Driver Jason Leffler died following an accident in a Sprint Car event Wednesday evening at Bridgeport Speedway in Swedesboro, N.J.
Leffler was 37 years old.
The Associated Press, citing the New Jersey State Police, reported that Leffler was pronounced dead shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday.
Reportedly, Leffler was participating in a heat race in a 410 Sprint Car at Bridgeport Speedway.
According to NBC10 Philadelphia, Leffler was extricated from his car and taken by helicopter to Cooper Trauma Center in Camden, N.J. where he later died.
A native of Long Beach, Calif., Leffler made his way up through the racing ranks through Open Wheel Sprint and Midget car racing.
Since 1999 Leffler has been a mainstay in NASCAR’s two nationally touring minor league divisions, the Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series.
Leffler’s most recent NASCAR start came in Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series Party in the Poconos 400 at Pocono Raceway, where he finished 43rd for Humphrey Smith Racing. It was his only start in one of NASCAR’s three national divisions this season.
In his career Leffler started 73 career Sprint Cup Series events since 2001, recording one top-10 finish. He made 30 starts in the series in 2001 and 19 starts in 2005.
From 2007-2011 Leffler was a regular in the second-tier Nationwide Series. He finished third in the division’s standings in 2007 and finished in the top-10 in the standings for five consecutive years. He made 294 career Nationwide Series starts and had two wins, 42 top-five’s and 107 top-10 finishes.
He made 56 starts over seven years in the Camping World Truck Series with one victory and 20 top-five finishes. He finished fourth in the Truck Series standings in 2002.
He made three career IndyCar Series starts and was 17th in the Indianapolis 500 in 2000, his only start in the prestigious event. Leffler won three consecutive USAC Midget Car championships from 1997-1999, and also won a USAC Silver Crown title in 1998.
NASCAR issued a statement Wednesday reading: “NASCAR extends its thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies to the family of Jason Leffler who passed away earlier this evening. For more than a decade, Jason was a fierce competitor in our sport and he will be missed.”