Next month, NASCAR drivers Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart will enter into the Chili Bowl Nationals to honor Jason Leffler, who passed away earlier this year. According to the Associated Press,
Kahne will drive a car entered in combination with Stewart, Leffler’s girlfriend, Julianna Patterson, and former father-in-law, Bob East., in the Jan. 14-18 race at the Tulsa Expo Center in Oklahoma.
Plans had been for Leffler and Patterson to co-own the car, and Leffler and East to build it together before Leffler’s death in a June sprint car crash. East continued the project following the accident, and Patterson turned to Stewart for help after the three-time NASCAR champion broke his leg in his own sprint car accident last season.
“She told me, `I’m going to be a car owner at the Chili Bowl’ and I said, `OK?’ kind of quizzically, and it’s just gone on from there,” Stewart told The Associated Press. “Bob is building the car. The owner was going to be Jason and Julianna, and I really wanted to be involved.”
It is a great way to honor the late Leffler, but it isn’t the first time a driver has done something in his honor. Kasey Kahne wore a black hat with the word “LEFturn” on it, for a few day following Leffler’s death.