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Mechanical problem to blame for Jason Leffler's fatal crash

By Evan Hilbert |

Authorities in New Jersey have determined that mechanical problems caused the dirt-race crash that led to the death of NASCAR driver Jason Leffler last week, according to an unfinished state police report obtained by the Associated Press.

The report did not state how fast the vehicle was moving, though Leffler's cause of death has been identified as blunt-force trauma to the driver's neck.

Specifically, a torsion stop came off that caused part of the car's suspension system to lodge itself between a wheel and the steering system. As a result, Leffler, 37, was unable to control the car, causing him to spin out and crash into a concrete wall at Bridgeport Speedway in Logan Township, N.J. on June 12.

The crash has certainly given new traction to safety concerns -- especially within the confines of smaller tracks like the one that Leffler crashed on. However, veteran Sprint Cup driver Tony Stewart -- who owns a similar dirt track in Ohio -- suggested that, in this case, safety wasn't the issue.

"It was an accident. Just like if you go out and there's a car crash. It's an accident," Stewart said, according to the AP. "Nobody as a track owner wants to go through what happened [with Leffler], but it's not due to a lack of effort on their part to try to make their facilities as safe as possible under the conditions they have."

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