WEEDSPORT, NEW YORK (May 22, 2016) – Jason and the JJR #41 team headed North on I-81 to Weedsport Speedway on Sunday night to race in the Empire State Challenge. With 28 cars lined up in the beautiful facility the race fans were eager to see some high speed racing action with the best in the business. Weedsport is not your typical oval race track. When you enter into turn one it is like you have to make a 90 degree turn to the left. But, these guys sure do make going fast around these things look easy.
Jason rolled out 17th for his time trial laps aboard the Priority Aviation Services, LLC/Winters Performance Products Maxim. He stood on the accelerator after entering the track off turn four and with a big cushion in turn three he got up to speed. His first lap was turned in 12.936 seconds. He followed that up with a quicker lap coming in at 12.776 seconds. With 24 of the 27 cars scoring times that broke the former sprint car track record set last year by Greg Hodnett, it was certainly a fast track. Jason’s time was 12th quick overall on the night.
Starting on the outside of row two in the second heat race, the JJR crew was working hard to figure out how to get the most speed around this 3/8th mile oval, while setting it up so the driver could maneuver around the competition to make passes. Logan Schuchart and Donny Schatz were in row one with Shane Stewart sharing row two with Jason. Lucas Wolfe and local favorite Stewart Friesen were in row three. The bottom lane was the fast way around at this point of the night and on the initial start Schuchart seized the lead as Schatz and Stewart followed. Lucas Wolfe snuck under the Fischer Body Shop/Pro Powder Coating #41 going into turn one to take the fourth spot. Stewart and Schatz were embroiled in a battle for the runner-up position as Jason was tracking down Wolfe. Stewart would get by Schatz as he followed Schuchart across the start/finish line as Schatz came home third followed by Wolfe and Johnson with Friesen locking down the final transfer position in the sixth spot.
When the sun went down the management team at Weedsport Speedway got to show off their new LED lighting system around the track. Johnny Gibson explained that this was the first time the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series had run under and all-LED lighting system and the display was impressive. There were 24 cars locked into the A-Main with our own Jason Johnson starting back in row eight on the inside from the 15th starting position in the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/ISC Racers Tape #41 Maxim Racing entry. Logan Schuchart and Daryn Pittman made up row one with Brad Sweet and Greg Hodnett in row two. After an awesome light show as the competitors readied themselves for action the green flag waved with Schuchart taking the lead. The green was quickly replaced by the yellow when Hodnett and Pittman tangled in turn one sending both to the work area. On the restart, Schuchart again led as Jason starting his march forward moving into the 12th position. The Cajun chauffeur kept working as he held his position in the running order when a red flag flew for Tim Shaffer who tipped over in turn two. Racing resumed as Jason was working the bottom side in one and two and the top side in three and four. On lap 18, the caution flew for Jason Sides who experienced a flat tire. After fixing it in the work area, he rejoined the field and racing resumed. Jason moved into the top ten and kept working all angles of the track trying to search out the fastest way around to pass cars. Schatz would pass Schuchart for the lead on lap 31 to take the win as the front two crossed the stripe ahead of David Gravel, and Joey Saldana with Shane Stewart rounding out the top five. Jason brought the Jonestown KOA/Country Custom Creations (CCC) #41 with a hard fought ninth place finish. A good run for the forty one!