KNOXVILLE, IOWA (June 11, 2016) – With all the chaos happening around the sprint car world on this night, you would have thought it was a full moon or something. Under a waxing crescent moon above, there were 35 eager 410 sprint car teams back in the pit area ready for night two at Knoxville Raceway. Sprint car racers are a tenacious and competitive bunch. That is what makes our sport unique in many ways because that tenacity has to be combined with technical and mechanical expertise to make these things fast on constantly changing conditions throughout any night of racing.
For Jason and the JJR team, it all began with a ‘42’ pill at the draw, which meant he would go out 28th overall for his time trial qualifying laps aboard the Priority Aviation Services, LLC/Wilwood Engineering #41 Maxim. As is usual and customary, the track started to slow down a bit as qualifying went on, but Jason got up to speed and laid down a very good first lap at 15.638 seconds. He kept the accelerator pushed down as he sailed through turns one and two and when he powered down the front straightaway on lap two he crossed under the waving checkered flags with a consistent, but slightly slower, lap of 15.705 seconds. The quickest of his two laps was 15th overall on the night.
There were four heat races scheduled with five transfers directly to the A-Main coming from each qualifying race. Jason would line up fourth in the third heat race in the Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/Waco Metal Maxim. He occupied row two with Jamie Veal as they paced behind the front row of Shane Stewart and Knoxville regular Davey Heskin. Stewart would power off the pole at the start and take the lead as Veal slid into second. Jason followed Heskin in the early stages as the two were battling for the show position throughout the race. Jason was trying everything to gain the spot as the two speed chauffeurs were putting on quite a show for all the fans in attendance. When the racers crossed the finish line, it was Stewart, Veal, and Heskin crossing it just ahead of Jason with Sammy Swindell coming home fifth. All five locked-in to the A-Main from that qualifying heat race.
Philip, Jeff and Jakob went to work on the forty one preparing it for the 25-lap feature event. There were 24 cars and everyone wanted to race hard for the win. The horn sounded, signaling to the drivers and crews there were eight minutes to go for them to hit the track. Jason climbed into his office situated in his Maxim Racing chassis and locked his steering wheel into place. It was race time at Knoxville Raceway. The #41 would line up on the inside of row eight from the fifteenth starting position. He shared the row with Kerry Madsen as the front row of Jamie Veal and Ian Madsen led the field to the green flag. Veal jumped into the early lead as Jason maintained his position in the running order. An early caution for Tasker Phillips regrouped the field and when racing went back to green all heck broke loose. Third running Ian Madsen ran down the track causing Shane Stewart and Brian Brown to get together setting off a multi-car crash. There were cars everywhere and Jason was right in the danger zone where all the action was taking place. At speed, he masterfully avoided the carnage by diving low going into the first turn, narrowly missing Stewart’s flipping car on the bottom and driving under the pile of carnage on the top side against the outside fence. All-in-all, ten cars were involved. When racing resumed, Jason continued his run forward as he moved into the top ten. Schatz would chase down Veal for the lead, and Jason kept working hard for positions on the race track. Schatz would go on to take the victory ahead of Danny Lasoski and David Gravel as Jason crossed the finish line with a solid 9th place finish on the night.