PEVELY, MISSOURI (August 6, 2016) – Jason and the JJR #41 team were back at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55, which the racing community affectionately refers to simply as just Pevely, for the running of the Ironman 55. There were a total of 33 powerful 410 sprint cars lined up in the pit area situated over the banking of turn two and down the backstretch. All of them wanted to life the hand barbell at the end of the night. Not like the night in and of its self is not grueling enough, as this is the longest race of the year for the World of Outlaw Craftsman Sprint Car Series competitors throughout the year.
Starting with a late time trial start, the Ragin’ Cajun climbed aboard his Priority Aviation Services, LLC/KSE Racing Products Maxim and rolled into line to push off as the 32nd car for his two laps of his individual performance. The track crew reworked the surface just before the cars hit the track, but the track was slowing down a little throughout time trials. The Louisiana hot shoe laid down a good first lap at 12.640 seconds. He was smooth and fast as he guided his Vortex Racing Products wing through the hot, humid Midwest air. He stayed on the hammer and turned in a quicker lap the second time around coming in at 12.534 seconds, which was 13th quick overall.
The heat race lineups were posted and Jason found himself in the first and fastest heat race again with some of the best in the business to compete with to earn a spot in the prestigious Ironman 55 feature event. Brad Sweet and Kerry Madsen were in row one. Donny Schatz shared row two with Jason as Logan Schuchart and Kraig Kinser were poised in row three. There were five spots up for grabs to transfer. When the green flag waved, Sweet jumped into the lead as Jason powered his way off the top side and into the show position. Sweet, Madsen, Jason and Schatz were bad fast and rolling around this quarter-mile oval at wicked fast speeds. Sweet would secure the win as Madsen and Jason finished second and third respectively. Kraig Kinser finished fourth as Schatz rounded out the top five. The forty-one was in the show!
After extensive track prep where they laid down quite a bit of water, the eight minute horn sounded throughout the pit area. The crews went through their final checks and the drivers climbed into their cockpits as they readied to do battle. Jason would start from the inside of row five. He knew he had a fast race car, but so did almost everyone else. When the green flag waved, the engines roared to life. Kerry Madsen was at the front of the pack as Jason maneuvered into the seventh spot in the running order aboard the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Waco Metal #41. He was getting around the bottom side of the track but could also run through the middle and the around the top on the cushion when needed. A few early cautions regrouped the field for their two-by-two restarts as Jason powered his way off the bottom to maintain his position. This is a long, demanding race that brings out the best in these professional drivers. The racing is tight and at unbelievable high speeds. Brandon Hanks slowed on the backstretch as Jason, Schatz and Paul McMahan took evasion actions down the back chute to avoid the ailing car. On the restart, Jason lost a spot to McMahan but earned it back. With 11 laps to go the final yellow was displayed. With his 28 gallon tail tank fuel consumption certainly probably crossed his mind. But when the green was redisplayed he pedaled down as Rico Abreu pressured and took the lead in a three race scramble with Sweet and Madsen. Jason was in control of the seventh position and was starting to reel in Daryn Pittman when the checkered flag flew of Abreu. Jason brought home a respectable seventh place finish in one of the year’s most grueling racing at one of the coolest race tracks in the country. Another great run for the forty-one!