Not very often will you see me writing about the NASCAR Nationwide Series or its drivers. There are two reasons for this. The first is that it is not overly popular andit often gets overlooked by readers. The second is the fact that, for the most part, it is merely the NASCAR stars’ personal playground. With all that said, NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Jason Leffler deserves credit, and lots of it.
Leffler is one of only a few competitive drivers in the series that does not race on Sundays. He’s tried his hand at that, andhe’s had a much better racing life competing on Saturdays. But many people, both fans and the media, often overlook Leffler when talking about either who will win the upcoming race, or when debating over who the best “Nationwide only” driver is.
But you can’t argue with numbers, and here is a number that means quite a bit to a driver who, unlike some of the great Nationwide only drivers such as Brad Keselowski and Justin Allgaier, drives for a team that doesn’t even get support from Cup teams, Braun Racing. The number is 3. That is the position where Leffler’s #38 Toyota Camry sits in the points standings after 10 races. 153. That’s how many points Leffler is out of the points lead after finishing 2nd at Darlington last weekend, his 8th top 10 of the year.
You also can’t argue with facts, and here is a fact that many people overlook. Jason Leffler was the first driver to win a NASCAR Nationwide Series race in a Toyota, and he did it by outdueling one of NASCAR’s best, Greg Biffle. Kyle Busch didn’t get Toyota its first Nationwide Series win, nor did Denny Hamlin, Brian Vickers, or Joey Logano. Jason Leffler did.
Something Leffler has going for him right now is that the Nationwide Series is coming up on a series of stand-alone races, meaning that the Cup races will be at different tracks than the Nationwide races. What does this mean for Leffler? It means that the two drivers in front of him in the standings, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards, will be unable to practice, or maybe even qualify their Nationwide cars because they will be off practicing their Cup cars hundreds, if not thousands of miles away, giving Leffler an obvious competitive advantage.
Jason Leffler doesn’t always get the credit that he deserves. The guy doesn’t race in the Cup series. He doesn’t drive for a Cup team. He doesn’t even drive for a team that gets support from Cup teams. This guy is a full-fledged Nationwide Series driver, and he’s 3rd in the points. He’s likely to gain some more points in the coming weeks, and may sit at the top of the standings before long.
Jason Leffler deserves some credit.