SOMERTON, ARIZONA (January 1, 2016) – The off-season didn’t last long for Jason and the JJR team as they headed west to compete in the Winter Heat Showdown at Cocopah Speedway. Five nights of racing over a nine day span certainly makes this event attractive for both the drivers and the fans. Add in the $12,000 winner’s share of the purse and you will end up with a full pit area and grandstands. The pits were full at the 3/8 mile clay oval in the desert as 45 cars had signed in for the race. Jason and the team worked hard during their short break to prep themselves and their equipment for the 2016 season and they were ready to go.
The evening would get off to a busy start as Jason pulled in after hot laps, when Philip Dietz and the crew would have to roll up their sleeves to change a motor so the Ragin’ Cajun could get out for the fifth and final heat race. They got it done just in time as Jason was the last car to roll into the staging area. These eight lap heat races are critical as the A-Main field in this event is set up on solely on passing points from the heat races and qualifier races. The Kistler Engine fired and he rolled onto the speedway, but the team did not have any time to make any adjustments to the car. Jason would start on the inside of Jason Solwold in row three. Logan Forler would jump out into the lead and show the way when the green flag waved. He would lead every lap to take the win as Jason crossed the stripe in the sixth position.
Next up was the ten lap qualifier. The Louisiana driver would start from the seventh position in the fourth qualifier with Robbie Price and Solwold on the front row. Solwold would lead the event from start to finish with Jason coming home in the sixth spot behind Logan Schuchart, Terry McCarl, Brian Brown and Danny Wood.
Relegated to one of the two B-Main events, Jason and the JJR team had their work cut out for them as the track took down a lot of rubber, which created a surface that limited the amount of passing that could be done. Jason climbed into the cockpit of his Priority Aviation Services #41 Maxim and was ready to take on the challenge. After the engine fired, he pulled to the inside of row five beside Paul McMahan. Craig Dollansky and Dominic Scelzi made up the front row with Logan Forler and Austin McCarl right behind. The drivers would have to do their work in 15 laps to try and secure one of the 4 transfer positions to the A-Main event. When the cars got up to speed, Jason tried everything and anything to make passes and move forward to no avail. When the black and white checkered cloth waved he came home in the tenth spot with Dollansky, Christopher Bell, Scelzi and McMahan securing the transfer positions. With their night over, Jason and the team focused on making night two of the Winter Heat Showdown on Saturday night a better night.