New Jersey State Police are trying to determine the cause of a dirt track crash that killed NASCAR driver Jason Leffler.
Leffler died after the crash at southern New Jersey's Bridgeport Speedway on Wednesday.
A spectator, Chris Taitt, says he was at the race but looking the other way when the crash occurred. He says Leffler had been in second place, apart from other cars when his car slammed into a wall at a turn. He says the wing on the car was "flattened like a pancake," and the seat appeared to be displaced.
Many drivers, owners and sponsors in NASCAR are remembering Leffler as a loving father to his 5-year-old son, an open person and a versatile driver.
The 37-year-old Leffler, a two-time winner on the Nationwide Series, was pronounced dead shortly after 9 p.m., New Jersey State Police said.
Bridgeport Speedway is a 5/8-mile, high-banked dirt oval.
Leffler finished last Sunday at Pocono in his first NASCAR Sprint Cup start of the year.
After losing his NASCAR ride, Leffler had been racing dirt car events most of this year, including the 410 Sprint Car race Wednesday that promised a $7,000 prize to the winner at the 0.625-mile, high-banked dirt oval. On Sunday, Leffler finished last at Pocono in his lone NASCAR Sprint Cup start of the year.
From Long Beach, Calif., Leffler made 423 starts in NASCAR's three national series, but won just the two Nationwide races and one Truck Series event in a career that began in 1999. He also made three IndyCar Series starts, finishing 17th in the 2000 Indianapolis 500.