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Kenny Crosswhite, who works as a spiritual adviser in the sport, recalled the day he told Leffler that the name Jason means “healer” in Greek.

“He said, `That’s OK, as long as I can wound people first,’” Crosswhite said, prompting laughter from the crowd. “Jason was wonderfully made. He was unique in so many ways.”

Dickerson said he and Leffler had many conversations about death. He was proud that Leffler made the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2003 and was still participating in the sport that he loved.

“I’m sure most people in here will say this is exactly how Jason wanted to go, and that makes it a little easier to handle,” Dickerson said. “But the fact of the matter is, he wasn’t ready to go yet. He was having the time of his life racing these cars.”