06/17 2013

Jason Leffler death: Funds established to help young son

Jason Leffler death: Funds established to help young son

Funeral June 19 for former NASCAR driver; son Charlie is 5

BROOKLYN, Mich. — Jason Leffler’s life will be celebrated Wednesday in North Carolina as memorial funds continue to be established for his 5-year-old son Charlie Dean Leffler.

Leffler, 37, a former NASCAR driver, was killed June 12 in a sprint-car accident at Bridgeport Speedway in New Jersey when something apparently broke on his car, sending him head-on into the wall.

He had competed for more than a decade in all three of NASCAR’s top divisions, with two victories in the Nationwide series and one in trucks.

“He was one of a kind,” said Todd Braun, whose team Leffler drove for in Nationwide and who sponsored the sprint car Leffler was driving last week.

“He just had so much spunk and fight in him and fire. … He meant the world to my mom, meant the world to my dad, meant the world to me.”

Braun, current Turner Scott Motorsports owner Harry Scott and Great Clips chief financial officer Steve Overholser have established a fund to help his son.

Donations may be sent to: The Charlie Dean Leffler Discretionary Trust, c/o SunTrust Bank, 232 Williamson Road, Mooresville, NC 28117.

Great Clips was Leffler’s long-time sponsor in the Nationwide series. Leffler drove for Scott in his final full Nationwide season. Leffler had no life insurance and was the single parent to his son.

“We have been contacted by so many Great Clips franchisees and every partner that has been with Braun and Turner in how they can support Charlie,” Braun said.

“We’re pretty sure we will be successful in making sure Charlie has a good education. I know that doesn’t replace his dad, but we for sure are going to make sure we do all we can for him.”

That fund, organized by Leffler’s management agency Spire Sports & Entertainment, is one of two established for Charlie.

The other has been set up by the USAC Benevolent Foundation.

Contributions may be sent to: Charlie Dean Leffler Education Fund, USAC Benevolent Foundation, c/o Executive Director Bill Marvel, 4910 W. 16th Street Speedway, Speedway, IN 46224. Donations should be earmarked for that program.

“We are devastated by Jason’s loss and recognize his long and loyal commitment to USAC racing and to the sport of auto racing in general,” USAC President Kevin Miller said in a news release.

“We encourage everyone to participate in this worthwhile endeavor as we honor the memory of one of our most cherished champions and appreciate the Foundation Board for their efforts in making this all possible.”

Leffler’s funeral is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET Wednesday at Grace Covenant Church in Cornelius, N.C.

Leffler “had a big heart,” Braun said. “That’s what I will remember for him, the size of his heart.

“He had a true love for Charlie. … Charlie meant the world to him.”