Jason Leffler’s Memory and Legacy Live On in this Week’s Chili Bowl Races
Jason Leffler was a racer’s racer in every sense of the word. He was what some in racing call a journeyman racer, as he raced anything and everything just to race. The night he died, Leffler was competing in a race with a winner’s purse of only $7,000; a big departure from the paydays he experienced during his days of NASCAR racing.
Another big part of Leffler’s life was Charlie Dean, his son with Alison East. They divorced leaving time with Charlie Dean at a premium for Leffler. Charlie Dean was five-years-old at the time of his father’s death and they resided in North Carolina.
Before his death, Leffler was planning on entering this year’s Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals (January 14 to 18, 2014), co-owning his car with girlfriend Julianna Patterson and building his car with former father-in-law Bob East. After Leffler’s sudden passing in June of last year, East could have easily stopped working on his car and let the project fall by the wayside. However, he continued to work on building Leffler’s Chili Bowl car.
Flash forward to August, where longtime friend of Leffler’s and fellow part-time dirt racer, Tony Stewart wrecks with serious injuries at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, IA. Stewart suffers a broken tibia and fibula, which ends his NASCAR season. While recovering from his injury, Patterson reached out to Stewart because of his ownership experience for help as she was now the owner of Leffler’s car in the Chili Bowl with no experience owning a car. Shortly afterward, things began to fall into place. Stewart joined with Patterson to help keep the project alive by providing support.
After Stewart came on to help with the project, another longtime friend of Leffler’s, Kasey Kahne jumped on board as driver of his good friend’s car.
In addition to keeping Leffler’s memory alive by running his car, Stewart and Kahne are raising money for the Charlie Dean Leffler Discretionary Fund by giving away Leffler’s car after the Chili Bowl. To enter the give-a-way drawing for the car or to give to the Charlie Dean Leffler Discretionary Fund, visit http://www.starnetdp.com/Charlie-ChiliBowll/intro.html.