KNOXVILLE, IOWA (July 31, 2014) – It was finally time to fire up the engines in Central Iowa to start the best ten consecutive days of racing all year for sprint car drivers, teams and fans from all around the world at Knoxville Raceway. It was the first night of qualifying for the 24th Annual Arnold Motor Supply 360 Nationals. The chauffeur who hails from Eunice, Louisiana was eager to nestle down into his ButlerBuilt Professional Seat System and buckle up his Crow Enterprizes safety belts to get the racing action started in his Waco Metal/Fischer Body Shop #41 Maxim.
The first order of business was time trials. There were 46 cars that were ready to take Knoxville’s famous black clay on with two laps of qualifying action per entry. The Cajun Sensation would have to wait a while as he was the 38th car scheduled to be pushed out on the track to put on his individual speed performance in the Stenhouse Jr. Racing entry. He waited patiently and when it was his turn he certainly did not disappoint as he pounded the accelerator and pushed his way around the half mile oval on lap one in 16.238 seconds. His second lap was a little slower at 16.389 seconds, but when the last qualifier took the checkers his quickest lap was 13th quick overall.
When the heat race lineups were officially posted, Jason and the Weld Racing/Valvoline #41 were slated to start from the outside of row two in the third heat race. With eight laps being the scheduled distance, Jason peaked up on the high side coming out of turn four and powered his way down the front straightaway into the second position. Entering turn one, the Louisiana gas man went to work and used his KSE Racing Products to steer his way into the lead on the low side and did not look back as he took the win ahead of Jamie Ball, Tony Bruce, Jr. and Dustin Selvage to transfer to the A-Main.
For the 20-lap main event, Jason would push off and get set to go from his third starting spot in the Fischer Body Shop #41 Maxim. He was mentally focused as he peered through the shield of his Shell Shock custom painted Arai Helmet during the pace laps. When Justin Clark gave the one lap to go sign, Jason took a deep breath and readied himself for some high speed action around Knoxville Raceway. Front row starters, Casey Frederickson and Davey Heskin, brought the field of twenty four cars screaming down the front stretch with the Ragin’ Cajun in tow in the third position. Jason soon used the bottom to make his way into the runner-up spot and he set his sights on tracking down race leader Davey Heskin. The leaders soon were mired in lapped traffic and Heskin, Jason and Bruce, Jr. bobbed and weaved the slower cars at top speed. A mid-race caution put Jason right on the leader’s bumper for the restart. Heading into one Jason headed to the cushion as Heskin hugged the bottom to maintain the lead. The two stayed that way as Heskin took the win and Jason brought his Maxim across the stripe in the runner-up spot just ahead of Tony Bruce, Jr. From the second step on the podium, with a big smile on his face, Jason explained, “The Stenhouse crew gave me a phenomenal Maxim tonight.” He continued, “He (Heskin) gave me a hole there on the last lap and the driver missed the line.”
A great first night at the 24th Annual Arnold Motor Supply 360 Nationals in which Jason earned 474 points, which was the third highest total on the first qualifying night. Jason and the Stenhouse Jr. Racing team are back and looking forward to Saturday night’s 360 National finale!