NEW RICHMOND, WISCONSIN (July 8, 2016) – Jason and the JJR team rolled into Cedar Lake Speedway hoping to get the weekend started with some speed and good results aboard the Priority Aviation Services, LLC/Valvoline #41. There were 34 cars lined up in the pit area at the 1/3-mile oval ready to get battle tested as rain moved in and delayed the program. Clearer skies followed and they were ready to race in front of the avid sprint car fans in Wisconsin.
There were 33 drivers and teams that went through the pill draw as one driver and team arrived so they were tagged to the back of the qualifying order. Jason and the team pulled the highest pill, which meant they would be the second to last car out on the track for time trials. After being fifth quick in the hot lap sessions, the Ragin’ Cajun and the JJR team were optimistic about their chances. Jason rolled out in the Waco Metal/Jonestown KOA #41 Maxim and on the first lap ran a good line but were struggling with a motor going south. He stopped the clock at 11.752 seconds. He stayed composed and was able to squeeze out a slightly faster lap the second time around at 11.713 seconds, which ended up being 27th quick overall.
Knowing they were facing an uphill battle the team dug in and changed an engine after time trials to ready themselves for the heat races. Starting seventh in the third heat race, Jason buckled into his Crow Enterprizes safety harness and pulled on his Oakley racing gloves. Front row starters, Donny Schatz and Craig Dollansky, would bring the field to the green with Schatz in the lead. Jason was racing for position with Paul Nienhiser and Thomas Kennedy. They all wanted the fifth and final transfer position and the racing was tight. Schatz was in control in the top spot, but the racing for the final transfer positon was fast and furious. Nienhiser had it and Johnson and Kennedy wanted it. Jason secured the sixth spot and was in hot pursuit of Nienhiser, but ran out of laps as the checkered flag flew as he missed the transfer spot by one.
Relegated to the Last Chance Showdown (LCS), the Rocky Mount, Missouri resident who recently celebrated a birthday was hoping for some lady luck. He would start eighth in the field aboard the Fischer Body Shop/www.racediecast.com #41 and would need to finish in the top four if he wanted to race in the main event on this night. A very determined competitor, he climbed into the cockpit of his Maxim Racing chassis and secured his Shell Shock custom painted Bell Racing Helmet. Twelve laps and four other driver stood between him and the results he wanted, but make no mistake about it the challenge ahead was no easy task. From the pole, Davey Heskin took the lead in his #56 as Dominic Scelzi gave chase in his #41x. Jason wasted little time using his KSE Racing Products to steer his way forward as he was running in a pack of three for the fifth position. Jason was racing with Travis Whitney, Thomas Kennedy and Paige Polyak now for that fourth and final transfer spot. Polyak would get the spot late in the race as Jason moved into the fifth position. Closing at the end on Polyak, but unable to get close enough to make a pass, the Ragin’ Cajun fell one spot short on this night as he finished fifth in the LCS. A tough night for Jason and the JJR team, but they will regroup and be back at it again on Saturday night at Cedar Lake Speedway.