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Tony Stewart Talks About Jason Leffler

Tony Stewart
Todd Warshaw, Getty Images

Three time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart is officially scheduled to race at Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, SD. Just Wednesday, Tony lost a good friend and fellow racer Jason Leffler when he was killed in a sprint car crash on a dirt track in New Jersey.

Tony Stewart talked with Nate Ryan of USA TODAY.

Jason Leffler was a great racer and an even better friend. We raced together a lot, and our career paths were very similar. He loved racing, especially open-wheel racing, and that’s a passion we both share. To not have him around to talk about whatever race one of us had just run, or were going to run, will be hard. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, especially his son, Charlie, who Jason loved more than anything.

Tony Stewart, whose career path was the guidepost for Jason Leffler into NASCAR, was among many drivers reflecting Thursday on the legacy of Leffler, who was killed in a sprint car crash Wednesday night.

Jason Leffler
Rainier Ehrhardt, Getty Images

Flags at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., were flown at half-staff Thursday in honor of Leffler, who ran for the championship in all three of NASCAR’s major national series.

Stewart made his fame in open-wheel racing, winning four USAC championships and an IndyCar title before entering Sprint Cup in 1999 with Joe Gibbs Racing. The team put Leffler, who won three USAC championships and also raced the Indianapolis 500, in a full-time Nationwide Series ride the following season and then brought the Long Beach, California native into Cup in 2005.

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