New Jersey State Police say an investigation has been launched into the Bridgeport Speedway dirt track crash that killed NASCAR driver Jason Leffler of Long Beach Wednesday night.
Leffler was in second place and away from other cars early in his heat when his car slammed into a wall on the fourth turn of the track about 15 miles southwest of Philadelphia.
Leffler, 37, had twice won on NASCAR's Nationwide Series and was a finisher in the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500. He finished last in Sunday's NASCAR race at Pocono.
“Despite his many accomplishments, Jason still followed in the same footsteps of his heroes that would race anything, anytime,” reads a statement from his representative, Spire Sports. “All Jason wanted to do was race. He was the life of every party and a true racer.
“We will miss Jason dearly and know that his family appreciates all the thoughts and prayers.”
Wednesday's 410 Sprint Car race was among dirt track races Leffler routinely entered in between NASCAR events, with this one awarding $7,000 to the winner.
There has been blood on the dirt in other recent races, as three drivers died in two separate crashes last month in Indiana and Nevada. Two were killed on pit row in March when a car careened off a dirt track.
Leffler leaves behind a young son. Funeral arrangements are pending.