(AP Photo/Mike McCarn, File)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Jason Leffler, like every other racer, understood the risks of his profession. It's a conversation he had with his longtime girlfriend when his NASCAR prospects dried up and a return to the sprint car circuit was the only way he could compete on a regular basis.
It wasn't a glamorous life, and it certainly wasn't going to make him rich. But it was a chance to race and, man, did Leffler love racing.
"We'd talked a lot about these cars and the dangers involved and Jason accepted it because he said all the time, `I'd rather my son see me live a happy life then see me sitting in a job I hate being miserable,'" Julianna Patterson told The Associated Press on Monday. "Jason was amazing. He was ornery. His life was Charlie, racing, family and friends. In that order. But Charlie was the most important. Charlie was his entire world."