NASCAR's Jason Leffler Remembered As A Racer, Prankster, Doting Father

By jamesharris
Matthew O’Haren – USA TODAY Sports

The funeral service for NASCAR driver Jason Leffler, known by his nickname “LEFturn”, took place on Wednesday in Coenelius, North Carolina at the Grace Covenant Church.

Among the 800 who attended, NASCAR Sprint Cup stars Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, David Stremme and Brad Keselowski paid their respects along with team owners and crew members. Nationwide Series drivers included Reed Sorenson, Mike Bliss, Kyle Larson, Michael Annett, Landon Cassill, Josh Wise and Steve Wallace.

The 37-year-old father tragically died on June 12 when his car slammed into the wall while running in second place at a New Jersey dirt track. Despite being flown to hospital, he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Flowers from well-wishers lined the front of the church’s sanctuary, including photos, mementos, his racing gloves and some helmets still covered with dirt and debris.

No coffin was present during the service, which also was attended by NASCAR President Mike Helton, team owner Chip Ganassi, and Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs.

Throughout the service, a video montage presented Leffler’s evolution as a racer throughout his life. It closed with several photos of the Long Beach native hanging with Stewart. Leffler and the three-time Sprint Cup champion were close friends.

The hour-long service focussed on Leffler’s passion for racing and his achievements on the track while his close friends and family shared stories centered on his five-year-old son, Charlie Dean. Charlie wasn’t present but Leffler’s mother Pat and several other family members praised him as being a dogged racer, a prankster, but ultimately a doting father.

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