ROSSBURG, OHIO (May 12, 2017) – Jason and the JJR Marshall Racing #41 team started to head east for the first time this season with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series. The first stop was at “The House that Earl Built”, Eldora Speedway, for the first of two nights of action with the USAC Sprint Cars in what is billed as the #Lets Race Two weekend at the famous half-mile oval. There were 35 winged sprint cars registered and lining the pit area in the infield on a beautiful evening in western Ohio.
Jason was the eleventh car out for his two individual time trial laps aboard the Jonestown KOA/Winters Performance Products #41 Maxim. He drove up the banking in turn one after his Kistler Engine fired and hammered down the accelerator as he headed down the backstretch to get the ponies under the hood to stretch their legs. He crossed the start finish line to trigger the timing clock and he stopped it after his first lap in 14.593 seconds. A good lap, but he kept digging as he carried his speed around the banked first and second turns and darted down the back straightaway for a second time at speed as he wisped through turns three and four. This time he stopped the clock with a lap that was a little slower at 14.819 seconds. After the last qualifier, Paul McMahan, completed his laps, Jason’s quickest lap was good enough for twelfth quick overall.
With time trials behind them, Jason and crew chief Philip Dietz discussed what needed to be done to prepare for their 8-lap heat race. Jason’s qualifying time put the Priority Aviation Services, LLC/Valvoline #41 on the inside of row two in the fourth and final heat race. He would share the row with Greg Wilson as the two paced behind the front row of Jacob Allen and Tim Shaffer. But lurking just behind in row three was always exciting and a fan favorite Jac Haudenschild and Hunter Schuerenberg, so everyone knew they would need to be on the gas from the get go to stay ahead of the man known as “The Wild Child”. The Eunice, Louisiana native wasted little time as he used the bottom lane to build his momentum in the forty-one to take the runner-up position behind race leader Tim Shaffer early in the event. He was giving chase throughout the entire race, but the clean air was kind to Shaffer who took the heat race win as Jason secured the final transfer position into the Craftsman Club Dash by coming home second ahead of Allen and Jac Haudenschild with Wilson driving forward to take the fifth position to transfer to the feature.
For the 6-lap Craftsman Club Dash, Jason had the good fortune of starting on the pole in the Fischer Body Shop/Vortex Wings Maxim. He would line up in the front row with Travis Philo as the remainder of the field was comprised of David Gravel, Jason Sides, Tim Shaffer, Logan Schuchart, Donny Schatz and Shane Stewart. A stout field for sure. When the green flag waved, Jason charged into the lead and was setting a torrid pace around this lightning fast speedway. He would lead wire-to-wire to win the event as he crossed the finish line ahead of Sides, Philo and Stewart with the remainder of the finishing order being completed by Schuchart, Gravel, Schatz and Shaffer.
With the field set for the 30-lap A-Main, Jason would start from the pole position in the Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/CCC #41 and pull to the inside when they received the signal to go four-wide in their traditional salute to the fans. As the pyrotechnics were going off, the driver who calls Rocky Mount, Missouri home was ready to get his Weld Racing wheel rolling around the ‘Big E’. When the yellow lights went off and the green lights illuminated, he jumped off the bottom coming out of four to lead the field down the front straightaway into turn one and around the half-mile oval. He would lead the first six laps before Shane Stewart dove under him going into three and take the lead on lap 7. It was a tight three way battle up front between Stewart, Johnson and Logan Schuchart, with Schuchart’s #1s coming out on top just before the red flag flew for a vicious crash in turn one involving Travis Philo and Jac Haudenschild. After a lengthy red flag, both drivers were transported for observation, later being reported that both were sore but ok thank goodness. When racing resumed, Stewart would regain the lead as Schuchart and Johnson followed close behind. Schuchart would retake the lead on lap 12 as Stewart, Johnson, and Brad Sweet were following close behind. Schuchart would go on to collect the win as Stewart came home in the runner-up position ahead of Sweet and Donny Schatz with the Ragin’ Cajun coming home in the fifth position to record his 10th top five finish of the 2017 season, a 35.71% top five success rate. A good run for the forty-one!