Drivers, owners pay respects to Jason Leffler

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CORNELIUS, N.C. — Sprint Cup drivers Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Brad Keselowski and Greg Biffle were among more than 800 people who attended the funeral service for NASCAR driver Jason Leffler on Wednesday.

Leffler was killed a week ago when his Sprint car crashed into a wall at Bridgeport Speedway in New Jersey.

No coffin was present during the hour-long service for Leffler, who won two Nationwide Series races during his NASCAR career.

Also in attendance was team owner Chip Ganassi and Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs.

“I’m sure most people in here will say this is exactly how Jason wanted to go, and that makes it a little easier to handle,” says Jeff Dickerson, of Spires Sports and Entertainment, which represented Leffler. “But the fact of the matter is, he wasn’t ready to go yet. He was having the time of his life racing these cars.”

Friends and colleagues spent much of the funeral focusing on Leffler’s evolution as a father to his 5-year-old son, Charlie Dean.

A memorial fund has been set up for Charlie, whom friends said changed Leffler for the better.

RAGAN TRUCKING: David Ragan drives a fire truck to team meetings and the squad car used in the Andy Griffith Show to the grocery. So it wasn’t a surprise when he decided to co-drive the team transporter on a 2,700-mile cross-country run to Sonoma Raceway.

Ragan pulled out of Front Row Motorsports headquarters at Statesville, N.C., early Tuesday.

Along with team driver Mike Smith, the pair hauled two No. 34 Fords to the road course in Northern California in an 80-foot, 80,000-pound transporter.

“I’ve always had a fascination with big trucks,” Ragan said. “I wanted to get my CDL (commercial driver’s license), so I got that a little while ago. And I thought it would be fun to take a trip across the country on the open roads and see everything, and at the same time get to spend some time with my truck driver.”

After the race, Ragan plans to fly home.

SURRENDERED: NASCAR driver Mike Harmon has turned himself in to authorities in North Carolina after warrants were issued for him and a business partner.

Sheriff’s deputies in Rowan County (N.C.) say warrants were issued for Harmon and the business partner on Monday. Authorities say the men are charged with breaking and entering and larceny after breaking and entering.

Investigators say the men allegedly stole at least seven vehicles from NASCAR truck racer Jennifer Jo Cobb last year.


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