SAUK RAPIDS, MINNESOTA (June 20, 2017) – Jason and the JJR Marshall Racing #41 team traveled to Sauk Rapids on Tuesday night to race at Granite City Speedway, a racy 3/8-mile oval located just Northwest of Minneapolis. There were 23 teams registered and anxiously awaiting to race around the Granite City surface in front of a packed house of excited fans ready to see the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car series stars do their thing at high speed.
The Ragin’ Cajun buckled his Crow Enterprizes safety harness and pulled down on the chin strap one last time of his Shell Shock custom painted Bell Racing Helmet as he waited patiently to push off for his two time trial laps. He would be the seventh car out on the track aboard the Priority Aviation Services, LLC/KSE Racing Products #41 Maxim as he brought his entry up to speed. He crossed the stripe to start the clock and dropped his right foot onto the accelerator as he motored through turns one and two and down the backstretch. He had a good lap going and hit his lines in turns three and four as he completed lap one in 11.572 seconds, which was quick time. He stayed on the gas and turned in a consistent, but slightly slower, lap the second time around at 11.685 seconds. He rolled back into the pit area and waited for the remaining 16 drivers to finish off qualifying. When the engines silenced, Johnson picked up his ninth quick time award of the 2017 season with his solid first lap.
Earning his way to the pole position in the first and fastest heat race, the Ragin’ Cajun would share the front row with Ian Madsen with Logan Schuchart, Tim Kaeding, Jacob Allen, Brad Sweet, Paige Polyak and Jared Goerges filling the remaining starting lineup. When the green flag waved, Johnson drove the Fischer Body Shop/CCC #41 into the top spot and was making tracks and not looking back. He was turning quick laps and Madsen was giving chase. When the checkered flag flew over the 8-lap event, it was the Cajun taking the win by 2.547 seconds over Madsen, Schuchart, Sweet and Kaeding with Allen grabbing the final transfer position.
The Eunice, Louisiana native had once again made his way into the Craftsman Club Dash, which is an event where the finishing order is used to set the first three rows of the A-Main starting grid for the night. He was sitting on the pole in the pre-inversion lineup and when the zero pill was pulled he would stay there and start beside an always formidable competitor – Donny Schatz. Joey Saldana and Ian Madsen would make up row two, as Kerry Madsen and Jason Sides would start from row three. Again, when the green flag dropped, Johnson was off to the races in his Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/FK Shocks Maxim as he took the lead over Schatz with Saldana and Ian Madsen involved in the high speed chase. His Hoosier Racing Tires were digging to gain traction as Johnson took the win in the 6-lap Craftsman Club Dash over Schatz, Saldana, and the Madsen brothers – Ian and Kerry respectively – as Sides rounded out the finishing order.
It was a perfect night so far for Jason and the JJR Marshall Racing #41 team and they were looking to cap off their night with a victory. Philip, Jeff and Jakob readied the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Waco Metal #41 for the 30-lap feature event where they would start from the pole. The traditional four-wide salute to the fans was over and the drivers gassed it one last time to re-align in their two-by-two starting order. When the yellow lights dimmed and the green lights illuminated it was go time and Jason jumped into the lead. He was truckin’ and Schatz was relentlessly chasing him around Granite City. The leaders approached lapped traffic and started to navigate the back of the field at speed. The talent of these drivers is immense and watching them do their thing is certainly worth the entertainment value. No one does it better than the World of Outlaws stars and Johnson and Schatz were giving the fans their monies worth on this night. Just before the midway point of the race, lap 13, the caution flag was waved as Ian Madsen rolled to a stop with a flat right rear tire. It would be Johnson and Schatz starting beside each other on the restart. The caution cleared the lapped cars and it was back to green flag racing with the Ragin’ Cajun picking up where he left off before the caution. He chose the high side entering turn three and Schatz jumped on the opportunity to make the pass for the lead on the low side coming off turn four. The top slot was Schatz’s now, but the determined Johnson was not about to give up. Brad Sweet was now in the mix as he drove into the show position from his tenth starting spot. The three drivers were putting on a high speed show for the fans as the racing was tight, but clean as they all wanted to win this race. With ten laps to go Johnson was throwing everything at Schatz trying to regain the lead, but to no avail. Schatz went on to collect the win at Granite City over Johnson, Sweet and Kerry Madsen with David Gravel coming home fifth.
It was a solid night of racing for Jason and the JJR Marshall Racing #41 team at Granite City Speedway. While competitive racers are never 100% happy with second place, Jason commented, “We are happy with second and will take it and keep on digging.” He continued, “Schatz is one of the cleaner racers out here and any time you are racing with him up front you are doing something right.” He concluded by stating, “Schatz knew what he needed to do to get by me on that restart and was successful.” Jason and the team will now head to West Liberty Raceway, in Iowa, on Friday night to kick off the weekend of racing.