LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS (October 29, 2015) – As the calendar nears the end of October, the roar of racing engines starts to quiet for the season around the United States, but not at I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Arkansas. For the 28th year in a row Joe and Tracey Clay were holding their prestigious Short Track Nationals (STN) event at their quarter mile, high banked bullring. Mother Nature was not playing nice though as they had to cancel the 3rd Annual Short Track open on Wednesday and modify the 3-day Short Track Nationals format this year as more rain is forecasted to move into the area on Saturday night. So, the three day show was abbreviated to a two day show where they would run two nights of racing called the STN Sprint Screamers, with the top two finishers each night locking into to the STN makeup feature to be scheduled in the spring of 2016.
Jason Johnson, the 2006 Short Track Nationals Champion, was selected as the pilot of Shawn Petersen’s Print Place Motorsports #41x entry this year with a break in his racing scheduled. With 67 cars lined up in the pit area, the Eunice, Louisiana native was going to have to get up to speed quickly to secure one of the 24 coveted spots in the A-Main. Passing points were going to be critical, so everyone would have their elbows up from the time the green flag waved.
Jason rolled onto the speedway for the third heat race where he would start on the inside of row two beside Logan Forler. Cody Gardner and Brandon Hanks were on the front and brought the field to the green. Jason was on the low side early trying to make something happen before moving to the middle and then the top side in an attempt to track to front two cars down. He was unable to do so in the allotted 10 laps, but brought home a third place finish.
The next event was the 12 lap qualifier races. Jason started from the pole position in the second qualifier with Ray Allen Kulhanek to his right. When the green flag waved Jason got moving with third starting Brandon Hanks giving chase. Hanks would take the lead and the win with Jason coming home in the runner-up spot in the Print Place #41x.
Not generating enough points yet to lock down one of the A-Main starting spots, Jason got rolling in the second B-Main. He again started on the pole with Glenn Styres in the #0 to his outside. Styres would take the lead and cross under the checkers first with the Ragin’ Cajun coming home in the second spot. His runner-up finish would generate enough points to put him in the big show as he had the 22nd highest point total.
The field for Thursday night’s 25 lap STN Sprint Screamer feature event was set. Wayne Johnson and Blake Hahn were on the front row with Jason Johnson and Jordon Mallet inhabiting row eleven. The track surface was rough, so it was a “cowboy-up” kind of night. When the racing action got up to speed, Jason did what he does best – race and pass cars at high speed. He was patiently and methodically making his way forward under green flag conditons. He would pause under the cautions and red flag stops to refocus. Wayne Johnson led the first seven laps before surrendering it to Blake Hahn on lap eight. Jac Haudenschild took the lead on lap sixteen with Aaron Reutzel giving chase. Jason stayed focused under his Shell Shock custom painted Arai Helmet as he raced his way forward. Aaron Reutzel would pass Haudenschild to take the lead on the twentieth circuit and would go on to take the victory. Jason charged all the way up to eleventh in the Print Place #41x when the race ended.
Jason and the Print Place Motorsports team will be back at the track on Friday night for the second installment of the STN Sprint Screamer. Go out at the track and stop in to say hello to Jason and the team. Plus, Bobbi Johnson has all of the Jason Johnson and Shane Stewart merchandise for sale at the track in the JJR t-shirt trailer.