PAIGE, TEXAS (April 26, 2018) – On the drive in on Wednesday sunny skies welcomed Jason and the JJR #41 team back to Texas for the previously postponed race at Cotton Bowl Speedway in Paige, Texas, which is located just due East of the popular city of Austin off I-290 and County Road 202. But before the night could get started Mother Nature clouded the skies and washed out the night again forcing them to push the race back another day to try again on Thursday. The teams returned as there were 20 cars ready to roll with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at the racy 3/8-mile high banked oval as Philip, Tyler and Patrick prepped and shined the Waco Metal/Fischer Body Shop #41 Maxim for racing action.
The Ragin’ Cajun, who spent a considerable amount of time in Texas when he raced Lanny and Alan Row’s The Shop Diesel Services car, enjoys racing in the Lonestar State as it is home to a number of important friends and valued sponsorship partners like Scottie McDonald at Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution and the Sutton family from Waco Metal. Jason would prepare and push off 17th for his two time trial laps at Cotton Bowl Speedway. The Kistler Engine under the hood of the forty one came to life and was eager to get going. As Jason pushed the right pedal down inside the cockpit the powerplant came to life roared and the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT) #41 Maxim was truckin’ around the oval stopping the stopwatch after the first lap at 14.489 seconds. He continued to run the fast lines around Cotton Bowl Speedway and finished his second lap at 14.011 seconds, which ended up being the fifth quickest lap overall on the night as David Gravel recorded the fastest time of the night with a lap of 13.832 seconds.
While there were only two heat races slated for the evening, both were filled with unbelievable talent. Jason rolled into the staging area aboard his Waco Metal/Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution #41 where he would line up from the third starting position behind the front row of David Gravel and Daryn Pittman. Shane Stewart shared row two with the Ragin’ Cajun as Kasey Kahne, Paul McMahan, Kraig Kinser, Jacob Allen, Dane Lorenc and Clyde Knipp rounding out the starting grid. Gravel was the first one that powered under the waving green flag to start the race, but the Ragin’ Cajun stormed into the runner-up spot with Pittman chasing from the show position after the first lap. The stars of the sport were flying around Cotton Bowl Speedway as Gravel charged under the checkered flag with a 1.406 seconds advantage over Jason’s MAXIM Racing #41 under a beautiful sunset as Pittman, Kahne, Stewart and Kinser locked down the remaining transfer positions to the feature event.
Making his way back into the Sears Craftsman Dash, Jason climbed back into his Fibreworks Composites custom fitted seat and buckled into his Crow Enterprizes safety belts where he would start third after pulling the #3 wrench from the Craftsman Tool Box. David Gravel and Brad Sweet would start from the front row, as Donny Schatz joined Jason in row two with Daryn Pittman and Cory Eliason joining in row three. With his hands on his MPI Innovations steering wheel he got pushed off and his WELD Racing wheels were rolling as the Sears Craftsman Dash competitors circled around the track into their starting positions to start the 6-lap Dash. David Gravel jumped into the early lead over Brad Sweet and Jason, as Johnson was fast using the bottom side to keep the pressure on with each passing lap. Gravel took the Dash victory over Sweet, Johnson, Schatz and Pittman with Eliason coming home sixth as each of the drivers were turning laps that were quicker than in time trials.
For the 35-lap feature the first three rows were set by how they finished in the Craftsman Club Dash, which put the Jason Johnson Racing (JJR) Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT) #41 on the inside of row two with Donny Schatz to his outside as David Gravel and Brad Sweet would pace the field from the front row. After the traditional World of Outlaws four-wide salute to the fans it was time to go racing on this lightning quick racing surface at Cotton Bowl Speedway. The fans in the stands were on their feet cheering on the drivers of The Greatest Show on Dirt as the green flag waved. Gravel took the lead over Sweet as Schatz slipped into third and Jason ran fourth. The initial start though was negated when Clyde Knipp hit the wall and flipped over before the first lap was completed. They tried it all over and Gravel again took the lead. Jason was in fifth as Cory Eliason made his way by. Jason moved to the top side of the track and started to track down Eliason in the race for fourth as Daryn Pittman starting applying pressure from behind Johnson. Jason then built up speed and used the low line to move from fifth to third after passing both Eliason and Schatz for the show position. Gravel and Sweet held down the top two spots with the Ragin’ Cajun running third. The track was very choppy in turn four bouncing the cars as they made their way through the exit onto the front straightaway. With eight laps to go, Jason was closing on Sweet in the runner-up position as the driver of the forty one was getting a good run into turn one. Unable to make up enough ground to contend with Sweet or get into a battle for position, Jason ran comfortably in the third position as he made his way around the bottom of the speedway. Gravel took the win over Sweet as Jason brought the Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/Waco Metal #41 home third! A great run for the forty one!
Stealing the Cotton in Texas with a Solid Third Place Finish and Podium Run Aboard the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT) #41!
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