MECHANICSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA (July 21, 2017) – Any time the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car series rolls into Central Pennsylvania it is an exciting time. The JJR Marshall Racing #41 team were trucking in the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT) hauler as they pulled across the backstretch by the famous Williams Grove Speedway bridge and into the infield pit area. There were 39 teams ready to take on the historic half-mile oval on the first of two scheduled nights of racing in the Champion Racing Oil Summer Nationals.
The field was again split into two groups for time trial qualifying with Jason and the Priority Aviation Services, LLC/Jonestown KOA #41 Maxim set to go out 13th in Flight A. He rolled into the staging area and patiently waited for his turn. The push truck tapped his rear nerf bar bringing life to his Kistler Engines power as he pulled onto the speedway. When he was getting up to speed something was amiss but he stayed on the gas and got up to speed to take the green. He completed lap one in 17.194 seconds and struggled a bit through lap two coming across the line in 17.204 seconds. Both laps were slightly off the pace and abnormal for the gasser who calls Rocky Mount, Missouri home. When the last Flight A qualifier, Alan Krimes in the #87, completed his laps and crossed the scales, Jason’s quickest time was only good enough for 17th quick overall.
Knowing the team had an uphill climb, the #41 team went to work to change an engine. As they were finishing up the horn blew indicating there were eight minutes until the cars needed to be staged for the first and fastest heat race. The crew pushed the Waco Metal/Schoenfeld Headers Maxim back and he aligned his entry on the inside of row five in the 9th starting spot beside fellow Outlaw competitor Greg Wilson. When the green flag waved he used the bottom lane to move into the eighth position on the track before getting by Alan Krimes around the top in three and four for seventh. The heat race went green to checkered non-stop with Dale Blaney getting the victory over Brock Zearfoss, Aaron Ott and Sheldon Haudenschild with Kraig Kinser locking down the fifth and final transfer spot.
Relegated to the 12-lap Last Chance Showdown (LCS), commonly referred to as the B-Main, where there were only four qualifying spots eligible for transfer to the 25-lap A-Main. Jason would roll off 11th in the Fischer Body Shop/KSE Racing Products #41. Logan Schuchart and Shane Stewart brought the field to the green with Stewart driving into the lead. Before a lap could be completed though the leader, Shane Stewart, got flipped on his side to bring out the red flag. When racing resumed, Jason got up on the wheel and started to drive forward. When the yellow flag came out on lap 7, he was up to seventh and looking for more. They got back to green flag racing and he accelerated into the fifth spot behind Jac Haudenschild. He was close but running out of laps and when the black and white cloth flew he fell one spot short of transferring behind race winner James McFadden, Schuchart and Freddie Rahmer and Haudenschild.
Electing to use a provisional for the opening night of the Summer Nationals, Jason would tag the rear of the field in the 27th starting spot aboard the Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/Weld Racing #41. Outside front row starter, Daryn Pittman would lead lap one before Lance Dewease on the Don Kreitz, Jr. #69k would pass him for the top spot. Jason was trying to find a line to run in the dirty air further back in the field. Things started to get interested just after the midway point of the race when a red flag brought the action to an abrupt halt as Sheldon Haudenschild and Danny Dietrich got together in turn one with Haudenschild flipping over. The excitement wasn’t over as on the initial restart, David Gravel put a slide job on Dewease in turns one and two with Dewease hooking the cushion and flipping to bring the red back out. Brock Zearfoss inherited the lead and on the second attempt to restart the yellow was displayed as second starting David Gravel was called for supposedly jumping the start when Zearfoss’ engine stumbled at the start. Gravel was docked a row and Zearfoss would jump into the lead over Donny Schatz to lead lap 17. Meanwhile, Jason was working hard as he had moved into the top twenty and was as far up as 17th place during the event. Zearfoss would go on to collect his first ever World of Outlaws win over Gravel, Schatz, Brad Sweet and Daryn Pittman.
Jason and the JJR Marshall Racing #41 team salvaged a 19th place finish and will regroup and be back at it on Saturday night, weather dependent, to see if they can turn their fortunes around at Williams Grove Speedway on night two of the Champion Racing Oil Summer Nationals.