Motorsports industry leaders and fans were mourning the death of Jason Leffler Thursday morning.
The 37-year-old four-time USAC champion and longtime NASCAR driver was killed Wednesday night in a sprint car crash at New Jersey’s Bridgeport Speedway.
Racing folk were sending their condolences and remembering Leffler. Here are a collection of the public statements:
“NASCAR extends its thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies to the family of Jason Leffler who passed away earlier this evening. For more than a decade, Jason was a fierce competitor in our sport and he will be missed.” — NASCAR
“We are very saddened at the passing of Jason Leffler. He was one of the most versatile race drivers in America, showing his talent by competing in the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during his career. He also displayed the skills that would help him reach the top levels of the sport by winning four USAC national series titles while winning on tracks throughout the Midwest. Jason was a terrific guy who always had time for everyone. Our deepest sympathies are extended to his entire family, team and fans.” — Indianapolis Motor Speedway Chief Operating Officer J. Douglas Boles
“IndyCar extends its deepest sympathies and condolences to the family of Jason Leffler for their tragic loss. Jason was a USAC champion who made three IndyCar starts, including the 2000 Indianapolis 500. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.” — IndyCar
“I was shocked to hear tonight about the passing of Jason Leffler. Jason was a friend and former driver of Panther Racing. He was one of the most versatile drivers I have ever met. He reminded me so much of Parnelli Jones. We will miss his fierce competitive spirit and his devilish attitude. He constitutes the old saying, ‘It isn’t the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.’ Jason was a small man with a huge right foot. Our prayers go out to his entire family, and especially his son Charlie. He will be forever missed.” — Panther Racing General Manager John Barnes
“A good friend of the track, and a great driver, Jason Leffler, passed away from injuries sustained in a racing accident in Bridgeport, New Jersey earlier this evening. Jason was one of very best, always ready to race, always ready to make friends. He made a lot of them in his short time among us. Our most sincere condolences to his family and to his many fans.” — Irwindale Event Center
“Our hearts are broken by the news of Jason Leffler’s passing and we extend our deep sympathy to his family,” said Jennifer Hanley, senior vice president for Nationwide Insurance. “It was a privilege to watch him do what he loved as he achieved success in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with two wins, 42 top-fives and 107 top-10’s. He was a strong ambassador for NASCAR, Nationwide associates, agents and members. We will miss him.” — Jennifer Hanley, senior vice president for Nationwide Insurance
“The World of Outlaws extends its deepest sympathy and condolences to the family and friends of Jason Leffler, a great racer and man whose life ended too soon tonight. We were always excited to see Jason enter the pits to race with the Outlaws, and he will no doubt be missed by everybody from his fellow competitors to officials to his many fans.” — The World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series