OSKALOOSA, IOWA (August 8, 2016) – On a beautiful day in central Iowa, 27 teams gathered at Southern Iowa Speedway, simply referred to as Osky, to compete in the Front Row Challenge. It was a somber day as each of the competitors and all of the fans remembered a true outlaw, fellow competitor, and genuine friend to racing – Bryan Clauson – who passed away a day prior after suffering injuries in a racing accident at the 39th Annual Belleville Nationals.
After the track crew finished putting water down and running in the surface, the competitors climbed into their cockpits for time trials. Jason had some time to spare as he pulled the ‘71’ pill, which delayed his two laps efforts as he was the 26th driver out on the track aboard the Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/KSE Racing Products #41. He got up to speed and turned in a good lap at 15.663 seconds. Staying on the throttle and cruising around this big half mile oval, he improved his time the second time around with a lap of 15.532 seconds. For the third straight outing, Jason was 13th quick overall on the night.
The Cajun chauffeur was in the third heat race where he would start from the third starting position in his Fischer Body Shop/CCC Maxim. Mark Dobmeier and Rager Phillips started on the front row as Jason shared row two with Rico Abreu. The announcer exclaimed, “Look here, look here . . . it is time to go racing” as the green flag was unfurled. Dobmeier was the early leader with Abreu, Phillips and Johnson giving chase. Abreu would catch him and take the lead as Jason maneuvered from the third position. They would finish in that order as Danny Lasoski and David Gravel rounded out the top five.
After the King of the Hill challenge races set the first four rows of the feature, the next four rows were set by points accumulated through time trials and heat races with the B-Main transfers tagging the rear of the field. Jason and the JJR #41 would start the Front Row Challenge from the inside of row seven, the 13th starting position, in the Waco Metal/Valvoline #41 Maxim. The push truck tapped him on the rear nerf bar to fire his engine and he aligned himself on the starting grid. Daryn Pittman and Brian Brown were on row one and brought the field up to speed with Pittman taking the early lead. Jason was searching for the fast lane and on lap two went around the topside of turns one and two and slid through the cushion catching the wall and flattening his right rear tire to bring out the yellow. The JJR crew would fix it and he tagged the rear of the field for the restart. Brown took the lead as Jason started working his way back up the scoring pylon. A number of early cautions slowed the field and regrouped them. A lap four caution found him up to 20th. Two laps later another caution for Paul McMahan and Brent Marks found him poised in the 16th position. He was gaining positions using the low line and occasionally the high line. When another caution flew on lap 16, Jason was now up to the 14th position behind Sammy Swindell and Tasker Phillips. He would spend the remaining 14 laps trying to figure out how to get around them to pick up more spots. Pittman retook the lead and was showing the way. He would go on to take the $21,000 winner’s check as Jason crossed the finish line with a 14th place finish. While not the finish they were looking for on this night, Jason and the team turned their attention down the road to the Knoxville Nationals for the remainder of the week. Be sure to stop out at t-shirt alley to pick up your Jason Johnson 2016 merchandise and 1/64 scale, limited edition JJR car.