SOMERTON, ARIZONA (November 14, 2014) – With the 2014 season winding down, Jason and the Stenhouse Jr. Racing team were ready for action. The racy, 3/8-mile semi banked oval has been a place where the Eunice, Louisiana native has had some success in the past. In fact, quite a bit of success as he swept all four events at the oval last year. So he and the team put the proverbial “chip back on their shoulder” as they took to the track in southwestern Arizona, just south of Yuma, in the Fischer Body Shop/Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT) #41 Maxim. There were 46 cars and drivers in the pits with names like Joey Saldana, Shane Stewart and Brian Brown to go along with the whole host of ASCS stars and regional competitors.
Jason slated the field in his heat race from the fourth starting spot. Bob Ream, Jr. jumped into the early lead as Jason took the Waco Metal/CURB Records mount to the top side challenging for the runner-up position early with the always tough Aaron Reutzel right behind. The two speedsters were up on the wheel trying everything to track down Ream, but they ran out of laps as they crossed the line 1-2-3 to advance onto the 25-lap feature event with Jason holding the runner-up spot.
The Stenhouse Jr. Racing boys were hard at work on the car while the remaining qualifying action was completed. They knew their base setup for this place was a really good one, but they wanted to make the necessary adjustments to their Maxim to maximize their driver’s performance on this night at Cocopah Speedway. When the lineup was posted on the pit board and the call came through the public address system to “buckle in and push off”, the Ragin’ Cajun climbed into his ButlerBuilt Professional Seat System and secured and tightened his Crow Enterprizes safety belts. It was “go” time.
With the bump on the rear nerf bar, his Mike Baughman Ford powered machine fired up and was off to the races. With the engine purring under the hood and the driver growling for a win, the combined audible noise created a peaceful and calming presence for him as he pulled into his sixth starting spot. Front row starters, Brandon Hanks and Bob Ream Jr., brought the field down the front stretch at full speed when the green flag waved. Jason did not wait long to maneuver his orange and black machine into position to take some spots. Unfortunately, a melee with some of the drivers further back in the field brought out the yellow for a complete restart. When the yellow lights went green, the Cajun climbed up to the cushion and made it three wide as he put the Jonestown KOA/Valvoline machine in the second spot. It was early, but Jason was fast as he tracked down Hahn and took the lead on lap four before the yellow came out negating the pass. Pacing under the caution, Jason was focused and peering through the lens of his Shell Shock custom painted Arai Helmet finalized his restart strategy. On the restart the 4-Time ASCS National Tour champion again made his bid for the top spot. This time he would execute the pass and secure the top spot for good as he was making tracks and not looking back. The crew had this Maxim really good and the driver in the cockpit was enjoying his night at the office. He would lead the remaining laps to take the win over Danny “The Flying Fossil” Woods by 6.226 seconds with Aaron Reutzel charging from his 20th starting spot to claim the show position. The talented California racer, Willie Croft, made his way to Arizona and took the fourth and final lock-in position for Saturday night’s grand finale. After the victory Jason joked, “I almost forgot my way to victory lane.” He continued, “I will tell you what, hats off to this race team. They worked their tails off and have never given up on their driver. I really appreciate them and all of the people who have supported this race team through everything this season.” He then stated, “We have a good baseline when we come here, and to win here tonight, I don’t know what it did to us point wise but all we could do is win this race and improve ourselves.” What the win did for him is put him 13 markers behind current leader Brad Loyet for the season long championship title with Jeff Swindell also right in from of him 11 makers out. With a fifth championship within reaching distance combined with being locked-in to Saturday night’s event, I guarantee you the Cajun Sensation will have his elbows up racing for the win. Watch out on Saturday night as the ASCS National Tour concludes their 2014 season!