Leffler Leads First Five Laps; Salvages 18th-Place Finish After Running Out of Fuel Just Past the Halfway Mark of the SFP 250
Date: April 21, 2012
Event: SFP 250 (Race 4 of 22)
Series: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Location: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City (1.5-mile D-Shaped oval)
Start/Finish: 2nd / 18th (Running, completed 165 of 167 laps)
Winner: James Buescher of Turner Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Jason Leffler can surely attest to the old saying, “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.” The veteran driver appeared to being having a reversal of his early-season misfortunes, as he qualified second and led the first five laps of the SFP 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway. The No. 18 Shore Lodge Tundra ran in the top-three for the first 60 laps and remained entrenched in the top 10 before running out of fuel just past the halfway mark of the 167-lap race
To add insult to injury, Leffler had just passed pit road and was approaching the start-finish line when his Toyota went idle. This forced the California native to coast without power all the way around the 1.5-mile tri-oval, before finally being able to bring the Shore Lodge Tundra to the attention of his crew. After he finally limped into his pit stall, located three-quarters of the way down pit road, the Kyle Busch Motorsports crew quickly got the truck re-fired and made their regularly scheduled pit stop under green-flag conditions before returning their driver to the track.
By the time the rest of the field had completed their first-scheduled pit stop, Leffler had surrendered three laps to the leader. Shortly after pit stops had cycled through, the fifth and final caution of the race occurred, allowing the No.18 team to take advantage of the “wave around” rule and regain one lap on the leader.
When the race restarted on lap 105, the Shore Lodge Tundra was scored in the 26th position – two laps down to the leader. Over the final 62 laps, Leffler posted lap times equal to the top three trucks and gained eight positions before the checkered flag waved. When it was all said and done, the veteran driver had salvaged an 18th-place finish in his 50th career Truck Series start.
“We just can’t seem to catch a break this year,” said Leffler, who has experienced misfortunes in three of his first four starts for KBM. “Eric (Phillips) and the guys on this No.18 team provide me with a fast truck every week; we’ve just had something different go wrong almost every race. I have a lot of confidence in this team, we’re going to get things turned around and win some races before it’s all said and done. I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel of the No. 18 Dollar General Tundra in a few weeks at Charlotte.”
James Buescher led a race-high 103 laps en route to his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory. Timothy Peters finished in the runner-up spot, 5.320 seconds behind Buescher. Brad Keselwoski, Nelson Piquet Jr. and Todd Bodine rounded out the top-five finishers.
There were five caution periods for 28 laps. Eight drivers failed to finish the race.
Leffler, who is currently 21st in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series point standings, will be behind the wheel of the No. 18 Dollar General Tundra when the series resumes action May 18 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The N.C. Education Lottery 200 begins at 7:30 p.m. ET with live coverage provided by SPEED beginning with the NCWTS Setup Show at 7 p.m. ET.