Friday, June 14, 2013

Tony Stewart talks about his relationship with Jason Leffler

   Three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart has known and raced with Jason Leffler for years, from dirt tracks to NASCAR. Stewart on Friday talked about his relationship with Leffler, who died in a racing accident on Wednesday night.

   "Yeah, I have known Jason for a long time obviously. We grew up racing together and followed the same paths racing-wise. So I mean he was a friend, he was a roommate, he was a teammate and I got to be around him a lot. He loved nothing more than being behind the wheel of a race car," Stewart said.

   "I was just shocked to hear what had happened and obviously it’s just a reminder of how dangerous our sport is, but we have had a lot of safety innovations over the last 15 years since I have been in Cup. It’s just proof that we will never get to the stage where everybody is immune to getting hurt in a race car. That is just the scenario that we are in and there isn’t anybody that gets behind the wheel that doesn’t understand that going into it, and Jason was that way as well. He just loved doing what he was doing and it was just a rough week there and obviously Charlie (Leffler's son) is the one that we are all thinking about the most right now."

   Asked what stood out most about Leffler, Stewart said:
   “We got to hang out a lot away from the race track as well as at the track. When he moved from California to Indiana to start racing USAC fulltime, he moved in with me and lived with us for a little under a year and I got to see a lot of things and he was just a lot of fun," he said. 

   "He was a racer and didn’t care what he raced, where he raced, when he raced, it was all he wanted to do was to drive a race car. It was fun to have a roommate like that who had the same passion and desire that I had."

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