Indianapolis Motor Speedway lights up Pagoda for Jason Leffler

By Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com

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The funeral for NASCAR driver Jason Leffler is Wednesday. (USATSI)

Jason Leffler's funeral is Wednesday, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is paying tribute to the onetime Indianapolis-based driver.

The scoreboard atop the famous Pagoda is lit up with the number “50,” -- the number of Leffler's car when he competed in the 2000 Indianapolis 500 -- and with “1975” and “2013” for the years he was born and died.

Leffler, 37, was driving a winged sprint car when he was killed June 12 in an accident at a New Jersey dirt track. His funeral is in Cornelius, N.C., the Associated Press reports.

In addition to the 2000 race, Leffler competed in five NASCAR Brickyard 400s. He lived in Indianapolis in the 1990s, according to the Indianapolis Star.

IMS chief operating officer Doug Boles told the AP that lighting the Pagoda is the speedway's way of remembering Leffler and honoring his accomplishments in racing.

Leffler died from a blunt force neck injury when his car struck a wall at the Bridgeport Speedway, an autopsy revealed. Police continues to investigate the cause of the accident.

 
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