "Kroger 225."
Leffler earns his sixth Bud Pole Award to tie a series record for most pole awards earned in a season by a driver without a series victory. Leffler entered this week fifth in the series points standings and 80 points behind leader and Ultra Motorsports teammate Ted Musgrave on the strength five top-five and seven top-10 performances. Leffler has finished second three times this season at Gateway, Pikes Peak and Milwaukee. His best finish of the year from the pole was at Pikes Peak.
"The Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge has been pretty good," Leffler said. "I overdrove it in turns one and two pretty bad and it cost us some time there, so I didn't know if it (my time) was going to hold up for the pole.
"The track was starting to get quicker and quicker. The Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge has been pretty quick in qualifying all season long. I can count on this team to give me a fast truck week in and week out, and that helps me to focus on what I need to do come race time," he concluded.
Mike Bliss was second in the No. 16 IWX Motor Freight/Knight's Inn Chevrolet with a lap of 167.994 mph (32.144 sec.), rookie Bill Lester was third with a lap of 166.986 mph (32.338 sec.), Terry Cook was fourth with a lap of 166.723 mph (32.389 sec.) and Chris Horn rounded out the top five in the No. 58 Hornengines.com Chevrolet 166.538 mph (32.425 sec.).
Racing continues at Kentucky Speedway this evening with ARCA RE/MAX Series "Blue Grass Quality Meats 200" at 9:00 p.m. Tickets will be available and at the speedway's main ticket booth in Sparta, Ky. up to race time.
Tickets for Saturday's events are available by phone at 1-888-652-RACE until 5:00 p.m. on July 12, through www.kentuckyspeedway.com through midnight and through Tickets.com and all Tickets.com retail outlets located in Greater Cincinnati area Meijer Hader Hardware and Play-It-Again Sports stores up to race time. Saturday tickets also will available at the Kentucky Speedway Fan Center beginning at 9:00 a.m. July 13 and the speedway main ticket booth beginning at 3:00 p.m.