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Justin Allgaier to pay tribute to Jason Leffler at Indianapolis

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SPEEDWAY, Ind. — Justin Allgaier hopes he has a co-pilot for today’s Indiana 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

That’s because he is running a special paint scheme commemorating the life and accomplishments of Jason Leffler. Leffler will also compete using a special helmet that was designed as a replica of the one he wore in his only Indianapolis 500 start, which came during the 2000 season.

In running the scheme and helmet, Leffler hopes that he, in a sense, can take Leffler back around the 2.5-mile speedway that he was so vocally fond of.

“It’s a bittersweet deal,” Allgaier told Popular Speed. “Obviously, I really wish he was still here. But at the same time, we’re proud that we can honor him and get some press out for what we’re trying to do to help Charlie Dean.”

20130727_132438The theme was designed to benefit the Charlie Dean Leffler trust fund which was established to help assist Leffler’s five-year-old son.

The car is fielded by Turner Scott Motorsports, the team Leffler drove for through the 2011 Nationwide Series season with the team owner Harry Scott Jr. and former team owner Todd Braun serving as trustees.

The paint scheme was an obvious way to pay tribute but the helmet was conceived by Allgaier, born from the shared love that he and Leffler had for custom skins.

“Jason just lit up when you talked about this place,” Allgaier said of Indianapolis. “So we designed this helmet to commemorate his start in the 500. And a lot of people don’t know this but we’re both fans of custom designed helmets and paint schemes and I thought this would be a great way to pay tribute.

“I’m going to give it my best to win for Jason today.”

Leffler was killed on June 12 when a suspension part broke in his Sprint car at Bridgeport Speedway. The car made contact with the frontstraight wall and his car flipped over several times.

He was 37.


Matt Weaver

Matt Weaver is the Executive Editor of POPULAR SPEED. He has covered NASCAR since 2011 and full-time since 2013. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He has been published all across the country and routinely makes radio appearances on Sirius XM Satellite radio and NBC Sports Radio Network.

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