BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA (March 24, 2018) – The sun finally shined through from the skies above in California as the track crew went to work to prep Bakersfield Speedway’s 1/3-mile racing surface so the stars of the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series could put on a show for the deserving fans on the West Coast. Jason and the JJR #41 team rolled their Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/BMRS #41 out of the trailer and were ready to roll. There were 37 cars registered to compete at Bakersfield.
After hot laps were complete, Philip and the JJR crew made some changes to the car in an attempt to find some more speed in time trials. The Eunice, Louisiana driver rolled up to the staging area as he was the twelfth car slated to go out for his two individual laps. They get around Bakersfield fast, so the wait would not be long. The Kistler Racing Engine under the hood came to life as Jason flipped the shield down on his Shell Shock custom painted Bell Racing helmet. He pedaled down and built speed as he took the green flag to start the time. He rolled across the timing stripe the first time in 11.617 seconds, a good lap but not good enough. He stayed on the loud pedal and ran cleanly around Bakersfield Speedway that highlights itself as The West’s Fastest 1/3 Mile High Banked Clay Oval. The adjustments and speed worked as he moved the Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/Valvoline #41 to the top of the speed charts with a fast lap of 11.271 seconds, which was quick time overall on the night.
Earning the pole position in the first of four heat races, it was time for the Ragin’ Cajun to drive forward in the Jonestown KOA/AutoMeter Maxim Racing entry. He shared the front row with California native Bud Kaeding with a loaded field behind him with drivers like Giovanni Scelzi, Paul McMahan, Sheldon Haudenschild, Kraig Kinser, Shane Golobic, Greg Wilson and Colby Copeland with Nathan Rolfe rounding out the field. On the initial green flag start, Jason drove off the bottom and into the lead before a caution flag flew for Haudenschild who spun in turn two. The racing would get back up to speed but again be interrupted when Kraig Kinser spun and slowed. Jason again seized the top spot and started to put some distance between himself and Kaeding. He would lead wire-to-wire to take the heat race win over Kaeding as Haudenschild, Scelzi and McMahan secured the remaining transfer positions to the A-Main.
Moving into the Craftsman Club Dash it was time to reach into the toolbox to draw a Craftsman wrench to see where he would start the dash that sets the starting order for the 35-lap feature. The humble Louisianan reached in as his good fortune continued as he would start from the pole in the 6-lap race. Bud Kaeding would again share the front row with Jason as the field paced around the high banked clay oval preparing to take the green. When the engines came to life Jason drove into the lead and would not look back as he took the Craftsman Club Dash victory over Bud Kaeding, Dominic Scelzi, Tim Kaeding, Brad Sweet, Cory Eliason, Shane Stewart and Jason Sides.
When the modified division completed their feature, it was time for the 35-lap feature event around Bakersfield Speedway. Jason climbed into his Fibreworks Composites custom seat and buckled into his Crow Enterprizes safety belts. The determined racer was ready to go and the JJR crew had the car ready to go. After the four-wide salute to the fans it was time to kick some dirt up. Jason jumped into the early lead and led the first 14 laps. The racing was crazy good and Brad Sweet, winner of the last two races at Bakersfield, was at the back bumper of the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Vortex Racing Products #41. The racing was close and clean as Sweet maneuvered underneath the forty-one coming off turn two to take the lead on lap 15. Sweet would hold the top spot as Jason was now embroiled in a battler for position with Sheldon Haudenschild for the runner-up spot, but the leader spun and almost tipped over in turn two to bring out the yellow flag. Jason inherited the lead again and would hold the position through lap 22 before the hard-charging Haudenschild took the lead. Jason continued to give chase and was running in the second position when a yellow was thrown with 6 laps to go. The field regrouped in their two-by-two restart order and Haudenschild would again dart out into the lead as Shane Stewart shuffled into the runner-up position with Jason in the show position. Haudenschild would collect his third victory of the young season over Stewart, as Jason came home with a third place podium finish. On the frontstretch after the race, the Louisiana driver explained, “We came up a little bit short, we were a little too free once the fuel burned off, but still a very good night for our team. It’s always good to be on the podium.” A great run for the forty-one!
RAGIN’ CAJUN USES HIS KISTLER SPEED AT THE WEST’S FASTEST 1/3-MILE DIRT TRACK!
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