LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS (October 22, 2014) – It is Short Track Nationals week in Little Rock, Arkansas! What an exciting time and a great racing event for both the teams and the fans. It was a beautiful night and there were 66 cars lining the pit area at I-30 Speedway, affectionately referred to as Hammer Hill, for the first night of racing action in the 2nd Annual Short Track National Open. Jason and the JJR and Stenhouse Jr. Racing team had the Waco Metal/Fischer Body Shop #41 Maxim prepared and ready for action. This night is meaningful as the top four finishers all have a shot at getting a coveted provisional into the 27th Annual Short Track Nationals finale on Saturday night depending on their qualifying night efforts.
The 2006 Short Track Nationals champion would roll out onto Joe and Tracey Clay’s 1/4 mile, red clay high banked oval and lined his K&N Filters/Serratelli Hat Company mount up on the pole in the second heat race. When the green flag waved, using the moisture on the bottom of the track, he catapulted to the lead as the field cruised through turns one and two. The Rocky Mount, Missouri resident would command the top spot throughout the event and crossed the finish line first ahead of Howard Moore, Jerrod Hull with Blake Hahn and Alex Sewell rounding out the top five.
For the feature, the Eunice, Louisiana native would start from the tenth position alongside fellow JJR teammate Josh Baughman. When the green lights lit up, the 22 drivers dropped their right foot on their respective loud pedals. Jason was on the high side where the cushion was razor thin. It became clear early that the moisture that still existed on the bottom side of the speedway was providing the bite needed to move forward. The Cajun Sensation dove low in the Fischer Body Shop/CURB Records machine and started to move forward quickly. He was in the top five fighting for the fourth position with Stevie Smith. The two talented chauffeurs were putting on one heck of a position battle for the fans with Jason ultimately securing the fourth spot. It was nose-to-tail racing with the front three cars all running against the tire barriers that outline the bottom lane on the inside of the speedway. Proven winners certainly tend to get a little antsy when they are forced to follow even though they realize the risk of getting out of line to attempt to make additional passes may cost them their current spot. Sometimes the reward is worth the risk, while other times it is not. The Ragin’ Cajun is certainly a proven winner and he went to the top side of Hammer Hill to test out the razor thin cushion on the high-banked surface to try to pass Dalton Davis in the #12D and A.J. Bruns in the #44. He was closing the gap but just didn’t have enough momentum to make the pass for position. On lap fourteen the razor edge won as Jason looped the car in turn four. He rejoined the field at the back of the pack and made his way back up to the seventeenth spot when the checkers flew over race winner Aaron Reutzel. Another strong run for the forty one driver and team short-circuited . . . but, it is important to remember you cannot make a pass for position when you are content following another competitor.